YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard hosts Bonito Race Night

Special Olympian David Lambert made a splash at the start of the 50-yard backstroke. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard Aquatics Department hosted Bonito Race Night Friday afternoon, December 14. The event is held once a session or approximately every seven to eight weeks to showcase the Bonito swimmers, a beginning team for children aged 6-12, involved in the YMCA’s swim lessons program. The race night gives the Bonitos a chance to showcase the skills they have acquired over the previous six weeks of practice. The youngsters get to race in front of their families and see their times light up on the scoreboard.

All other competitive swimmers from the Y, including the Makos (6-18 years old), Masters (adult competitive swim club), and Special Olympians are invited to participate, practice their skills, promote competitive swimming, and have a good time. Swimmers from the ages of six through 60 have competed in the same night.

Bonito Race Nights were developed by YMCA Aquatics director Kelly McBride and David Espindle as a way to bring the competitive swimming community together.

Friday afternoon, the Makos and Special Olympians shared in the fun. “These nights are very special to myself and David, the Bonito swimmers, and to our competitive swimming community,” Ms. McBride said. “We love to have members from all the different programs interact, support each other, learn from one another, and cheer really loud.”

The Bonito Swim Club is coached by Mr. Espindle and Ms. McBride; the Makos are coached by Mr. Espindle and Rainy Goodale; and the Special Olympians are coached by Ms. McBride, Jen Cleary, MVRHS varsity coach Robin Tuck, and Les Cutler.