I spent an incredibly fun evening with a hot date and the Salt Lake Open Water team last night at the SLOW Awards Banquet.
The banquet was at Buca di Beppo downtown. Gords was able to get us a nice space that worked really well for the our group. There were about 20 people in attendance, and I know there were several more who wanted to be able to come.
After a welcome by SLOW President, Gordon Gridley, I presented a brief overview of the year. When we formed the club, we were hoping to get 15 people to sign up. We ended up with nearly 30 and have already added a couple new swimmers for next year.
In the last year we had quite a few visitors from out of state, and out of country. We also had a good amount of publicity on KSL, Fox13, Deseret News, NPR, High Country News and H2Open Magazine.
This year we saw several swimmers make huge improvements in their swimming. We saw several big accomplishments including four Utah Triple Crown swimmers, two Catalina channel swims, and once ice mile swim. We also welcomed new swimmers to the sport of open water swimming.
Thanks to Rachel Wagner, we have put out five issues of what I think is a pretty awesome newsletter.
We watched a great year-in-review slideshow that Gordon put together. You can watch the whole thing below:
Goody gave an emotional talk about overcoming cancer and how SLOW members supported him and helped him get through it. Joelle gave a brief talk about her Catalina Channel swim and her future plans.
Next, we gave out four Utah Triple Crown awards to: Sue Frehse, Will Reeves, Tammy Taylor and Michell Poole.
We asked for nominations for four other awards. The winners were as follows:
Volunteer of the Year - Chad Starks
Most Improved Swimmer - Tanya Harris
Best Sportsman - Josh Green
Good Will Ambassador - Goody Tyler
Special recognition was given to Michelle Poole, who we officially "adopted" into the SLOW family. Michelle lives in Colorado but travels to all of our events and made a special trip to be with us at the awards banquet.
The highlight of the evening was the Lifetime Achievement Award which was given to Jim Hubbard. The board took turns talking about Jim and thanking him for all he has done for open water swimming in Utah.
Chad donated a kayak that was raffled off (and won by Sue).
It was a really fun evening and I really love our team. We have some big ideas for next year and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish before next year's banquet.