Making a splash: Boyd leads local youth swimming team

Published 9:02 am Thursday, June 9, 2011

The swimming analogy “It’s not how big a splash you make in life – it’s how well you swim, how strong you are and how many laps you can endure” fits Brewton Local Area Swim Team Tigersharks (BLAST— a USA swimming certified swim club) head coach Angel Boyd perfectly. While Boyd has made many splashes in her life, she has swam well and endured many laps in and out of the pool.
Boyd, 38, of Brewton is the daughter of Craig and Sue Boyd.
A 1991 high school graduate of T.R. Miller along with Jefferson Davis Community College (1991-1993) and Auburn University of Montgomery (AUM 1993-1995), Boyd has over 18 years of YMCA Swimming and USA Swimming and coaching experience. Boyd also is currently a Level II USA Club coach and member of ASCA (American Swim Coaches Association). She also serves as secretary for G.C.A.A.L. (Gulf Coast Area Aquatic League). Along with her many duties and accomplishments, Boyd is a YMCA and Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor and YMCA Lifeguard Instructor Trainer as well as a certified YMCA director.
“I began working for the YMCA at the age of 15 as an after school counselor and lifeguard,” Boyd said. “During college, I worked for the YMCA Goodtimes Program as a site director and head lifeguard/swim coach with the GTC Stingrays/Bell Road Dolphins and MYB Barracudas Swim Teams. After college, I returned to Brewton as the Brewton Area YMCA girls sports director/summer camp assistant Coordinator and C.I.T. Coordinator / Swim Team Coach, which turned into a sports director position and later to the aquatics director position from 1995-1998.”
In 1998, Boyd was hired by the Montgomery YMCA Goodtimes Center as Program Operations Director and eventually promoted to Montgomery Metro Aquatics Director in 2002 where she was responsible for 19 summer pools, two year round pools, 10 summer swim teams and one year round USA Club until September of 2005.
“In 2005, I had to medically retire from full time work due to serious health conditions,” Boyd said. “After a virus attacked my heart in the prime of my life, I found myself beginning to spiral into depression. Then through the grace of God, unbelievable family support especially from my mom, as she is my rock, and amazing doctors, I battled back. Although I am still very limited, coaching these kids has allowed me to give back and is what keeps me going.”
In 2007, Boyd began volunteering at the Brewton Area YMCA with the swim team in place at the time. After a year, the head coach left to pursue other career opportunities and she took over the program.
“I completely turned the program around and received a charter from USA swimming for the Brewton Local Area Swim Team (B.L.A.S.T. Tigersharks),” Boyd said. “The club went from six participants to 62 swimmers by the fall of 2010. The swimmers in our program are great little athletes who continue to amaze me daily. The parents are equally as great. They are supportive and willing to help out in any way they can, which is key in any successful program. I am so grateful for the YMCA and the opportunities I have been given. Not many people who have been through what I have are in a position to be able to continue to use their talents to help others. The YMCA has been wonderful to me and I will forever be grateful to the YMCA Family for that.”
Brewton Area YMCA director Steven Dickey said Boyd is just so passionate about what she does.
“She has a tremendous amount of experience in aquatics and with swim teams,” Dickey said. “She enjoys so much watching the kids improve and grow personally. We are very fortunate to have someone of Angel’s talents here in Brewton.”
Currently, Boyd has two swimmers who have qualified for the Southeastern Championships and several more on the verge of getting championship cuts.
“To me, it’s not just about achieving those meets, it’s about seeing a swimmer’s face light up the first time they nail a flip turn or finally get their freestyle breathing down,” Boyd said. “It’s about seeing even the youngest of our Tigersharks achieve their goals.”
The summer season of 2011 has 82 Tigersharks registered for the swim team program.
“We are excited about this season and the upcoming junior championships that we were selected to host on July 9,” Boyd said. “The junior championships will be a seven-team qualifying meet for summer swimming.”
Boyd said she loves the sport of swimming and what it has done for her.
“Through my years involved in swimming, I have had the opportunity to work and train with some pretty amazing athletes,” Boyd said. “The sport of swimming is dear to my heart along with the YMCA. As for these young athletes who I am privileged to work with every day, I owe them so much. They keep me on my toes and make me extremely proud to be their coach.”

About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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