I started swimming when I was 4 years old. It has been an integral part of my life, shaping me into the person I am today. Some of my fondest memories are associated with swimming and my teammates. I still remember the away trips with my teammates and going to Disneyland to celebrate after a long day of swimming. Not only has it taught me the value of balancing academics with extracurriculars and sports, but has also helped me learn how to manage my time better.
With Cal only offering a Varsity Swim Team for those who are the best at the sport, many swimmers who did not make the cut did not have an opportunity to continue with the sport. To combat this, I started the club with two others. We achieved an 18% increase in membership and a more than 100% increase in meet registration in one semester. I negotiated with major swim equipment companies and secured a multi-year sponsorship from Arena. I also convinced University officials to provide funding and recognition to participate in College Club Swimming Nationals. I organized meets and led crowdfunding, fundraising, and team bonding events.
Transformed the team into a motivated winning team by introducing a “work hard” attitude, dryland workouts, and a special focus on technique. I created handbooks to provide structure and organization to the team and coached the team to finish two consecutive seasons with a 2X increase in the number of Championship Swimmers. I still remember the look of joy on the swimmer’s face when they swam their goal time, and the feeling of accomplishment that came with knowing that I helped them achieve it. Managing swimmers and parents across age groups and varied cultures taught me how to achieve success while handling individuals with different objectives.
I swam for the year-round team under head coaches Don and Ron Heidary where I learned to embody the team’s guiding principle of “Character First” and apply it to every facet of my life. It inspired me to support the team in an otherwise individual sport by always caring for others, looking for new ways to help, and leading by example. I have many fond memories from my time at OA, the most memorable being cheering at the top of my lungs for my teammate’s races at the annual Clovis Meet. I received the Coaches Award in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and the Reagan Perry Inspirational Award in 2017.
I was selected out of 16000+ swimmers in the third largest of USA Swimming’s 59 regional associations for demonstrating leadership and dedication to service towards others.