Feature by Jeff Commings PLANO, Texas, May 30. RODRIGO Pereira doesn’t want any of hisathletes at City of Plano Swimmers to go through his experience asa youngster moving from Brazil to the United States. “I quit swimming when I moved (from Brazil at 10 years old),”Pereira said. “I spoke very little English, so it wasn’t a lot offun, which is why I think it’s important for my 10-year-olds tohave fun.” It took a few years, but Pereira returned to the sport in highschool and “fell in love with it all over again.” Pereira is one of six in the American Swimming CoachesAssociation’s 2012 Fellows Class. The others are Joel Elber(Southeastern Swim Club), Jon MacColl (Queens University ofCharlotte), Mickey Murad (Rancho San Dieguito Swim Team), DanielleStrader-Bordi (Salvation Army Krocs) and Sam Wensman (ClubWolverine). Tripod Turnstile
In addition to his time as assistant coach for the City of PlanoSwimmers, Pereira also deals with the team’s marketing and publicrelations. That’s not a simple task for a 41-year-oldnationally-ranked team that comprises of hundreds of swimmers inthe Dallas-Fort Worth area. Part of his duties consist of informingthe community about the team’s achievements and finding sponsorsfor the nonprofit organization. It’s part of Pereira’s passion for the sport, gained while studyingfor his Masters in sports management at the University of Texas atAustin . Now in his third year at COPS, he’s able to put thatknowledge to good use as part of the ASCA Fellows program. Flap Barrier Manufacturer
Though this year’s research topic is in its preliminary stage, thecoaches in the group are now examining how professional leagues inother sports are working, with a possibility of bringing thoseideas into swimming in the United States. “I’m so interested in the business aspect of sports,” Pereira said,”and this was a great way to expand swimming and make it anevery-year sport, not a four-year sport.” His education at Texas has helped him come into the program with ahost of ideas for increasing visibility in swimming. “My Masters (study) helped me because we got a great idea of howsports work,” he said. “We need to make sure we have a lot ofcorporate partners willing to invest. Swing Barrier
And (swim meets) would needto be on TV.” Pereira will bring these ideas to the annual ASCA clinic in LasVegas in September. There, he and the other Fellows will pool theirresources and report on their findings regarding the implementationof a professional swimming league. COPS head coach Ted Carson was a part of the ASCA Fellows programin 2003, and gave Pereira some insight into the program. However,as Pereira noted, Carson did not have to commit to as much researchnine years ago that his charge has to put in now. Despite all his work helping promote COPS, Pereira still has plentyof energy to devote to the young swimmers on deck.
“What I found the most beneficial is coaching so many differentlevels at one time. You have to be able to adapt and make it fun atthe same time.” Send any feature story ideas to Jeff Commings at .