On Friday, unhealthy August 5, viagra dosage the eve of the 2016 Rio Olympics, cure SwimRVA revealed the names of the five inaugural inductees into the SwimRVA Hall of Inspiration. The inductees were selected for their exceptional achievements in swimming and/or their exceptional support of aquatics.
The purpose of the SwimRVA Hall of Inspiration is three-fold: to recognize exceptional dedication to aquatics by individuals or organizations; to elevate awareness about health and life-saving benefits of swimming and aquatics; and to bring together the Richmond swimming community. Bobby Ukrop, Chairman of the SwimRVA board of Directors said, “Today we honor our aquatics past and set the stage for a collaborative future. I have seen through sport incredible power to bring people of all backgrounds together. In the case of aquatics, SwimRVA is healing the effects of bad social policy of the past and creating access for many to this life changing activity for health and wellness, and water safety.”
Founded in 2011, SwimRVA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of aquatics and aquatic access through the Richmond region. The organization built and operates one of the nation’s premier, 50-meter competition pools. More than 380,000 people visit the aquatics center or participate in SwimRVA programs, which include SwimRVA Swim School and Learn to Swim program, SwimRVA Wellness, SwimRVA Safety School, SwimRVA Water Polo and the SwimRVA Developmental Swim Team.
The first inductee was Robert Bobb who served as the Richmond City Manager from 1986 to 1997. During his time as City Manager, he made exposure to non-traditional youth sports and activities a priority for inner city youth. He was a champion of bringing people from different backgrounds together to learn and grow. In 1992, he commissioned the City of Richmond’s first municipal swim team called the Richmond Racers. On a trip to Beijing as part of a USA-China delegation, Mr. Bobb learned of Coach Jung Heng Xu and his wife, an accomplished Martial Arts instructor, from the University of Tennessee. He recruited them to Richmond to start inner city programs in swimming and martial arts. The Richmond Racers competed for years as members of the Virginia Community Swim League and participated annually in the National Black Heritage Championship Swim Meet in Washington D.C. Among many of the Richmond Racers most accomplished aquatic athletes was Robert’s son Patrick who went on to compete in water polo for Bishop O’Dowd High School, Oakland, CA, and earned all-league honors in 2003 and 2004, sharing the league MVP in 2004.
The Second inductee was Whitney Hedgepeth who grew up in Colonial Heights and swam competitively for 19 years. She participated on her first USA Olympic Team in 1988, achieving 8th place in the 200 IM in Seoul. After just missing the 1992 Olympics in 2 events, she set her goals for 1996 in Atlanta where she brought home 2 Silver medals in the 100 and 200 back each, and Gold in the 400 Medley Relay! For the past 20 years, Whitney has been a masters coach for the Longhorn Aquatics Club. Just three years ago, she was tapped as US Masters Coach of the Year and this year she was inducted into the University of Texas Hall of Fame.
The third inductee was The James River Swim Club (JRSC) which was the first formal swim league and the first organization to formalize high performance training and competition in the Richmond region.
Fourth was Marie Kelleher who began swimming later in life. She made up for lost years setting 14 U.S. National age group records starting in her 80s. In May of 2012, Marie became the oldest American to compete in a United States Masters Swimming competition. She was the only known centenarian to compete anywhere in the United States in the 100 meter freestyle. In life and in swimming, Marie was as disciplined as they come. She serves as a role model for all Richmonders, as we strive for lifelong health and fitness, as she swam routinely at 102 years old. Mrs. Marie Kelleher is currently 103 years old.
The fifth inductee was Ms. Gloria Thompson who is known for organizing and fostering the sport of youth springboard diving in the Richmond region and beyond. She has been referred to as the mother of age group diving in the United States. Thompson coached swimming and diving for over 72 years and was a tireless advocate for diving rules, insurance and perfection in and out of the pool.