As a part of their partnership with USA Swimming, Competitor Swim has once again donated the lane lines from a major USA Swimming championship to worthy swimming organizations across the country.
The 2019 recipients are the North Central Florida YMCA of Gainesville, Florida and the O.T. Sloan Pool run by Lee County Parks and Recreation of Sanford, North Carolina. The lane lines from the 50-meter Stanford Avery Aquatic Center that hosted the 2019 Phillips 66 National Championships were broken down into 25-yard lanes and configured by Competitor Swim to fit their two new homes.
“We reached out to the community to connect us with pools that were really in need,” said Kristen Linehan Omli, Director of Marketing for Competitor Swim.
“We are thrilled that our partner Competitor and dedicated local clubs are striving to help facilities in need in our communities,” said Shana Ferguson, Chief Commercial Officer for USA Swimming. “These lane lines have been in the pool with the best swimmers in the world, and now they’ll be there for young swimmers as they take their own journeys in this great sport.”
The 50-meter by 25-yard O.T. Sloan Pool is Sanford’s only public pool and is currently only open June through August. Four teams utilize the facility, in addition to the swim lessons, open pool time and aquatics programs of the Sanford community.
“Some teams from Raleigh reached out to me about renting, but they didn’t actually rent this past summer and I think part of it is that we didn’t have our own lane lines,” said Cindy Castle, Program Coordinator for Lee County Parks and Recreation. “Hopefully this should help us. We can now say that’s something we can provide to these teams.” Competitor also donated a clock and backstroke flags to Lee County Parks and Recreation.
“There are like seven top teams in the area that would love to use this pool, but it’s not operational year-round yet,” said former Sanford-area coach Ashley Long. “That’s a huge need in this area and it’s not just helping one team or one facility. We’re located centrally in the state so it’s just two hours for people to compete; two hours from Nashville, two hours from Charlotte. It would be a great place to host events. It needs help and the donation of those lane lines was amazing.”
Long said Competitor Swim’s donation offer was referred to her by Marlins of Raleigh Head Coach Paul Silver.
“Paul’s first thought wasn’t even his own pool, it was this pool because it could help everybody,” she said. “He owns his own facility and he could have taken them, but he told Competitor to call me because this facility needs this, the community needs it, it’s to help all the teams. These teams are all looking out for each other even though they’re competitors. It’s a good community.”
The North Central Florida YMCA has existed for about 52 years and financial challenges within the organization didn’t allow for the proper maintenance of the facility and pool that services about 400 kids.
“These lane lines have brought life back to our facility and it’s helping us upgrade so that we can offer better services,” said Executive Director Angela Howard. The YMCA offers swim lessons and two swim clubs use the pool, but the lane lines were breaking and were piecemealed together with wire. This donation, along with the donation of a heater from another donor, swimmers volunteering to paint, and a budding capital campaign will help the YMCA continue to grow their water safety and swim lesson programs.
“With the large disparity of underserved youth [in our area], we want to make sure that children are safe,” Howard said.
As the leader in racing lane technology, Competitor Swim’s lane lines have been used in 10 of the past 13 Olympic Games. Each lane line is made with flow through technology that eliminates dead spots and water bounce-back. Competitor Swim continues to be a proud supporter of USA Swimming.