USMS Award Recipient

U.S. Masters Swimming Club of the Year Award

Recipient: Blue Wave Aquatics
Year: 2013
LMSC: Pacific Northwest

Blue Wave Aquatics (BWAQ), formerly called Federal Way Masters (FWM), was originally a work-out group member of Pacific Northwest Aquatics (PNA), a “regional” club. FWM existed for 26 years and was renamed as BWAQ and registered as a “local” USMS club in 2010. (PNA was eventually renamed Puget Sound Masters).

BWAQ grew from 150 swimmers in 2010 to 269 swimmers by 2013. The success of this club was due to many reasons. Their head coach, Wendy Neely, provided expertise and enthusiasm and she competed in swim meets herself. Swimmers of all abilities, from adaptive, to novice, to world record holders, had a place and were welcome. A USMS Swimming Saves Lives program helped swimmers with special needs. Wendy developed a series of swim clinics, called Tri Time, which attracted new swimmers. In addition, elite swimmers like Scott Lautman, who completed the Triple Crown of Swimming (English Channel, Manhattan Island, and Catalina Channel) trained with BWAQ.

BWAQ had hosted the PNA SCY Championship meet for 24 years at their home pool, the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center. They also founded the Last Gasp of Summer open water event at Angle Lake in Seatac, WA.  BWAQ supported local community pools and the Food Bank with fundraising, and they volunteered at swimming events such as triathlons and Special Olympics. In 2012, BWAQ hosted the One Hour Postal swim, and the proceeds were donated to Swimming Saves Lives and local swim pools. 

Members Hugh and Jane Moore were prominent USMS volunteers who volunteered at many levels and contributed SWIM Magazine articles. Together they received the Ransom J. Arthur M.D. Award in 2002.

BWAQ team members supported each other and had fun, both competition and socializing. Good sportsmanship, healthy lifestyles, and fitness were encouraged.