Our First Trip After the Fire. 2023 Senior Championship in Oahu.

November 22, 2023

Lahaina Senior Swimmers and Coach Tom at Dukes Waikiki after competing at the Senior Championship in November 2023

When the news spread that Coach Tom Popdan was returning to Maui, hope and inspiration entered the lives of our dedicated student athletes in the Lahaina Swim Club. Coach Tom’s positive influence on our children’s lives is beyond measure.

With his stern voice returning poolside, it was quite clear: Coach Tom was back! Moments into the first practice at Kihei Aquatic Center, our children’s training escalated in response to Coach Tom’s demanding directives.

Lahaina and Aulea Swimmers at the Senior Championship in Oahu November 2023

We must express our heartfelt gratitude to Coaches Jen, Jack, and Gabby for keeping our children’s hopes alive while enduring such immense personal hardships. Without their dedication, entering high-level competition in Oahu surely would not have been possible.

Our swimmers competed with internal will against the highest level of competition. Lahaina Strong was on full display both during and after the intense morning prelims and afternoon finals. Together, the group stayed unified in the evenings with a tasty dinner donation from Scott McGill.

Huge thanks to our friends at Aulea Swim Club for fundraising for us and for helping our swimmers during their trip to Oahu! Thank you to everyone who has donated to our club after the fire. This trip would not be possible without your help.

Go Lahaina Poster and UH Manoa Pool photo

Many emotional challenges lie ahead for our club and community. However, the value of hope and inspiration that Lahaina Swim Club has manifested for our children is recognized with sincere appreciation.

by Chris Salem

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