Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nevada State Swimming Championships

I first need to set the tone - -

Date: December 3 - 6th, 2009
Place: Las Vegas Muni Pool, Las Vegas
Who: Sammy, age 12 - - Abby, age 10
Team: Boulder City Henderson Heatwave Swim Team

Ok . . . so there is the information. . . what is missing is the SHEAR magnatitude of such an event !! It happens once a year, rotating every two years from Northern Nevada to Southern Nevada and back after 2 years. Our team hosts the event approximately every 5 years . . . and this was OUR year !!!

The first challenge was the brand new, state of the art swimming pool that all our planning and comfort level was based around - - DIDN'T OPEN ON TIME !! So about 4 months before the event, the City of Henderson told us this . . . small challenge !!! The team decided the only option was to rent another facility to town and host a large meet at an unfamiliar facility.

Also 750 swimmers, 60 coaches, and 25 officials were expected to attend this 4 day event. They were coming from as close as 2 miles away to as far as the other end of the State. The swimmers were as young as 6 years old and as old as 18 years old. Some just barely qualified for the meet and others, old pros !!! So, yes this was a meet that the kids had to qualify for. And to give you an idea . . our team has 350+ swimmers and only 175 were entered. So exciting for the kids, exciting for us who volunteer !!

Yes, I say volunteer - - because nope, we don't get paid to help. We don't get paid help foster the development of the kids, we don't get paid to hear and deal with the crap that people dish out because they think they are "entitled", and you know what, I don't think I would want to get paid. It is nice to give back, it is nice to see the smiles on the kids faces, it is nice to have an event run smoothly, comfortably, and with as little aggrevation as possible.

I had a tough job. . . I was the Fundraising Coordinator and also, Jack of all Trades. I choose to do what I did and had a few great partners in crime. I like talking to people, I like promoting swimming, I like see good things for the kids. My first goal was to have the best, most kick ass goody bags the kids have ever had !!! I think we did a pretty great job. . . Bag Tags (they are custom tags that go on the kids swim bags that had our logo, the meet logo and then we sponsored by two companies on the back), awesome water bottles, Sharkies organic fruit snacks, playing cards, a bottle of vitaminwater, Speedo keyrings, coupons for free food, for discount shopping, for local products and some small other items. The goal was to get everything donated or traded out . . . I think we succeeded . . . we only paid for printing of a puzzle book !!!

Then the next priority was securing donations to cover the cost of the meet and cover the cost of the exta "top notch" items we watned to present. We had each lane sponsored, we had custom lane mats, we had lane baskets, we had banners, we had decorations . . . again, I think we succeeded. We had to rent the facility and also rent a large circus tent outside for extra seating - - expenses that we did not budget for originally but now were thrown upon us !

Then came hospitality food and beverages for 60 coaches, 25 officials, and 10 volunteers who ate. This was probably the most challenging and had the most "favors" called in. But BOY WAS IT GOOD !!!! We had pasta one night, mexican for lunch, deli one day, and pasta and pizza the last !! I think the best day was the deli day where we had a baked potatoe bar - - with chili and all the topping !! YUMMY - - except that by the time I tried to eat - - the chili was gone !!! I was go bummed !!! But we covered most of the cost by trade outs and donations, and I think it was less than $500 in out of pocket for 4 days. . . yippie !!! I called two friends - - none swim family friends - - who delivered food and went shopping for me, words can't tell you how cool it was to have friends that support you !!!

Then there was a 50/50 raffle, 5 raffle baskets, meet programs . . . . ugh, can you tell it was a lot to handle. I truly NEVER knew how much work it was, never imagined the hours that would go into coordination, never really knew how bad the economy was until we tried to soliciate donations, never new how many opinions would be involved, how many feelings would get hurt, and how many people (other swim team parents) who think this stuff just all happens by itself . . . AMAZING !! But . . . what was also amazing was the effort about 20 people put in and how I will never forget this as long as I live !!!

Now, none of my responsibilites involved the timing system, the admin tables, the securing of officials, the coordination with So Cal Swim, parking, safety, security, the new printers and new computers, and sound system and rental tables and rental chairs and rental risers !!! The list was NEVER ending !!! But Gini had all this handled with ease and Kyle was by her side !!! Did I tell you the story of Batman, Robin and the Joker - - - ok, another time !! I learned one thing . . . I could never be a wedding planner - - I am way to anal, way to OCD and it would drive me crazy !!! Where would they park ?!?!?!?!?

But . . in all of this. . . did I tell you that my folks and Tom's mom were all in town over this time frame also !!!! And did I tell you the event was during month end close for work !!! And did I tell you my boy was struggling with practice and had been kicked out of the pool 6 times in 1 month !!! Yep, I lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks from stress alone. . . . . .

Next up . . . it is all about the kids !!!!

Life is good . . . . .

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