Olympic gold medalist inspires young swimmers

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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