Public Statements: March 20, 2017 to PPS Board and Administration:
Mark Rauterkus, Varsity Swim Coach, Obama Academy.
I lead Swim & Water Polo after-school programs at Westinghouse (Mondays), Obama (Tuesdays & Thursdays), Allegheny (starting on Wednesdays), Arsenal (starting Fridays). Our Saturday Swim School (Oliver HS pool on the Northside) continues from 9 am to 1 pm (most weeks). At 6 am I’m at Sci-Tech three days a week. I coached Manchester Academic Charter School at the Sarah Heinz House and help with Pittsburgh Masters Water Polo and, of course, PPS Summer Dreamers. This year PPS Summer Dreamers’ Swim & Water Polo is at King and U-Prep.
These activities are open to new participants, especially the Saturday Swim School. See my web sites at CLOH.org for details. CLOH = Creating Literate Olympians Here.
As we look to the summer, I’m going to be creating a new swimming, water polo and TRIATHLON team, on the Northside on Charles Street with The Pittsburgh Project.
Kids, adults, teachers, … we’re hiring. Some of the varsity swimmers help, but we need about 35 as swim instructors, junior captains, guards, and coaches. Much of this work happens with the help of the Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation, and I’m activity recruiting employees.
Earlier this month, an Obama Swimmer, Sead Niksic, junior, set a new WPIAL Record in the class AA 100-yard backstroke. This is the first time a PPS student in any sport broke a WPIAL record. That news got a mentioned on the PPS home page.
All-in-all, our swimmers performed in brilliant fashion at the WPIAL and PIAA meets. After the snow storm, I took three of the Obama students to the PIAA meet. The Obama boys team finished in the top 20 in the state. All of the swimmers set personal and school records.
This was the 9th consecutive season our PPS kids from Schenley / Obama went to states.
Sead was second in the back and third in the fly. Noah scored 13th in the 500 free in his first trip to states as a sophomore. Amila, a freshman, dropped an additional 1-second in her backstroke, after getting 2nd at the WPIAL championships, having been seeded 10th.
Next news flash:
You, your spouse, coaches, swimmers, lifeguards, PE teachers, and all community members are invited to join in at a seminar and demonstration as well as post-game social to be held in Pittsburgh’s South Side starting at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the historic, Citiparks’ Oliver Bath House. Out of town guest include aquatic experts with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA.org) and Kevin McCarthy of Washington state, inventor of the aquatic game, SKWIM. Bring your swim suit and towel as we will put our PA friends into SKWIM games with opponents from around the nation. We’ll learn about this terrific game, talk swimming, and find out what you might want to do to help get our kids swimming, more fit and safer in the water. We need to better utilize our facilities too.
After our time at the Oliver Bath House, all are invited to walk to a post game social starting at 9 pm at our home / office at 108 S. 12th Street, South Side, Pgh 15203.
Gratis Tickets / RSVP at Swim.CLOH.org.
In October 2016, I came to speak. My specific ask was for PPS support for WATER POLO instead of GOLF. The Obama golf team had one kid this year and none have made it to the final city-league match in the past two years. We have dozens of water polo players, and we own the pool. This would be a tremendous help for the students, programs and district in many ways. And, as a switch, it can be “budget neutral.”
I made that request to the board and the top administrators because you are the ones that will have to make it happen.
I find it sad that I have heard nothing about this issue from any of you since then.
Let’s fix this for fall 2017.
New & Old Issues:
Furthermore, other matters, not well suited for public comment, need some attention. As we talk about district supported water polo, (we mainly need money for officials, some bus transit to matches and practice times at the school pool), we can share that list. This focused list of suggestions has many repeated requests from the past.