La Quinta High School Swim team has a new high resolution LED score board
LA QUINTTA —A new, $120,000 high-resolution score board installed for the swim team at La Quinta High School is a statement to the community that LQHS is serious about building the top Aquatics program in the desert, Stephanie Henderson, head swim coach, told Uken Report.
Fundraising took place prior to the COVID-19 prompted hiatus and was installed prior to this year’s season. The school will be using the scoreboard for ease of following the competing swimmers as they come within seconds of placing first, second, and third.
In addition, the scoreboard will be used to share messages with the fans. Featured will be messages from sponsors, including commercials. Cost for the sponsorships is $50 for a bronze, $500 for a silver, and $1.000 for a gold. Additional information can be obtained by sending an email to: Stephanie.Henderson@DesertSands.us.
The booster club assists with generating supplemental funds to support the team, but expenses often exceed available funds. The generosity of sponsors helps to cover tournament fees, equipment, and travel costs. The booster club is a 501(c)(3) and tax information will be provided to sponsors.
The 2020 Blackhawk swim season will include hosting the Third Annual Co-Ed Swim Invitational, comprising more than 10 teams from the valley and southern California. Three home dual swim meets, and the Desert Empire League prelims/finals will be held at the pool.
To learn more about the significance of the new score board, Uken Report posed a series of questions to Henderson. The questions and her responses follow.
Uken Report (UR) What does the new high resolution LED score board mean?
Stephanie Henderson: “Our beautiful new scoreboard means a lot to our program and a symbol of our growth. This is a statement to the community that LQHS is serious about building the top Aquatics program in the desert. Our coaching staff, with the help of our amazing community support, are preparing these student athletes for the college level. Almost all colleges and Olympic training facilities are using the Colorado Timing System. To answer your question, what does this mean? It means everything!!!
“This bright, flashy, expensive piece of equipment is a cornerstone to our future.”
The student athletes react differently when they walk on deck. They practice harder, they push themselves to new levels. The district office didn’t wake up one day and approve the purchase of these items. We as a program built a plan to raise the funds necessary for this equipment and followed through with the execution of that plan. It’s that simple. We teach the students athletes the same process of success daily, each practice and swim meet.
I expect every one of our swimmers to show up and give 100% each day and follow the practice/game plan without excuses. I match that effort in every practice as well as fundraise for the equipment that I believe will help the team improve. It would be very easy for me to explain to our team that the district denied our request for a new scoreboard and timing system so we cannot host Desert Empire League or Invitationals. Instead, I changed the narrative to creating our own destiny through fundraising with the parents and community support. The process is very long, and tough at times, but it is worth the effort. We have unbelievable support from parents’ and happen to live in the best community in the country. Once I realized these two factors behind us, I knew we were going to succeed.
UR: What are the benefits?
Stephanie Henderson: The student athletes benefit the most from the scoreboard. Some might argue that the scoreboard is a waste of time, and it doesn’t help the swimmers improve. I would have to disagree 100%. The CTS is a combination of multiple pieces of equipment. The computer, touch pads, software, scoreboard, and diving blocks. We put a plan together to obtain the complete system, not just one portion of it. This scoreboard brings a new level of pride to our Blackhawk aquatics program. We can display accurate reliable swim times during practice and meets. We can play training videos on swim stroke technique as well as display training clocks. When I speak to Division 1 or 2 Coaches, such as SDSU, USC, West Point, Texas, their concerns are very similar. They primary concern is their speed, i.e., PR in a given stroke. The second question is how was the time recorded? Top programs across the country want electric times for accuracy, as well as familiarity with diving blocks and pads. Similarly, if we want to host an Elite Invitational meet or CIF meet, it is a requirement to have a system like ours. These premium events are great fundraises for our program as well. We can raise funds from entry fees, snack bar, merchandise, and sell advertisements. Keep your ears open for what is in the works for LQHS Swim.
UR: Do you know the cost, or what was raised to purchase it?
Stephanie Henderson: As you may know, fundraising can be a drag and you get rejected far more than accepted. I host multiple fundraisers year around and they are a lot of fun. This includes Rock n Roll Bingo, golf tournaments, poker tournaments, snack bar, commercials, and SnapRaise. I am probably missing a few others. There is no idea too big or small when it comes to fundraising, and I try them all. This equipment purchase was a total of $120,000. The 3-year fundraise consists of the Colorado Timing System (hardware and software) $40,000, the scoreboard and install $40,000, and the Electric Timing Diving blocks ($40,000).
UR: When does the swim season start?
Stephanie Henderson: We kick off the season at the beginning of March with our fun Co-Ed Swim invitational. It is a great way to get new swimmers used to competitions.
UR: Is this both for men and women? Both boys and girls compete together in this event.
Stephanie Henderson: The 2020 Blackhawk swim season will include the hosting of the Third Annual Co-Ed Swim Invitational, comprising over ten teams from the valley and southern California. Three home dual swim meets and the DEL prelims/finals will be held at our pool. Is this a first? Is hosting these events a big deal? We are proud to host these swim meets throughout the season. We take pride in the organization it takes to pull these events off smoothly. We have a great team of individuals consisting of family, parents, and alumni. It is awesome to see alumni swimmers come back to a meet and jump right in to help set up or tear down without missing a beat. I feel privileged that other schools ask LQHS to host meets if we are willing to. My answer is always the same, absolutely what is the date?
UR: Do other high school swim teams have LED scoreboards?
Stephanie Henderson: There are a few other schools that have this timing system or something very similar. The problem is that many times, they are not used to their full potential.
UR: Anything you would like to add that we missed?
Stephanie Henderson: I really want to acknowledge how helpful our LQHS administration team has been during this entire process. Dr. Wilson (Principal), Coach Ruiz (AD), and the district office have all been extremely supportive. As untraditional as some of my ideas for meets and fundraisers, they always support my endeavors.
- LQHS Swim Sponsorships: DSUSD
- LQHS swimmers: DSUSD
- LQHS Swim Team: DSUSD