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Annette Griffus covers swimming, from age-group to high school and the Olympics.
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OAC says goodbye to long-time official, volunteer

June 14th, 2014 by Annette Griffus

I think Nick Giovanni should have been dubbed “Mr. Everything.”

He certainly did everything he could for the club during his 20-plus years volunteering for the swim club in Bremerton.

From seeing it through its transition from school-district sponsored team to USA Swimming club. Giovanni served as board president, board member, timer, official and bookkeeper.

On Saturday, Giovanni officially entered the world of retirement. You can read the story I wrote about that here. The photos are from former OAC age-group coach Bonnie Burmaster, who is good friends with Nick and his wife, Kathy.

Nick Giovanni is presented flowers during a ceremony honoring his 20 years of volunteerism for the Olympic Aquatic Club in Bremerton (Courtesy photo)

Nick Giovanni is presented flowers during a ceremony honoring his 20 years of volunteerism for the Olympic Aquatic Club in Bremerton
(Courtesy photo)

Here’s what board member and meet director Ed Hamilton wrote to me about Nick on Friday:

“As a non-profit group, as with most youth sports, OAC has to have volunteers involved with every part of our operation, and this isn’t limited to someone being on the pool deck for a swim meet.  Nick’s contribution to OAC has been in every part of the Club’s operation.  He has volunteered on our Board of Directors, he has handled the finances for a great number of years and, more visibly, he has volunteered for every job at our swim meets.

So, Nick’s experience and knowledge of swimming has been vital to OAC and the swimming community in Kitsap County.  While swimmers come and go, and parent volunteers come and go, Nick has been the resource on how to properly get things done.

I’ve been volunteering with OAC for over five years.  During that time I’ve served on the Board and helped at home swim meets.  For every one of those positions Nick is the person that I go to when I need a question answered or I need advice for getting something done.

Nick’s contribution to swimming goes well beyond OAC.  He has volunteered his on-deck abilities for high school swimming, to OAC and to other teams in our area who are holding events but don’t have a head referree available.  To put some perspective around his contribution it can be easily calculated that he spends 150 hours volunteering on a pool deck every year.  That’s equivalent of almost a month of working a full time job.  Add to that the efforts behind the scenes, that for many years far exceeded his on-deck time, for the last 20-plus years and you realise he has contributed a significant part of his life to this sport and to our community.

Nick will be missed by the swimming community.  Personally, I’ll miss his wisdom around the pool, I’ll miss hearing the stories of the swimmers over the years and I’ll especially miss him the next time I show up at the pool at 6 am and he isn’t there with the coffee.”

I don’t think anyone could have said it better.

Congratulations Nick and Kathy!!

Retiring Nick Giovanni receives flowers from swimmers during the OAC Summer Splash meet in Bremerton on Saturday. (Courtesy photo)

Retiring Nick Giovanni receives flowers from swimmers during the OAC Summer Splash meet in Bremerton on Saturday.
(Courtesy photo)

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Annette Griffus has covered swimming since 2001, from age-group to high school and the Olympics.

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