Ryan Parson loves to swim

Ryan Parson loves to swim

October 27, 2022 Off By Hawkeye Johnson
Thumbs up for GoHawkeye. Photo by Erin Parsons.

Ryan is an eleven year old with a form of dwarfism but he doesn’t let his size slow him down! In a world full of physical challenges, swimming has given him a chance to excel. He has gone from barely making it across the pool to competing in para swimming competitions and setting remarkable times. Ryan trains with a year round able bodied team in Arizona, the Seville Country Club Sharks and is from a family of four. GoHawkeye awarded him an experience grant to travel with his family to National para swimming events in Colorado and California.

“Ryan is an amazing person and swimmer. He is hard working, thoughtful and kind. I’m impressed by his ability to compete against swimmers who have an advantage over him. He understands the importance of setting goals and has learned to focus on beating his own individual times. It would be amazing for Ryan to attend and swim at a para swim meet where he has an equal opportunity.”

– Erin Guerena, Head Coach, Seville Country Club Sharks

Ryan’s mom Erin gave this report from the recent swim meet in California

Dear Go Hawkeye,

Thanks again for your support!  Ryan is thriving in the para swimming competitions!  This event – the CA Classic – was his first US Para swimming meet.  It was an incredible experience both in and out of the water!

Ryan achieved Personal Records (PRs) in every event he swam and also earned himself more time standards:

  • 11-12 Para State in 50 meter free
  • 11-12 Para State in 100 meter free
  • 13-14 Para Zone in 100 meter butterfly

He also swam the 200 free and 200 IM for his first time – both events were close to 11-12 Para State times.  And though he found the 200 IM to be a big challenge, he asked me to sign him up for it again “so that I can get better at it.”

Ryan with Connor Gioffreda. Photo by Erin Parsons.

In addition to the fantastic racing, Ryan had an incredible experience on the pool deck. The pool deck was full of swimmers of all levels – from novices like Ryan to the National Team!  Ryan met and was seen by the US Para National Team coaches – they were very helpful and gave Ryan some nice feedback. We hope to get him into the clinic at the next event where he would get even more guidance from Para Coaches.

Ryan with Para-National Team swimmer Jamal Hill. Photo by Erin Parsons.

Ryan also met a National Team swimmer that has the same form of dwarfism as he does: Connor Gioffreda. Connor took Ryan “under his wing” and spent a lot of time with him throughout the weekend. Ryan also met a National Team swimmer named Jamal Hill. Jamal swam in Tokyo and was very open and encouraging to Ryan about his paralympic experience. Jamal also swam a record breaking swim in the 50 meter breaststroke, breaking an 11 year old record. Ryan was thrilled to be part of that moment!

I believe this almost finishes up your generous grant donation. We are hoping to make it to another US Para swim meet coming up in October. Ryan loves having GoHawkeye’s support – he feels very honored to be part of the team! … also see the note from Ryan attached. 🙂

🙂 Erin

GoHawkeye is thrilled and impressed by Ryan’s motivation and continued improvement and we are grateful to have him as part of our team! ”Way to go Ryan!”

To be continued …