Sunday, September 01, 2013

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Date: Aug 30, 2013 8:33 PM
Subject: DAP Newsletter
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Issue: August 2013

Welcome to DAP's monthly Newsletters! Every first Friday of the month (excluding this issue) we feature a few stories and event notifications here on the DAP Newsletter.  If you would like to have your event or organization featured in the next issue, please send the details to Sarah Lynch at least a week prior the coming issue. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events!

  1. East Oakland open water swim event, September 23rd, 2013. More details:
  2. The 8th Annual DC Nation's Triathlon to Benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Sunday, September 8, 2013 in Washington, DC. More details:

Monthly T-Shirt Contest!

Starting next Month, in every Newsletter we'll feature a small quiz or task for DAP members to participate in and have a chance to win a Free DAP t-shirt! Be on the look out for September's give-a-way!

Monthly Featured Member!
Member: Thaddeus Gamory
Hometown: Bronx, New York
Aquatic Interests: Competitive swimming, Spring board diving, Triathlons, Wind surfing, Paddle-boarding, Jet-skiing, SCUBA Diving, Swimming and Triathlon coaching, Designing and using the pool water for Total Body Fitness and Active Recovery Routines, for runners and triathletes, as well as athletes of all sports.  Using underwater meditation and martial arts training for enhanced training and recovery, for swimmers, triathletes, runners (all sports) and overall strength conditioning.
Please describe your Aquatics Background? When did you start?
     "I learned to swim at about 6 years old while attending a summer camp in the Bronx at an indoor High school pool. I loved the water and would spend endless amounts of time at the large NYC public pools (some as large as 100 meter long and 50 meters wide). The older boys would play rough and dunk me and other younger boys under the water, but after  a while I could easily escape them, because they did not know how to swim and I would swim away fast from them and/or go underwater and elude them. [...] I stayed in the deep water and gravitated to the diving well, where they were afraid to go.  And that is when I fell in love with spring board diving, (but at that age, I had no formal coaching or understanding of proper diving techniques until I started diving in High School)
      My grandparents on my fathers side were from Trinidad and Grenada and were fishing folks, who knew how to swim and my grandmother loved the beach and taught her children to swim.  My dad and my aunts and uncles would go to the beach to swim, socialize and fish during the hots summer days as often as possible and we kids loved the water.
      After following in my older sisters footsteps of being on our Evander Childs High School swimming and diving Team in 1976, I took a semester long Lifeguarding course, that was designed to prepare for jobs as lifeguards at the beaches, lakes and pools in the New York City and surrounding area.  It was very demanding course and included extreme survival skills we aren't required to do today. 
     I became a NYC Police officer in 1982, and began running and playing basketball to maintain the fitness I had gain to enter and complete the police academy training.  I would run, play full court basketball and then swim a mile if time permitted.  This was my 2-3 times a week routine and the water was my recovery from being on my feet all day and then playing basketball. 
      I joined the running clubs in the area and did numerous 10k competitions. In 1984 I joined Middletown NY YMCA, US Masters Club and swam my first meet, and then was challenged to do my first triathlon in Greenwood Lake NY (1/2 mile Lake Swim, 18 mile Bike and 10k run).  I continued training for triathlons and was invited to join a sponsored team on several occasions.  Since I was always playing basketball tournaments, I didn't want to dedicate my time to triathlon training full time.
      I was a part of the Triathlon community since 1984 and continued to train with cyclist and run with runners, but usually swam on my own.  Wasn't until arriving in Florida in 2004, that I joined the Fort Lauderdale Aquatics Master Swim team and started to compete again at swim meets and open water events, all the while continuing to compete in triathlons.
     I became a competitive swimmer again competing in Masters Nationals and YMCA Masters nationals events.  At Y-Nats one year I competed in a triathlon that morning and arrived at Hall of Fame Pool in Fort Lauderdale with my triathlon suit and race numbers still on my arms and just in time to compete in my 50 Free event.

    When I arrived in Broward County, Florida and learned that there were more drownings going on in Broward County than the rest of the nation, I began to focus my energy on how to create opportunities for more kids of color to learn how to swim and wanted to use triathlon training as the draw to get them in the water.  
      I helped start a triathlon club for that purpose of creating mentors to help kids learn the sport of triathlon (which didn't pan out), so I and some of my sports professional friends, have started working on a triathlon training model that happens in the pool  and on the pool deck (Total Fitness Triathlon Training; Swim, Aqua Jogging/deep water running and stationary bike training.)  
      I am currently training a group of 22-25 members of the Black Girls Run South Florida, at the Lauderdale Lakes, Florida pool, using the Total Fitness Triathlon Training model, some of which were previously none swimmers and/or traumatized swimmers."

Additional involvements in aquatics:
Owner/Founder - Swimming, Triathlon and Athletic Development Professionals, LLC, Boca Raton Florida, July 2012
Bay City Y Aquatics - Masters Swim Coach/ Triathlon Training Club Coordinator and Coach, Raritan Bay Area Y, Perth Amboy New Jersey, July 2010 – December 2010
Midtown Weston Aquatics at Midtown Athletic Club - Youth Age Group and Masters Swim Coach,  Weston, Florida, September 2008 – May 2010
YMCA of Broward County - Masters Swim Coach/Age Group Assistant Swim Coach, Weston, Florida, July 2007 - July 2008
Broward County Public Schools - Substitute High School Teacher, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 2006 - September 2007
David Posnack, Hebrew Day School - High School Swim Coach, Sunrise, Florida, September 2006 - November 2006

Member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, the Broward County Drowning Prevention Taskforce

If you would like to be or know of anyone who should be in the next Featured DAP Member section please send an email to Sarah Lynch

2013 Diversity in Aquatics Convention Recap!

Thank you to each of our sponsors, amazing members and wonderful speakers for making this event the best! 

On August 8 – 11th the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa set the stage for the inspiring event that had great moments and game changing opportunities while promoting various aquatic sports and program.  In line with the Diversity In Aquatics mission of "curving drowning disparities", the convention provided an opportunity for leaders develop ground breaking partnerships and networks to help propel aquatics sports forward in regards to diversity and inclusion. 

DAY 1:

Day 2-3:



Thank you to our Host Fort Lauderdale and each of our speakers!

Master of Ceremonies
Lee Pitts - Senior Aquatics Director, Boys & Girls Club of Broward County

Shaun Anderson - Co-Founder, Diversity in Aquatics
Manny Banks - Diversity Specialist, USA Swimming
Dr. Angela Beale - Founder, End Needless Drowning NY
Kim Burgess - Executive Director, National Drown Prevention Alliance
Richard Butler - Inclusion Manager, USRowing
Wanda Butts - Founder, The Josh Project
Thaddeus Gamory - Triathlon Chair, Diversity in Aquatics
Arthur Lopez - Executive Director and Head Coach, Nadar Por Vida, Inc.
Miriam Lynch - Diversity Specialist, Diversity in Aquatics
Ken Roland - Recreation Coordinator, City of Fort Lauderdale Parks & Rec
Bruce Wigo - Chief Executive Officer, International Swimming Hall of Fame


Thank you to our sponsor Nike Swim and Maritza Correia McClendon for their support of the 1st Diversity in Aquatics Convention

Cullen Jones' Interview with ABC World News:

Just this past March, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer interviewed Olympian Cullen Jones who spoke about the importance of water safety and the Make a Splash Foundation.  The segment, titled "Preventing Tragedy in the Water this Summer", opens up with clip of a young boy easily sinking to the bottom of the pool.  How easily that could be prevented with just a summer of swim lessons. ABC's David Kerley talks with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asking parents to prevent these drowning tragedies by having your own kids learn how to swim and safeguarding the area around your home pool. Cullen Jones shares his own near-death story of being a child drowning in water for 30 seconds! Once he learned to swim he kept it up and became one of the world's fastest men in the pool. Cullen Jones shares that it only takes "1 summer" to learn to swim and that it is a skill you'll remember for the rest of your life… 1 summer well worth it. See more of the video at: ABCWorldNews

-Photo Credit: ABC World News

DAP gets a Shout Out in US Masters Swimming's "Question for Coaches"!

The June issue of U.S. Masters Swimming included Diversity in Aquatics in their article by Bill Brenner, "Question for Coaches" What Partnership Should I Pursue?".  Bill writes that there are "[…] three important categories of partnerships […]" that one's program should absolutely partner with. Bill included Diversity in Aquatics under the Community Service category along with other diversity programs and nonprofit groups such as American Red Cross and Urban Swim Program. Check out the full article at: U.S. Masters Swimming

Little Known Water Fact:

Not many people can say they have swam for 6-8 hours straight while tugging a raft full of 24 wounded men away from Japanese capture and through shark infested waters to safety, but Charles Jackson French can.  Arkansas born, African American, Naval officer, Charles Jackson French didn't imagine he would be completing such a feat at just the age of 23 years-old.  French had enlisted in the Navy in 1937 and served as a seaman aboard the USS Gregory during WWII. When the USS Gregory was destroyed in battle, 25 surviving seamen piled into a raft but noticed they were floating toward Japanese land, where they could potentially be taken as prisoners and possibly killed.  French bravely volunteered to swim the raft away from the shore believing he was a strong enough swimmer to battle through the treacherous waters.  Unfortunately, French's extremely selfless act did not receive its deserved respect and appraisal. Once French had swam until he saw another Naval vessel he was treated with appalling disrespect from white seamen aboard the vessel who ignored his remarkable heroism.  Several years later, when the Navy finally decided to recognize French, they merely sent him a letter of commendation that down played the actual courageousness of French.  Charles Jackson French may be one the strongest open water swimmers of all time yet his story is continually left out of Navy, swimming, and even American history. To read more on Charles Jackson French check out The Story of Charles Jackson French by Bruce Wigo and additional history of African Americans and swimming check out Black Splash: The History of African American Swimmers by Lee Pitts

-photo credit: Bruce Wigo, President/CEO of International Swimming Hall of Fame
Copyright © 2013 Diversity in Aquatics Programs, All rights reserved.

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