SKA welcomes new coach

Tuesday was an exciting day for Swim Kauai Aquatics swimmers at the YMCA pool.

Richard “Doc” Ludemann spent his first day as the SKA coach after arriving on Kauai Monday.

“I am so excited to be here on Kauai and associated with this group of motivated athletes and focused parents who are willing to move to the next level,” Ludemann said in a release. “The team has been so welcoming and supportive. I came out last month to meet the team and get a taste of Kauai. I knew right away it would be a great fit.”

Ludemann takes over the coaching reins of SKA with more than 30 years of competitive swim coaching, including 12 years as a Division I Assistant Coach at University of California Los Angeles, Yale and Sacred Heart University.

He has coached the Age Group and High School levels for years, including at other YMCA affiliated teams on the Mainland. 

Ludemann comes from Connecticut, where he was head director of the New Canaan Y Aquatic Club.

Certified as a Level 4 coach with the American Swim Coach Association, Ludemann is in the top 5 to 8 percent of coaches in the nation, the release states.

Ludemann has coached top-caliber swimmers throughout his career, including a number of Olympic and NCAA qualifiers and champions. During the 1990s, he served as the strength and water conditioning consultant for both the USA and Canadian National Water Polo teams.

As SKA head coach, Ludemann will oversee all aspects of SKA aquatic programs and work closely with the five SKA coaches — Kathleen Littlefield, Shannon Wigent, Bridget McCoy, Jeff Casey and Bao Nguyen — to inspire and challenge the children of all ability levels.

“We welcome all levels at SKA,” said Dan Britzmann, president of SKA. “It is usually the little ones who steal the show at our swim meets.”

Swim Kauai Aquatics, founded in 2006, offers year-round swim programs for children between the ages of 5 and 18. It also offers a Masters Program for adults at the YMCA pool in Puhi, as well as the Waimea Pool.

Currently, there are 90 young athletes ranging from the beginning Bronze level, who are just learning stroke technique, to Senior level swimmers who compete at the national level on the Mainland.

SKA teaches swim technique strokes, discipline through conditioning and goal setting, fun and teamwork with an emphasis on friendship and competition.

SKA offers free one-week trial memberships to all children to get a feel for the team and the programs. Visit www.swimkauai.com, or stop by the YMCA pool at 3:15 p.m., Mondays through Fridays.

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