BY AMY HILL AND VAVINA LAPHAM
Does your child show an interest in swimming, whether competitive or collegiate? With summer approaching and the upcoming televised Olympic Trials preparing swimmers for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, now is the ideal time to invest in your child’s aspiring swimming interest or collegiate career.
King Triton Aquatic Club (KTAC) is a new swimming club bringing elite-level swim programming to the Triad, with a cutting-edge approach to service your swimmer in and out of the water. KTAC has partnered with leaders in the industry to guarantee that your swimmers not only have elite-level coaching, but also individualized sport performance training, access to confidence mentoring, sports nutrition, and sport psychology. This will help ensure your child’s development on all levels in order to achieve their individual goals and will aid in the pursuit of collegiate aspirations. The same elite-level coaching is offered to swimmers at every level, even for younger swimmers looking to explore the world of competitive swim.
KTAC is owned by Triad native Vavina Lapham, who also serves as Head Coach and Aquatics Director at Salem Academy & College. KTAC is officially kicking off on June 1st, with water space at Greensboro Aquatic Center and Winston-Salem State University with additional space coming soon to ensure the demands for the team are met and to provide easy access for all swimmers in the Triad area. Team placement tryouts will be June 9th, 16th, and 30th from 3-5 p.m. at Greensboro Aquatic Center.
Children ages seven and up (or turning seven by November 15th) are eligible to join the competitive team. We will be offering a novice swimmer pre-competitive team for ages four and up. Swimmers will receive thorough coaching by certified USA swimming coaches aimed at teaching proper technique, building endurance, and having fun. This detail-oriented coaching focus will also help prepare swimmers who wish to pursue their collegiate-level swimming goals.
Inspired to create KTAC due to her life-long passion for swimming, Vavina is putting her decades of knowledge and experience in competitive and collegiate swimming to good use. Starting at age seven, Vavina swam competitively under coach Phyllis Steimel at the Rowan Aquatic Center in Salisbury, N.C., and credits Coach Steimel as one of the most influential forces in her swimming and coaching career.
Vavina began her coaching career at the age of 18 in northern Florida. After taking a few years off to spend with her young children, she then went on to coach at Swim Atlanta, traditionally a Top-5 team in the US for nearly 50 years. Vavina spent six years coaching alongside Elite National Coach Landon Harris, and current University of North Carolina assistant coach Allyson Sweeney, gaining the experience and training she is bringing to KTAC and the Triad.
Vavina moved back home to the Triad area nearly three years ago and has been training swimmers of all levels in the community ever since. She began with Enfinity Aquatic Club after returning to the Triad, and now enjoys introducing swimmers to the sport through the summer league programs in town at Westwood Swim and Tennis Club as the current head coach of Brookberry Farm Summer Swim Team.
Recently, Olivia Kleven, a Salem College swimmer coached by Vavina, was nominated for the NCAA Female Athlete of the Year—a testament to the coaching that she provides and the highly skilled swimmers she coaches. In addition to coaching competitive swim, Vavina has a focus and passion for drowning prevention. She gives her time to teach water safety and lifeguard instruction, and will be offering swim lessons through KTAC to do her part to impact this epidemic.
After moving back home and surveying the Triad area, Vavina discovered that there was space in our community for another swim program to support the growing population. To ensure a unique and differentiated experience beyond just swimming, Vavina and her business partner Jonathan Elolf enlisted the help of Vavina’s elite coaching friends.
Confidence Coach Christen Shefchunas is one of the partners that has signed on board at KTAC to provide a resource to KTAC swimmers and families in navigating the sport of swimming. Christen has years of swim coaching experience at Michigan State University, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Miami. She also worked with Team Elite in 2015, where she helped Olympians and National Team members prepare for the 2016 Olympic Trials and Olympic Games.
Dr. Megan Cannon is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in sports psychology, and will also be joining the KTAC team as a resource for families to utilize. With multiple appearances on ESPN as a sports psychology expert, she will provide sound advice and value to KTAC swimmers and parents.
Jennifer Brunelli will be supporting the club with her vast knowledge of nutrition and dietetics. As the former sports dietitian for the Carolina Panthers and owner of Charlotte-based nutrition consulting business RDpro, LLC, Jennifer will be hosting monthly talks with the team, demonstrating healthy cooking lessons, and providing recipes for families on the go to encourage children to eat healthy in order to support their growing bodies. With these expert ladies on staff, along with the strong swim coaches Vavina and Jonathan have crafted for KTAC, the program will support athletes in becoming champions in and out of the water.
Backed by Triton Amateur Swimming Foundation, also spearheaded by Vavina, KTAC is working towards its goal of building a facility in King, NC, that services 300 children weekly. Please see www.kingtritonaquatics.com for more details.
On October 23rd, Triton Amateur Swimming Foundation will host an inaugural gala at the Maple Chase Country Club in order to raise money to support “learn to swim” scholarships, competitive swimming scholarships, and to help build a facility to support the community needs and become home of King Triton Aquatics. Fox 8’s Chad Tucker will be acting as the master of ceremonies at the Triton Goggles Gala, and will be accompanied by auctioneer Wayne Canada, along with a live performance by Jukebox Rehab. Sponsors include Sound Illusions, Arena Sports, Wild Things Florist, Snap Post Photo Booth, Dr. Megan Cannon, and Christen Shefchunas.
If you are interested in learning more about King Triton Aquatics Club or the Triton Goggles Gala, please visit the website at www.kingtritonaquatics.com, or contact Vavina directly at email@example.com