Olympic gold medalist inspires young swimmers

ByJOHN ROSCOESpecial to The Garden Island

LIHU`E—Despite a weekend filled with basketball tournament, softball clinics,

and a high profile coaching clinic, about eighty parents and children turned

out to hear Olympic swimming gold medalist Bill Smith at a swimmers’ clinic

hosted by the Mokihana Aquatics in preparation for their “Fun Meet” which will

be held on August 5-6 at the Kaua`i High School Pool.

Head coach, and club

founder Orlando Anaya exclaimed, “I expected, and would have counted half that

many people as a success.”

Mokihana Aquatics presented the swimmers’ clinic

and officials’ clinic for parents for the first time on Kaua`i since 1988.

United States Swimming Local Swim Committee supported the event by preparing

special information packets for interested families and sent co-chairman of the

Officials Committee, Bret Toba from Maui, and Dave Coleman from Honolulu to

help with the sessions.

But, the main star-appeal came from “medal man”

Bill Smith, whom Ed Pickop, a state agricultural specials from Kapa`a was

inspired upon hearing Smith talk about his former coach.

Pickop’s daughter,

11-year-old Nani, agreed, adding, “I thought it was a lot of fun, and it was

good for me.”

Mokihana Aquatics has been in the vanguard of support for

high-caliber competitive age-group swimming and training, and is the only

Kaua`i swim club with national affiliations that allow them to compete in

sanctioned meets.

Kaua`i resident and recent Iolani School graduate Mariah

Farley, played for her school’s water polo team, and was on hand with her

younger brother Robert to participate in the clinic.

“Listening to Bill

Smith was really inspiring to the kids,” Mariah said, “to actually hear and see

someone who has actually been there.”

Robert was more to the point, “It was

good, and I will be joining the team.”

For more information on the “Fun

Meet,” or Mokihana Aquatics, contact Coach “O” at 821-0587.

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