The Trident Swim Foundation is partnering with Olympic swimmers and Worlds team members to support and encourage swimming and academics in underserved, low-income communities with the 2018 Great Relay, beginning Saturday.
So far, seven relay teams (70 swimmers) are signed up for the 5,000-yard event in Los Angeles, and 15 (made up of 80 swimmers) are signed up to swim in New York. Olympians Hailey Anderson, Kristy Kowal, Adam Mania, Katie Meili, Rada Owen, Kim Vandenberg, and Worlds team members Gabby Deloof, Eugene Godsoe, Tom Luchsinger, and Laura Sogar are scheduled to attend.
All proceeds raised with go to the Foundation’s Swimmer Scholar program. Some of the Swimmer Scholars will be in attendance and to meet the elite swimmers and help take splits.
“Most of our kids have never been exposed to more competitive swimming so getting to see some of the most accomplished athletes in our sport is really exciting for them,” Trident Swim Foundation Executive Director Sean Smith told SwimSwam. “It really is a unique moment to see some of the top swimmers in the world all coming together to support under-resourced, minority students just getting started in swimming.”
Awards are given out for the fastest relay and biggest fundraisers.
“I’m thrilled to be helping with the Great Relay this year,” said Olympian Katie Meili. “Swimming has given me so much and I’m passionate about ensuring anyone and everyone has access to this wonderful sport and to the many benefits and opportunities it provides out of the pool!”
National Teamer Gabi Deloof added: “I believe this is a great way to encourage fun competition in swimming while still maintaining discipline, confidence, and teamwork. You are able to learn many lessons from swimming, which can carry over to school and our daily lives.
The Los Angeles event has raised over $23,000 of its $50,000 goal, and New York over $9,000 of its $75,000 goal.