Courtesy: Swim Richmond.org
Chris Bushelman joined the SwimRVA Rapids in April 2019 as the program’s first ever full-time Senior Assistant Coach. Coach Chris has already enjoyed a storied coaching career throughout his 13 years in the profession. Between his time as the Head Coach of Great Miami Valley YMCA in Ohio and as the Assistant Director of the YMCA of the Triangle Area (YOTA Swim Team) Chapel Hill-Durham Region, he has helped his athletes reach the highest levels imaginable. As an ASCA Level 4 coach, Chris also earned a spot on the National Junior Team Coaches’ list by developing athletes such as Zach Apple (Current US National Team Member who went on to win multiple World Championship Gold Medals) and Mark Andrew (Junior National Champion and 2017 World Championship Trials Finalist). In addition to the heavyweight athletes he has produced, Chris has also helped guide over 40 swimmers to the YMCA National Championships and has terrific experience with building a program from the ground up.
“I am very excited to join Coach Kaplan and the SwimRVA staff! I look forward to using my experience and insight to help drive the inspirational mission of SwimRVA, helping the Rapids become Richmond’s hometown team.” – Chris Bushelman
SwimRVA is a non-profit designed to elevate swimming in the Richmond region making water safety and aquatic fitness more accessible to all. They serve as a catalyst for regional aquatics through water safety, health & wellness, sports tourism and competitive swimming. SwimRVA is the collaborative engine that is building social bridges to cross physical, racial, and economic barriers; ensuring that everyone has access to not only learning a necessary, life-saving skill, but also develop the tools to be active healthy and fit for the rest of their lives. They are the non-profit community hub for aquatics in the Richmond region.
The SwimRVA Rapids year-round swim team opened its doors in September 2018 with Head Coach Jonathan Kaplan and welcomed over 300 swimmers in the first six months. The Rapids team has been growing steadily and inspiring Richmond’s youth.
“The most attractive quality about Coach Chris is his desire to connect with the athletes on a personal level. He understands the importance of making sure that every athlete feels special while helping each of them grow in the most positive way possible through this awesome sport. Chris’s ability to connect with athletes of all levels while also helping guide athletes to the highest levels swimming has to offer makes him unique among all coaches in the nation. SwimRVA is incredibly lucky to have Coach Chris joining us!” – Jonathan Kaplan (Head Coach SwimRVA Rapids)
This past April 10-13, 2019 SwimRVA hosted the third leg of the TYR Pro Swim Series where over 430 athletes, including 33 professionals, splashed into Richmond’s beautiful 56,000 square foot facility located in Chesterfield County. The facility is home to the 2008 Olympic Trials pool that was used in Omaha, Nebraska. With over 41 nations represented, the TYR Pro Swim Series in Richmond, VA was a huge success for the swimmers, local youth and the region. Top ranked swimmers included Katie Ledecky, Cody Miller, Ryan Held, Simone Manuel, Leah Smith, Breeja Larson, Ryan Murphy, Caleb Dressel, Michael Andrew, Hali Flickinger and many more.
Bushelman and Kaplan will now get to use that inspiration to further the hopes and dreams of many young athletes throughout the greater Richmond region. It doesn’t hurt that they can tell their team that they are swimming in the same water as some of the greatest swimmers of all time!