Welcome to our May issue of GO WITH THE FLOW, our new athlete run Newsletter! Articles in this issue:
By Eszter Heins & Annie Norris
Swimmers and parents often overlook the most important part of a swim meet: the officials. Without these volunteers, there would be nobody to keep the swim meet on track, regulate the rules, or keep us from doing an illegal back-to-breast turn just to get ahead. We ask two married officials, Judit and Bill Heins, about what it’s like to officiate in the gulf and how it has changed their perspective from being just a normal swim parent.
How long have you been officiating for?
JGH: 4 years
BH: 10 years
What made you want to be an official?
BH: Well, my kid was a swimmer and officials were needed so I decided to join.
JGH: I was asked to be an official by our club because each team is required to provide a certain number of officials and we didn’t have any. I thought it would be a good idea.
Did you ever DQ your own child? What happened???
JGH: Yes I did, it felt good! (laughs) No, I’m just kidding!
BH: I did too!
JGH: I don’t think that [my daughter] noticed what she was doing wrong.
BH: We both DQed for gliding into walls on backstroke turns. I just hoped that she would learn something from it and use it as motivation.
What did you learn about swimming by bring an official? Did you gain a different perspective?
BH: Definitely. I have a much greater appreciation for just how much work and effort is needed to put on a swim meet.
JGH: I greatly appreciate the work of the swimmers and how they try to execute in the fastest way possible. It is also nice getting to know all the rules and the workings of the sport.
Is there something you would like swimmers or parents to know about decisions you make?
JGH: I would like both parents and swimmers to know that I don’t disqualify kids just to be mean but rather as a learning experience. As officials, we are trying to help them learn and put everyone on a fair playing field to make sure that every swimmer can have the best experience possible.
BH: I agree. Very often we don’t even know who the kids are or what team they are on. We are looking at hands and stroke, so their identity isn’t even noticed. It is not about who the kid is, it is about what they do.
What’s your biggest complaint?
JGH: There are not enough officials. There is a lot of slack to be picked up by parents. Being an official is, in my opinion, a much better way to spend time at a swim meet than sitting in the stands.
BH: Yes, I also think that a lack of officials
What is the most rewarding thing?
JGH: The most rewarding thing about officiating is when coaches come up to me to say that they’re glad a call was made to help them realize their mistake and that it is a good learning experience for the kid and a lot of help for the coaches.
BH: The most rewarding for me is knowing that by being an official you are making the meet possible and giving kids the opportunity to participate in a sport that they love.
What is your job?
JGH: I am a photographer.
BH: I’m a geologist.
What is a hobby you have?
JGH: I am very involved in social activism and I use wet collodion photography to do it.
BH: I enjoy trail running.
What is something unique about you that people don’t know?
JGH: I have a bionic hip! (laughs) I had a hip replacement a few years ago.
BH: Most of my officiating career was spent in Germany.
What is your favorite sport?
BH: Trail running.
Any final words or pieces of advice?
JGH: Officiating is actually really fun. It’s great to spend time with people who you can discuss the technicalities of the sport and who also want to help the sport and allow it to run.
BH: Officials are your friends and want to help you out, don’t fear us!
We hope that gives some insight on what it’s like to be an official! Maybe next time, you can thank that unpaid official for DQing you since they’re trying to help you be a better swimmer 🙂
Superfood Power Bars
By Annika Ruehlicke
We, as athletes, love snacks. They keep us going throughout the day without completely going down-hill at afternoon practices. These bars are a perfect snack that will keep you energized. You will need…..
½ cup LIVfit Superfood Blend
1 ¾ cup raw almonds
1 cup Agave Syrup
1 cup Coconut Oil
2 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Salt
½ cup PBfit (optional)
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup dried fruit chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup Chia Seeds
- In a hi-speed blender, or food processor, combine LIVfit Superfood Blend, almonds, agave, melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt. Blend until smooth.
- In a large bowl, combine PBfit (optional) with oats, shredded coconut, dried fruit, pumpkin and chia seeds.
- Stir agave almond mixture into dry ingredients.
- Spread mixture into lined pan.
- Cover top with wax paper and press evenly to compact.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator, for better slicing.
- Slice into small bars and enjoy!!!!
BOD & HOD Updates
By Xonzy Gaddis
- Outreach Program/ Diversity Task Force presents new three-step requirements for Outreach program
- Jim Turlington, treasurer of the TSA, clarifies what the Texas Swimming Association is and does
- Announcement of partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital
- New regulations for co-hosted meets presented
- New way of recruiting new officials put forward: for every official from an away team, $5 dollars per session will be given back to that team
- May Sprint Series scrapped and May Open is made “truly open”: any swimmer is eligible to swim, no matter the time standards they have
- Junior Athlete Rep, Annie Norris, lets coaches and other members of the Gulf know of the Athletes’ Committees presence and goals
- The budget for the Southern Zone Diversity Select Camp has been worked out. For future attendees, a criteria will be set to select swimmers
- The Outreach/Diversity Task Force is creating a 3-step process to be able to determine if a swimmer is eligible to benefit from the Outreach program (in effect September 1st)
- Reimbursements will be limited to: 1 meet per month (unless a swimmer qualifies for a higher level meet), Gulf-sanctioned meets, splash fees and the facility surcharges of Gulf-sanctioned meets
- Meets that are co-hosted must follow the new guidelines, or else they will not be sanctioned (times won’t count!)
- Gulf teams hosting meets will be able to charge $2 more for facility surcharge if they provide “free” heat sheets on MeetMobile
- New board members elected!