In the community, Uncategorized

Dream big, and meet Olympian Bella Sims

The Vale City Pool is inviting local kids to come and dream big to support the Bella Sims Dream Big Swim Fund at an open swim Friday, July 29.  

The event, from 1 to 4:30 p.m., will feature games, races, a tote bag raffle, and T-shirts for sale. All the proceeds of the Dream Big Day will go toward supporting the pool. The event is free up to the pool’s maximum occupancy of 100 people – the first 50 people to sign up for games get free swimming goggles. 

Joining the festivities will be Sims herself, arriving in Vale for the event before preparing to head out to Australia for the “Duel in the Pool” meet. At 17, Sims is making a name for herself in the swimming world. After winning silver during the 2021 Tokyo Games, Sims plans to compete next year in the U.S. Olympic Trials for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. 

Sims’ grandmother, Sherri Hironaka of Ontario, hopes the event will “get the word out about the Dream Big Fund” and the support it will have for kids in Vale. 

The Dream Big Day is a celebration of Sims’ recent victory at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Sims was part of the gold medal 4×200 free relay team alongside Claire Weinstein, Leah Smith, and Katie Ledecky. 

Sims swam as the anchor, the final swimmer of the relay, to win the race. The team’s time, 7:41.45, was the fourth best women’s 4×200 relay of all-time. 

The Bella Sims Dream Big Swim Fund supports the community by providing financial assistance for kids who may need equipment, swimsuits, pool passes, or swim lessons themselves. 

“The fund was set up for swimming lessons, for those who can’t necessarily afford it,” said Vale City Manager Todd Fuller. The pool deck was renovated earlier this year, adding a fresh look to the facility built in the 1960s. 

Dream Big T-shirts will be sold at the open swim for $20 and tickets for the tote bag raffle will be sold for 25¢.

“We want it to bring the community together,” said Hironaka. “We also want it to be fun.” 

News tip? Contact reporter Mac Larsen at [email protected]

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