By: Jen Russon
The Caporella Aquatic Center in Tamarac is about to do something it has never done before – host a swimathon. An event is planned, not just to honor the late Nick Dworet who was one of the 17 people killed in the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, but collect donations for his memorial fund. Called Swim 4 Nick, the nonprofit was created to help athletes who emulate Dworet both in and out of the pool.
The event is expected to garner support from many local organization including Parkland Buddy Sports which works with children who have special needs. They are teaming up with Swim4Nick to make the swimathon more inclusive – the way Nick Dworet’s friends and family say he would have wanted it.
The swimathon begins at 8 a.m., and opens with the dedication of a jumping block at the Caporella pool. The block will be named for Dworet, whose legacy now is to help others spring into success.
His former coach, Andre Bailey, who helped train Dworet and ultimately achieve a college scholarship said he will attend the swimathon. “Oh, yes, for sure I will be there,” he said.
Before he was killed, Dworet had been accepted to the University of Indianapolis on a swim scholarship. He trained at TS Aquatics in Tamarac; the Caporella pool, his “home pool” is not far from where the Dworet family lives in Coral Springs.
The teenager trained and competed hard in pools across Broward County and the state. In February, the Coral Springs Aquatic Center honored Dworet with a memorial tree and park bench dedication.
The teen’s parents, Mitch and Annika said Nick had dreams of making it to the 2020 summer Olympics in Japan, and that he was relentless in making his dreams come true. The swimathon is a byproduct of Nick’s memorial foundation, and the best way – his family feels – of keeping their son’s memory alive.
Funds raised at the swimathon will provide free swimming lessons to those who cannot afford them. Proceeds raised will also help new swimmers who aspire to compete in high school, but need a little help getting started.
Those who wish to keep the teenager’s legacy alive can donate per each lap that they swim. Their generosity helps fund a scholarship to a qualified swimmer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, swim clinics, and other means of support to the athletes who need it most.
“Helping people was something Nick loved to do and so we will carry on the way we feel he would want us to and never let his memory fade,” his official memorial page reads.
Swimmers from all over Florida are encouraged to fill out a pledge sheet and register here for the Saturday, March 30 event.
The Dworets appreciate your support, indicating on the Swim4Nick site, they are looking forward to a great day of swimming for Nick, winning prizes, and bidding on some great items. Raffles, a silent auction, and giveaways are also planned at the event.
Swimathon participants need to arrive a half hour before their scheduled swim. The Caporella Aquatic Center is located at 9300 NW 58th Street in Tamarac.
- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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