San Antonio a Swimming Hub
The year of swimming in San Antonio is in full swing at the Northside Swim Center this month and you can see it live! On Monday, USA Swimming's 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships wrapped four days of exciting competition, and the Phillips 66 National
Championships, including 18-time gold medalist Michael Phelps, will run Thursday through Saturday at the Northside Swim Center.
Six-foot-5 16-year old Michael Andrews set two meet records and won four events at the Junior Nationals. Ella Easton won three events and along with Andrews claimed the individual high point titles of the competition.
Next on deck, Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time and fellow Olympic medalists Cullen Jones, Caitlin Leverenz, Allison Schmitt and Nick Thoman, are among the more than 900 swimmers expected to compete Aug. 6 -10.
Hosted by San Antonio Sports and the Northside Swim Center, the five-day meet hosts daily prelims at 9 a.m. CDT and finals at 6 p.m. CDT. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased online at sanantoniosports.org. We encourage everyone to buy tickets online to avoid lines at the stadium.
In total, nearly 40 members of the USA Swimming National Team are expected to compete at the Northside Swim Center, which will also host the domestic training camp for Team USA prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The Northside Swim Center is one of 13 facilities funded when voters overwhelmingly approved Bexar County's visitor tax in 2008. Read all about the results of that transformative election here.
Don't miss this exciting opportunity to see some of the best swimmers in the world. Join me at Northside Swim Center beginning tomorrow!
VIVA Swim medal presentation part of Championship
Those who completed swim lessons as part of San Antonio Sports learn-to-swim initiative, VIVA SWIM For Life, presented by University Health System, between March 1 and August 9, earned two free tickets to attend the USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships prelims and will receive a VIVA SWIM medal from Olympian Josh Davis Aug. 7, 8 and 9.
San Antonio Sports developed VIVA SWIM For Life, to encourage all San Antonio families to learn to swim. Ten swim lesson providers representing 50 pools are participating. San Antonio Sports and its VIVA SWIM sponsors, including presenting sponsor University Health System and USA Swimming, recruited local businesses to sponsor city pools. Thanks to these sponsors, free swim lessons were available at all 24 outdoor City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation pools and nearly 100% of the lessons were filled.
Fit Family Challenge Finale
The 2015 Fit Family Challenge presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas will come to close on Aug. 15 when the Fit Family Challenge Finale presented by District 6 Councilman Ray Lopez takes place at Camargo Park. Thousands have been attending weekly Zumba and Kid Fit classes, earning points, taking health screenings and attending Big Events throughout the summer.
At the finale, Blue Cross Blue Shield will give away a FitBit and those who have earned at least 400 points through their dedication to the program will be eligible to win one of three $1,000 gift card grand prizes. Plus the final $1,000 Big Event winner will be drawn. Incentives of $25,000 in cash and fitness prizes kept many participants moving to win this summer. And it's all free! See the story below about Yolanda Cruz and how Fit Family Challenge makes a difference.
VIA Metropolitan Transit
VIA Metropolitan Transit is a new sponsor of San Antonio Sports. VIA's sponsorship of VIVA SWIM For Life, presented by University Health System included in-bus and bus bench advertisements and free transportation to swim lessons. We thank them for helping to eliminate another barrier - the lack of transportation -.to fitness and safety for our citizens.
Donor Profile: Brad Young
Brad Young, COO of The Financial Institution Group at SWBC has been a board member of San Antonio Sports since 1998 when he moved from California and wanted to be a part of a organization that supported kids. He has shared his time and talents on a number of committees in addition to his support through a personal and corporate donation. Brad is the current vice chairman of the youth committee and has served as the vice chair of the facilities committee and the finance committee. He is also the SAS representative on the SA Parks & Recreation board. When asked why he supports our nonprofit organization, this was his reply:
"As parents I think we all (at least one would hope so) realize that the real future lies in the hands of our children. And therefore, our first priority should be the nurturing and education of our youth. Winston Churchill once said; 'we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.'
At almost 40 percent, the obesity rate in the United States is one of the highest in the world, where the average obesity rate is approximately 22 percent. And to put some perspective on the magnitude of this problem, consider that the rate of obesity in the United States was 15 percent in 1978.
What does this mean for our children? An article I was reading in The New England Journal of Medicine recently warned that the current generation of American children will have shorter life expectancies than their parents unless something changes. And the current trend in obesity will lead to more cases of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Feeding our children nutritious meals and being physically active can help prevent many diseases, and I believe that should be a priority for our community."
It Pays to Zumba
Yolanda Cruz has been participating in San Antonio Sports' Fit Family Challenge presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas for three years and when her number was called as the $1,000 winner at the Jump Into Fitness Big Event, she and her fellow Zumba Chicks whooped it up. "I was in shock! I've never won anything like that before," she exclaimed. "It pays to Zumba...health-wise and prize-wise." Yolanda plans to use her prize money to pay it forward, purchasing school supplies and uniforms for several families she knows.
Yolanda has lost almost 30 pounds and has dropped three dress sizes since becoming a regular at Fit Family Challenge and other school-sponsored Zumba classes. "My numbers have come down and I have more energy. Plus, my mental state of mind is positive...it helps to do something fun and see my friends at class." She's part of a group of women who met through Zumba. Calling themselves the Zumba Chicks, they text each other and meet up at different sites and have become exercise buddies. Yolanda has also incorporated the healthy eating information into her cooking.
She encourages everyone to give Fit Family Challenge a try. "Once you're there, people will keep you going. You have nothing to lose but weight, and you gain a lot of friendships."