Oregon Masters Swimming Hazel Bressie Spirit Award 2019 – Amanda Callahan


Given to the female who has shown enthusiasm and spirit to her team and/or other Masters swimmers during the past year.

Amanda Callahan

Amanda Callahan

Amanda has been the North Clackamas Masters Swimming president for 2018 and 2019, and is the reason the NCMS is still in existence in 2020.

In 2017 we were advised by the North Clackamas Aquatics Center that we would no longer be able to enjoy our 5 am, MWF, swim time unless we were able to generate enough annual pass revenue to pay for the cost of opening the pool at that early time.  Amanda volunteered to be the Club president for 2018 and 2019 and was able to negotiate a deal with the Aquatics Center administration that would work for the team and the Aquatics Center.  It took Amanda many meetings, member surveys and team discussions to develop a plan that would work.  The result, thanks to Amanda’s leadership and attention to detail, is more than enough swimmers generating enough revenue to ensure that our 5 am swim time is secure.

Amanda is the team member instrumental in motivating swimmers to participate in Oregon Masters and United States Masters events.  A couple of years ago she even competed in all of the USMS postal events.  She will gladly, gently coerce and volunteer people to compete in these events.  Recently (2019) she was busy organizing volunteers for the 2-mile relay postal event.  When the scheduled day came, we were thinking we would have 2 or 3 relays of 2 or 3 swimmers each; to our surprise, we had 3 relays of 4 and 1 relay of 3.  She also is very involved in recruiting and retaining our swimmers.  If you ever attend one of our workouts, Amanda will be one of the first persons you’ll meet on deck, helping you find the correct lane to swim in and where the swim equipment is located.  Her educator persona really came through when she single-handedly designed, assembled and updated the bulletin board on deck with information about Masters swimming and the North Clackamas Masters Team.  She unselfishly volunteers to help out in our annual swim fitness clinic that we have conducted for the aquatic park for a number of years.

Amanda has always been a swimmer.  She swam in high school and on a club team in college. When she started work, she looked for a place to get in a few laps and discovered the flyer for the Masters team at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park.  And she was in.  That was 12 years ago.  Here’s how Amanda explains her commitment to Masters Swimming here at North Clackamas: “I know the 5 am start time can be daunting for many, but that time works really well for me.  I can get my workout in before work, not have to think about what set I would do, and be energized for the day.  The Masters team also helps me meet my health goals.  In the 12 years I have been on the team, my health goals have changed.  I swam through two pregnancies, which helped me stay in shape and banish swelling for at least a few blissful hours.  I trained, and completed, a 10K swim.  I also used practices to help rehab a broken ankle.  That was all possible because of our coach, Jeff Kaelon.  Jeff is an experienced coach who is able to tailor workouts in order to meet any members’ specific health goals.”

Because of Amanda’s enthusiasm and dedication to the team, her willingness to spend the time required to assure our continued existence and future success, and for the other reasons listed in this nomination, we believe Amanda embodies all that the Hazel Bressie Spirit – Female Award represents.

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