When you participate in Stay With Us, you are supporting the YMCA of the USA, helping to fund the National competitions and giving back to the local host community. You may be wondering how this works. Where does the money come from and how does Y-USA use it?
The hotels we contract with benefit from booking large blocks of rooms with them, so they provide a small monetary incentive on every room night booked through Stay With Us. After each event concludes, Y-USA receives a check from the hotels and then allocates that money directly to the respective National Advisory Committee. The National Advisory Committees allocate the funds to help offset the costs of top-tier venues for the National competitions, travel assistance for athletes who would not otherwise be able to attend and to put on and enhance programs to benefit youth development throughout the country. They have been able to foster some amazing programs, all thanks to your support of Stay With Us. We’ve included some examples of these programs below!
- YMCA Leadership Camp
The swimming-based Leadership Camp began in October 2013 and will be held annually to help develop team leaders for YMCA swimming programs around the country while introducing athletes to their peers and other coaches. The camp includes educational sessions on leadership & mentoring, communication skills, the college selection process, team building and goal setting. The camp was designed for current high school juniors with the goal to send athletes home better prepared as leaders and able to make a positive impact on their teammates.
For the first Leadership Camp, 20 athletes (10 men & 10 women) from different YMCA teams were selected based on strong academics and a demonstration of potential in leadership roles. Coaches may only nominate one athlete each year and teams may not send more than one athlete to the camp every other year. Athletes are only required to pay for their airfare to Orlando and one ½ day outing to a park. Y-USA and the National Advisory Committee will pay for hotels and meals during the camp.
- Josh Davis Swim Clinic
Y-USA teamed up with Olympian Josh Davis to provide Mutual of Omaha Breakout Swim Clinics to Ys across the country. Josh and Mutual of Omaha provided all participants with a bag, instructional DVDs, performance tips, event t-shirts, pre and post clinic talks, autograph and photo session, and a four hour swim clinic. Josh spent time with the swimmers and their families before and after the clinic to discuss staying healthy, being respectful, working hard, and even made sure every child received an autograph and photo with him. Each clinic had at least 70 swimmers ages 8-17 years of age learning how to improve their swimming techniques. Josh was in the water with the swimmers demonstrating the stroke techniques, putting them through drills, and even raced against the swimmers. From 2012 through 2013 there were 12 swim clinics offered in a number of cities and allowed over 800 swimmers the opportunity to improve in their sport. All clinics were covered by Y-USA, which meant there was no cost to a local Y that hosted the clinic. Swim teams and parents were thrilled to have such an opportunity provided to them along with the expertise of an Olympian.