Welcome to our June issue of GO WITH THE FLOW, our new athlete run Newsletter! Articles in this issue:
- Volunteer Committee Hosts its 1st Volunteer Event!
- Southern Zone Diversity Select Camp
- New Korean Swimmer Comes to the Gulf
- Vegan Brownies? Yes, please!!!
Volunteer Committee Hosts its 1st Volunteer Event!
This weekend, the Gulf will be having an equipment drive for other swimmers in need! We hope that you can support our initiative and bring any new or gently used swim supplies.
- Emmons Natatorium 10404 Tiger Trail, Houston, TX 77043 (Spring Woods)
- Fleet Aquatic Center 14654 Spring Cypress Rd., Cypress, TX 77429
- Galena Park ISD Natatorium 15027 Wallisville Rd., Houston, TX 77015
If you are an athlete and would like to volunteer, please email us! Hope to see you there!
Southern Zone Diversity Select Camp
By Xonzy Gaddis
From June 22nd to the 25th, swimmers Christine Huang, Xonzy Gaddis, and Vidyal Pradeemkapu travelled to Charlotte, North Carolina. Along with coaches Mandy Norris and Andre Smith, they had a great time at the Southern Zone Diversity Select Camp at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
As soon as they arrived at the pool, it was time to dive in. The head coach, Janelle Atkinson, called out sets the swimmers were not expecting. They knew they were there to put in some real work.
After the first pool session, the swimmers had dinner where they all introduced themselves and attended a classroom session where Olympian Katie Meili spoke about her swimming career and left a memorable quote in the mind of each swimmer and coach in attendance: “Your comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” Afterwards, she took pictures with all the athletes and each of them was given an autographed cap.
The swimmers and coaches all met up later that night to have some ice breaker fun with a rock-paper-scissors and Celebrity Name Game.
The next few days were filled with challenging morning and evening practices, leadership sessions, nutrition lessons, and talks about the futures of their swimming careers. The athletes received visits from USA Swimming Sports Consultant, Dave Thomas (aka Santa Claus!), American Airlines pilot, Billy Nolen, Scott Olson from Team Charlotte Swimming, and head coach of Team Elite Carolina, Dave Marsh. The speakers left each athlete with something they would hold onto for years to come.
On the final afternoon of the camp, everyone went whitewater rafting, ziplining, and rock climbing at the US National Whitewater Rafting Center. Everyone was soaked by the river’s waves and the pouring rain, thrilled while flying through the air and past towering pines, and trying their best to place their foot in the right place. One whitewater raft even flipped over! Xonzy remembered having to help rescue the marooned rafters. It was a fun and valuable experience and Christine remarked that, “The most significant event in the camp would have to be when we went white water rafting as a team building activity. I got to know other girls better and I was able to work together with them as a team as we went through the difficult rivers.”
All in all, each athlete had one of the best times of their lives. Christine recounted her experience saying she “was introduced to many swimmers of different ages and backgrounds, and it really opened [her] eyes to the idea that so many other people enjoy swimming as much as [she does].” Each of the different talks really motivated the swimmers to work hard and focus every day in practice and she “was inspired to never give up and…do anything [she] put [her] mind to.”
New Korean Swimmer Comes to the Gulf
By Jake Mitchell
Making the over 7000 mile journey from Seoul Korea to Houston Texas is no easy task. Let alone moving to a brand new country on Sunday and starting a new school and swim team the next day a local Gulf swimmer briefly answers some questions about how he handled it all.
What was it like starting all over at a new swim club in a new country?
It was kind of scary because I did not know anyone here and I had to start all over again. I had no idea what to expect but I made new friends but now I’m finally settled.
How is American Swimming different or the same?
The difference is that the coaches in America are so much kinder and lenient than the coaches in Korea. The coaches here handle things a lot differently.
What do you miss about swimming from Korea?
I don’t really miss anything because I didn’t have many swimming friends, only around 2 or 3. Now I have a whole team of friends and its a lot of fun
We wish you luck!
*Swimmer wanted to remain anonymous*
Vegan Brownies? Yes, please!!!
By Annika Ruehlicke
A brownie is just what a swimmer needs when wanting something sweet, but this isn’t like any brownie recipe. These brownies are from a vegan cookbook, The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick Goudreau. You won’t be able to wait to eat these filling, chocolaty, and delicious brownies…let’s get started!
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ground flax seed
½ cup water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 ⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup nondairy chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350℉. With canola oil, grease a baking pan. In a medium-size, stir together the sugar, applesauce, and 2 tablespoons water. In a small bowl or food processor, combine the ground flax seed with the ½ cup water. Add this to the applesauce mixture, along with the vanilla, and stir to combine. In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, and nuts, if using. Add to the applesauce mixture, and stir just to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 40 min. The finished product should be moist. Bake longer if you like a cakier result. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.