Gina Grant Makes SOFLO Masters Debut At NSU

By Sharon Robb

August 10, 2017—Gina Grant got off to a great start as the newest member of the South Florida Aquatic Club masters team.

Grant, who joined SOFLO six weeks ago, was a triple winner at the Special Olympics Florida-Broward Swimming County Games at Nova Southeastern University.

Grant won the 1,500 freestyle and 400-yard individual medley. She was also a member of the winning 400 medley relay team.

Special Olympics Florida-Broward provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to the athlete or their caregiver as a means to achieve physical fitness, self-esteem and life skills necessary to be productive, respected and contributing members of their communities.

Founded in 1972, Special Olympics Broward County serves more than 4,100 athletes and offers competition in 23 different team and individual sports. The athletes are trained by certified coaches and supported and encouraged by more than 1,000 volunteers.

For more information or to volunteer with Special Olympics Broward County call 954-262-2150 or go to

Sharon Robb can be reached at


AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 49: Former Coral Springs Swim Club Swimmer Tries To Save Meet

AQUATIC NOTEBOOK, Issue 49: Former Coral Springs Swim Club Swimmer Tries To Save Meet

August 1, 2011


Two-time Olympian Sharntelle McLean of Trinidad and Tobago knows the importance of age group swim meets.

McLean, who trained for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic and several other international meets at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, is now 27 and swims and coaches with the Torpedoes Swim Club.

She will serve as an assistant coach on the 2011 Goodwill Team, that is if the meet goes on.

McLean is urging sponsors to support the 17th annual Goodwill Swim

Meet which is scheduled for Aug. 12-14 at the Centre of Excellence in Trinidad and Tobago.

The meet is in jeopardy because of lack of sponsorship and lack of available funds from the Ministry of Sport which may be forced to cancel the meet.

McLean has been reaching out to government and corporate sponsors in Trinidad and Tobago while stressing the importance of the developmental meet.

McLean started swimming competitively in 1997 and made her first national team at age 12 and competed in the Goodwill Swim Meet in Suriname, where she won two gold medals. She made the team again the following year when her native Trinidad and Tobago first hosted it.

“It is definitely worth the investment for these young up-and-coming swimmers,” McLean said. “It paved the way for me and seeing this is where I got my start, I would love to see us host a successful Goodwill 2011.

“Making that first team gave me my desire to seek out my potential limit with the sport and make it to the highest level. From making Goodwill I saw what I was capable of and I wanted more.”

Should the meet be cancelled it would be the first time in 17 years lack of money forced its cancellation.

More than 100 swimmers and officials from Barbados, Guyana and Suriname have already paid for flights and hotels. Despite the uncertainty of the meet’s future, 40 Trinidad swimmers, ages 7-18, continue to train at the La Joya Swim facility.

“It is very disheartening to know that some of the struggles I went through in the 90’s is still very much alive and present,” McLean said.

South Florida Aquatic Club is currently training two very talented swimmers from Trinidad and Tobago, Keegan Boisson-Yates and Tyla Martin, now living in South Florida and working with Coach Bruno Darzi at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex.

Phelps Named Special Olympics Ambassador

A day after the XIV FINA World Aquatic Championships ended in Shanghai, Michael Phelps took to the pool with athletes from the Special Olympics and Chinese National Team for a special swimming clinic to commemorate Phelps’ new role as Global Ambassador for Special Olympics.

Phelps is committed to help overcome prejudices about intellectual disability and hopes to inspire new swimmers to chase their Special Olympics Dream.

Special Olympics and the Michael Phelps Foundation will join forces for an international pilot program that will bring water safety, recreational aquatic activities, health and wellness, and goal-setting instruction to Special Olympic athletes across six continents.

Phelps has been involved helping Special Olympics since 2007. “I have had the pleasure of working with Special Olympics athletes over the last few years and believe that together we can help grow the sport of swimming while also encouraging active and healthy lifestyles for people of all ages and abilities.”

Said Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics chairman and CEO: “As we continue to look for opportunities for our athletes to achieve their personal best, we are thrilled to have Michael Phelps join our Movement in a way that will encourage our athletes to develop sports skills that transcend the pool.”

Records Meant To Be Broken, SOFLO Retakes Record

SOFLO regained its national age group record in the boys’ 11-12 200-meter freestyle last weekend at the Southern Age Group Championships in Cary, N.C.

Tualatin Hills Swim Club had broken SOFLO’s 11-12 boys’ national age group record in the 200-meter freestyle relay. The relay of Paolo Casas, Myron Shen, Joshua Yadao and Jaume Martinez-Calvo broke SOFLO’s record of 1:50.83 in 1:50.52.

The new national age group record is 1:48.80 by SOFLO’s Cristian Rossi, Tristan Celestin, Alfredo Mesa Jr. and Julien Pinon.


Zac Adams and Tricia Harm, swimming and diving assistant coaches at Clemson, have been hired as assistant coaches at Florida State, where SOFLO’s Tiffany Oliver, Tyler Sell, Ashley Hicks and Alex Rodriguez swim. They both spent one season at Clemson. They are the second and third former Clemson assistants to accept a job at a Division I college. Derek Perkins went to the University of Kentucky in May. Harm also coached at University of Miami. Clemson’s swim program is being phased out…Dana Vollmer, 23, one of the greatest success stories in swimming after battling back from a heart condition, shoulder tendinitis, back injury and swimming self doubt, will wed former Stanford swimmer Andy Grant on Aug. 20.

Sharon Robb can be reached at