Category Archives for Events

First visit to Moon

Hit the pool from 2-4 pm on Sunday, October 21.

02
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02
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No charge on the first day! 

All are invited for a quick swim lesson, game introduction and some informal fun at the pool playing SKWIM. Adults and kids of all ages and abilities. SKWIM's first Sunday practice visit at Moon HS pool is October 21, 2018, so all are going to be rookies. They even have fins at the pool that you can borrow. Just come with a can-do attitude and your swim suit and towel. 

Learn more about SKWIM, either before or after a practice, check out the lessons at https://SKWIM.us.

Spread some Sunday love and fitness at Moon High School pool this weekend.

Friday events at Mt. Lebanon swim pool for water polo and SKWIM with guardians

Lifeguards, triathletes, hockey players, basketball players and coaches as well as adults, parents, teachers, guardians and kids — of course — come to a fun water workout on Friday evenings when there isn’t a home football game at Mt. Lebanon’s indoor, new, high school swim pool from 7:30 to 9 pm. Show up at 7:15 if you can so we can transition into activities and have some time to chat before we begin.

More info at this page:

Media mentions

Tip: Click on the links or images below to go to the various articles. Some news accounts include multiple photos and videos.

NCAA Mens’ Water Polo at Highland Park Pool: TinyURL.com/water-polo-trib

Great article.

Greg Kinzler, the student athlete, is a college senior in terms of academics, but it is just the second year on the team as he went to a different PSU Campus for the first two years of his engineering studies.

Renegades article

Water polo drawing interest in the region.

TinyURL.com/Almanac-renegades

Masters Player, formerly from Iona and Texas, our own J. Vincent

Jocelyn Vincent finds self in return to water polo. Holding ball high in one hand.

TinyURL.com/Almanac-mom

Pittsburgh Combined article, for High School and Middle School water polo

Achilles changing water polo landscape.

TinyURL.com/Almanac-water-polo

Water Safety Interview about SKWIM

New site SKWIM.usshares our water safety quiz efforts and teach the basics of the game.

Podcast about water polo and SKWIM

Logo of The Kels Group, working together to end drowning

TinyURL.com/SKWIM-warrior

Post-Gazette coverage of Swim & Water Polo Camp with Pittsburgh Public Schools Summer Dreamers and beyond

Coach Mark ensures swimming skills aren't just for dreamers.

TinyURL.com/swim-waterpolo

SKWIM in Peters Township at Valley Brook Country Club

SKWIM's in as new pool sport.

TinyURL.com/SKWIM-Almanac

Citiparks’ Ammon Head Lifeguard, Charles, talks about our summer water polo home in Pittsburgh’s Hill District neighborhood with NPR Radio’s WESA

Hill District Lifeguard Seeks to Close Gap Between Those Who Sink or Swim

https://TinyURL.com/ammon-WESA

PanPac Swim Meet broadcast schedule

Event runs from Thursday, August 9, 2018 to Tuesday, August 14, 2018 at the  Tokyo Tatsumi International Swimming Center, Tokyo, Japan.

Dates and times, all for the Olympic Channel.

  • 8/9 2:00 am
  • 8/10 3:00 am
  • 8/11 3:00 am
  • 8/12 2:30 am
  • 8/13 3:00 am

One of Team USA Captains is Leah Smith, a swimmer from Pittsburgh by way of the JCC Sailfish, Oakland Catholic, UVA and now swimming as a professional and training in Tuscon, Arizona, when she isn’t at altitude.

Go Leah!

 

Swimmers in Pittsburgh: We’ve got some weekend fun on May 12, May 19 and June 2

SKWIM player at Brashear, SDA16

SKWIM disk toss from play in the pool.

The Saturday Swim School is a labor of love with Coach Mark Rauterkus and a crew of other volunteers. We’re looking for Scouts, summer-swimmers, future lifeguards, and former Summer Dreamers to come out and join us as well.

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11:30 am to 1 pm Oliver High School 2323 Brighton Road, Pgh 15212

11:30 am to 1 pm
Oliver High School
2323 Brighton Road, Pgh 15212

Public statement, not delivered, to the PPS Board & Administration, except with email and this posting

Housekeeping update:

Sadly, my name was not on the list to speak at public comment of 2/19/2018. I had called, but I didn’t answer that follow-up / return call, as that is part of the normal process. Oh well. Here is what I wanted to share.

Citizens give public comment to board and administrators at Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Dear Superintendent, Administrators and PPS Board Members

I’m Mark Rauterkus, I reside on the South Side. My children are PPS graduates. My father is a PPS retired teacher, and we remember the long teachers strike in the 70s. Presently, I am the longest-serving varsity swim coach for PPS.

Earlier this month I loved seeing a social media mention from Superintendent Hamlet about a swimmer, Noah Jamison. He is a junior on the boys team at Obama where I am the coach. He swam to the #1 ranking in the Class AA in all of the WPIAL in the 500 free. That in-season ranking slipped to second two weeks later. But more alarming was disappearance of the social media mention. Humm. I don’t want to disappear. I don’t wish to go away. You’re stuck with me, one way or another.

New business cards

At the first of the year I entered a new role, I’m the first executive director for a national nonprofit, SKWIM USA dot org. This opportunity can bring our city kids new resources.

Recent meeting

The other day, (9/16/18), I had a wonderful meeting with David May Stein and LouAnn Ross concerning my hopes of expanding AQUATICS within PPS Community Schools.

Concept Maps

I’d love it if the board and administrators would check out a few concept maps of sports and my vision of aquatics. I presented these as an invited speaker at a Rotary Club meeting (2/19/18) and to the Pacific Swim Coaches Clinic in Napa, California, (1/5/19). (See end of this post.)

Teachers’ Contract Negotiations

I was excited to read an update that COACHING is part of the bargaining discussions among the PFT and the district. I’m an outsider and do not have a clear understanding as to what was discussed and pitched, nor agreed to. Things might be fluid and pending. Plus, I couldn’t ascertain any details in the released blurb. But, I do know a few things about coaching in PPS.

Perhaps there is a 12% raise?

What about playoff pay?

Really needs are for nimble staffing adjustments. When new sports emerge and students show interest, such as with water polo, and we’re told, “we can’t do that because it is not in the teachers contract.” Ugh. That’s not such a “great thing.”

Flashback

When Dr. John Thompson was the PPS superintendent, he told concerned citizens that in the next PFT contract, PPS sports coaches would be removed from the scope of the PFT contract. That was about 16 years ago. It didn’t happened. Serious discussions about PPS sports and its coaching are not new.

Splashing ahead

As we look to use the pools for inspiring programs, it is nearly impossible to be a PPS teacher while coaching and operating high-quality programs in:

  • Afternoons,
  • Evenings,
  • Nights,
  • Weekends,
  • Holidays,
  • In-service days,
  • Vacation days,
  • Before school for 6 AM practices, and
  • Throughout the summers.

Of course, swim coaches leading school teams have plenty of influence with student-athletes. The school-team coaches should sustain their coaching with year-long roles within aquatics for the sake of the developing athletes.

As we “expect great things” with aquatics, school-based programs need to be part of a network and coordinated with community opportunities. With our population base, we need more planning and more integration to become highly competitive.

Consider the upcoming swim championship schedule. The WPIAL meet occurs on two days, a Thursday and Friday. The trip to the Pennsylvania State Swim Meet (PIAA) absorbs three days with a midnight return from Lewisburg. This year I hope to go to these meets for the 9th consecutive year. Often, I am the only one representing PPS at these high-level meets.

Since I am not a PPS teacher, when I coach at these meets, substitutes are not needed for my replacement. I am a coach, not a teacher. I am free to support our swimmers at the various times, without conflicts of other teaching duties. Meanwhile, others who are PPS teachers (and PPS aids) need to be removed from their day-time students to coach a small number of elite swimmers.

Contract governs third-party interests

The PFT contract dictates swim coaching roles, and I am not a PFT member. Outside coaches don’t have a seat at the table. Often the outside coaches are not even considered PPS EMPLOYEES. Go figure.

Advice

Remove all swim coaches from the scope of the PFT contract. Better to remove all athletic coaching positions from the PFT contract – as that has been done in many other districts. Then we can get to the serious work of expecting great things with AQUATICS.

Next tweet soon!

Board members, thanks for listening. The next steps await. Doctor Hamlet, I hope to forward you tweets from the podium again so you can continue to showcase our PPS swimmers and coaches.

Concept Maps

Tip: Click images for a larger view.

Sports

Aquatics

Sweet spot.

Forming an All-Star Aquatics Team — Today. Heading to the PPS Middle School Swim Championships

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Same info, but without the PDF format follows.

 

Coach Mark Rauterkus

Head Boys Varsity Coach at PPS Obama

Executive Director, SKWIM USA

108 South 12th Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203-1226

Mark@Rauterkus.com

412-298-3432 = cell

January 24, 2018

Delivery to participants and spectators at PPS Middle School Championships

Dear Swimmers, Guardians and Coaches:

Three cheers to you for completing the middle-school season and competing in today’s championships. Hopefully, you choose to continue swimming, as we’d love to see you at 11:30 am on Saturday at PPS Oliver High School on the Northside.

You are invited to sign-up for a brand-new,

All-City, Aquatics All-Star Team!

First meeting and swim clinic is this Saturday, January 27, 2018, from 11:30 to 1 pm on the Northside at PPS Oliver High School, 2323 Brighton Road, 15212.

Second meeting and clinic is next Saturday, February 3, 2018, from 11:30 to 1 pm at PPS Oliver.

If interested, call, text or email.

Or, sign-up in advance at Play.CLOH.org/rsvp.

We are seeking 25 or more middle-school athletes, boys and girls, of any swimming ability, for this low/no cost program. It is a labor of love from the coach(es). We hope to organize the swimmers, guardians and boosters for an All-Star experience with specialized practices, coaching, training, and lots of play and competitions. We’ll swim, exercise, use technology tools. We’ll also learn, practice and play water polo and SKWIM, a water-disk game. We stress sportsmanship, teamwork, and conditioning with help of digital badges. Playing well with others happens with in-house meets and game-days — if we get your support and your participation.

Expect more information at the first clinics. Other practice opportunities in other city neighborhoods are possible too. Call with questions. See Swim.CLOH.org.

Boost your fitness, swim knowledge, circle-of-friends, swim speed and aquatic game-play so that you can become a future lifeguard and a stronger varsity athlete, in any sport.

Thanks for the consideration.

Coach Mark Rauterkus

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