My name is Zak Brown, and I have a deep passion for swimming. I hail from Bakersfield, California, where I discovered my love for the sport at the age of 10. Throughout my high school years, I had the privilege of leading our team to four consecutive league championships, a testament to our hard work and dedication. After graduating, I pursued my swimming journey at Bakersfield College while representing the esteemed Bakersfield Swim Club. As a part of this club, I had the opportunity to compete in various competitions across California and even ventured to different states for national level meets. These experiences shaped me both as an athlete and as an individual. Seeking new challenges, I made the decision to move to Niagara Falls, New York. There, I continued my swimming career at Niagara University as a Division One Swimmer. During my time at Niagara, I achieved remarkable accomplishments, setting three school relay records and graduating with a degree in marketing and logistics. Swimming has not only shaped me as an athlete, but it has also shaped me as a person. For over 19 years, I have been teaching and coaching swimming, working with athletes of all levels, from beginners to aspiring Olympians. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience, enabling me to meet inspiring individuals from all corners of the globe. Swimming is more than just a sport to me - it has become a lifestyle. The invaluable lessons I have learned through swimming have stayed with me throughout my life. In 2016, I joined the HeadStart team, and it has been an amazing journey thus far. I am thrilled to continue working with the students, supporting and nurturing their swimming abilities. Together, as a cohesive team, we will strive for excellence in the pool this year, pushing ourselves to new heights.
The HeadStart Swim Academy pushes each student-athlete to strive both in the classroom and the pool. Our training schedule offers 10 practices per week so our students can maximize their study time and continue with their development in the water. Each session for the Aqua Panthers offers technique work, endurance building, and race strategy. Our goal is to help each athlete develop focus, determination, time management, self-discipline, and a strong work ethic. All swimming competitions and events will be announced in the weekly updates, emailed to parents and are recorded in the calendar.
Taking part in competitive competitions is an exciting and challenging opportunity for the students and an important part of their development as swimmers. Each year, members of our team take part in various international competitions such as the Malaysia Invitational Age Group Championships and Neo Garden Singapore Nationals. Additionally, they take part in National competitions in Phuket and Bangkok.
Our annual Swimathon fundraiser is always an exciting event and is successful in raising money for local charities. The event consists of swimmers collecting sponsorship from the community and participating in a 12-hour relay throughout the night.
The Aqua Panthers program develops students into skilled, focused and hardworking athletes; students improve their swimming abilities, as well as growing in personal confidence and resilience. Our program works on all aspects of swimming and life; from technique, speed and endurance to time management, self-discipline and work ethic. The Aqua Panthers program offers three different levels that focus on students’ specific needs. Academy swimmers should commit to attending at least 4 training sessions per week, swim meets and events with a full water bottle, and wearing a full academy kit.