SAN ANTONIO, Texas, July 3. The USA Deaf Swimming organization today announced that San Antonio Texas has been selected to host its top international meet – the 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships slated for August 17-22, 2015. San Antonio’s Northside Integrated School District’s George Block Aquatics Center will host the competition and is truly set to become the focal point of American and International swimming in 2015.
‘USA Deaf Swimming is thrilled to host the 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships in San Antonio’, declared Dana Elam of the USADS Delegation that recently toured San Antonio. The championships are attended by Deaf swimmers and organizations from around the world.
The WDSC 2015 event features the outdoor 50m Olympic competition pool, interactive sound and video scoreboard systems, high-tech timing and state-of-the-art start systems for Deaf swimmers, officials and coaches command centers, drug testing rooms, lighting, shaded seating for 2,400 spectators and locker room facilities can accommodate as many as 1,200 athletes.
The event is considered the key venue for American and International Deaf swimmers competing to attend the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games and other International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD) competitions around the world.
‘We look forward to having Team USA athletes compete in both the USAS and USADS competitions’ says Ben Hobbins, USADS Head Coach. ‘I expect great things again in both competitions from Marcus Titus (28) and Matt Klotz (18) and our other swimmers’. USADS swimmers have been placing consistantly in finals A, B and C in Arena Grand Prix meets this year. ‘I expect great things ahead.’
Indeed, 2015 is a big year for San Antonio. USMS swimming will hold its spring National Championships April 23-26. Next, USAS’ Phillips 66 National Championships is slated at the same center Aug 4-8, featuring the nation’s top swimmers, national team members and Olympic medalists. Then, 2015 Speedo Junior National Championships Aug 10-14, featuring the nation’s up-and-coming swimmers ages 14 through 18. Then, its the World Deaf Swimming Championships Aug 17-22. San Antonio was one of three finalists to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials which were ultimately awarded to Omaha, Nebraska.
Special Events for WDSC 2015
For San Antonio, USADS is planning a series of unique Make-A-Splash events in partnership with the US Swimming Foundation with the Deaf Team USA teaching about pool safety and swimming. Just last January 18 2014, Team USA organized a MAS event at the World Swimming Championships in Rochester NY, the very first of its kind with the entire Team USA and a Team Great Britain athlete – teaching 800 youth and adults about pool safety and swimming. In May, USADS partnered its Ambassadors at USSF’s Phillips 66 Make-A-Splash Tour at the Belmont Olympic Training Ctr in Long Beach with US Olympians.
‘The MAS Rochester NY event was ‘watershed’ for our USADS Team USA and USSF’, says Team USA athlete Ashley-Anne Hobbins who worked with USSF to organize the event. ‘We have so many things to develop in partnership, so much goodwill for our organizations’. All Team USA swimmers are ‘USADS Ambassadors’ for swimming. ‘Rowdy and Judy (Gaines) are big supporters, a family friend. Did you know his daughter ‘signs’?’ adds Ashley-Anne. San Antonio’s own Abby McAlpin is a USADS Ambassador!
In Water, We are ALL Deaf.
USADS intends to partner with USAS at the national and state-by-state levels for identifying and welcoming more Deaf individuals into the world of swimming. ‘Our coaches, team-mates, parents, volunteers and officials need training for facilitating outreach and working with the Deaf, for encouraging and keeping Deaf individuals in the ‘swimming family’ at all levels’, states Coach Hobbins.
‘Both USADS and USAS programs are committed to these objectives’, states Doug Matchett of USADS. With (USADS and USAS) partnering at the national and state-by-state level, we feel we can, together, meet these objectives. We have much work to accomplish’.
About San Antonio, Northside Aquatic Center and NISD
Greater San Antonio is home to the historic Alamo, Sea World, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, NBA Champ Spurs. The Metro area has a population of over 2.23 million, the 25th-largest metropolitan area in the United States and third-largest in the state of Texas.
The state-of-the-art NISD Aquatic Center was completed in July 2013 featuring two Olympic 50-meter pools -one indoor and one outdoor. There are also two separate warm-up and warm-down pools, a 25-meter pool and a 10m competition diving platform/diving well.
Northside Aquatic Center recently hosted the 2013 AAU Diving National Championships and is scheduled to host a number of high-level swim meets, including the 2014 USA Swimming Southern Zone Age Group Championships.
NISD’s district-wide enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year was 101,477 -the fourth largest school district in Texas behind Houston, Dallas, and Cypress-Fairbanks. NISD has a substantial Deaf and Hard of Hearing student community among its student population as do other districts in San Antonio. The district remains one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, opening three new schools for the 2013-2014 school year.
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