Leah has enjoyed swimming since she was just a toddler. From the age of just five she began expressing her desire to be a "Big Swimmer". At 12, she said “I AM GOING TO BE AN OLYMPIC SWIMMER. I‘M GOING DOWN IN THE BOOKS!”
The summer of 2015 Leah took a Pre-Swim Team Class at YMCA of Central Ohio where she would eventually go on to join the club team. Despite that first Summer's success, Leah wanted more. She wanted year-round training, coaching, and a competitive atmosphere with like-minded and passionate swimmers like herself. Leah took the initiative to find coaches that could help her in achieving these new goals.
Leah found a role model in Aliyah Atkinson, the first black woman to win a world title, Jamaican Swimmer & Olympian (also 100 & 200 yard Breaststroke specialist) and began to follow her swimming and training. Even going as far as to reach out to her coach, Chris Anderson in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Among the coaches that peaked her interest was Alan Pfau whom at the time was at Swim Mac Swim Club in North Carolina. During this period I was working at the YMCA in Central Ohio.
Through the YMCA we were introduced to Rowdy Gaines, 3-time Olympic Gold Medalist and Vice President of Operations at the Rosen YMCA Aquatic Center in Orlando, Florida. Mr.Gaines shared with us that Coach Pfau had joined the Y as Head Coach and Director of Swimming for the YCF Club Swim Team. Leah personally shared her dreams of being an Olympian with Mr. Gaines and through that interaction had the opportunity to meet Coach Pfau. From that initial interaction, Leah knew that this had to be her coach. She had hopes of joining the Junior Olympic Swim Team in 2016 and knew she had to get to Florida ASAP!
Although I was blessed to continue working with the YMCA, we were at a financial disadvantaged when it came to the cost of swimming. We just jumped right in at this opportunity for Leah to achieve her dreams. Leah was finally able to get to Florida and start training Summer 2016. Although she missed her chance at Junior Olympics she kept her head up and kept pushing toward her dream. Within first six months of training with Coach Pfau, Leah advanced to National Level Team where she travels and competes on a National level. Leah set YCF record in the 100 yard Breaststroke in 2017. Summer 2017 she made the Florida LSC Zone Team which competed in Tupelo, Mississippi. Her Freshman year of high school swimming, she attained 2nd in the State of Florida for the 100 yard Breaststroke and 7th for 100 yard Freestyle. In April 2018, Leah achieved overall 5th place in 100 yard breaststroke at YMCA National Swimming Championship. From there, she qualified for Speedo Summer Junior Nationals Championship in Irvine, California in August 2018.
Unfortunately, due to the extensive costs, we could not afford to send Leah to compete. She has now qualified in four events to compete in the 2018 Speedo Winter Junior National Championship in Greensboro, NC which begins December 5th, 2018. With only two solid years of training, Leah has achieved high level success on State and National platforms.
Swimming is an astronomical expense and the travel required adds more financial stress. I am doing all I can to help my daughter attain her dreams of being an Olympian and "Going down in the books!" All the meets (especially National Meets) require an entry fee, a racing suit, travel, lodging and expenses. I have written and received some grant assistance, our family helps, but even with that, we are still falling short.
More important than her times, Leah has become a student of the sport and a process driven swimmer. Leah has some big goals for her future and the opportunities to gain those experiences at high level meets have tremendous value to her. ~ Coach Pfau
People have mentioned to start a GoFundMe campaign to help cover some of Leah's expenses. Leah is now a sophomore in high school and on her way to another State Championship, Speedo Winter Junior National Championships, YMCA Nationals and all the Club Meets in between. Besides that, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trials begin on June 2019. To continue to inch closer to those Olympic cut times, she needs the wherewithal to continue to travel and compete Nationally to reach those time cuts and deserved recognition. I was reluctant to start a GoFundMe page, but my daughter is so close and works so hard I want to insure money is not an additional obstacle in her way of achieving greatness.
I asked Leah why she wanted to become an Olympian and eventually join the pro circuit. She said, “when I am swimming and in the water I feel so much peace. It’s like I am one with the water.”
I knew then how deeply and passionately Leah wanted this and how serious my responsibility is to help her achieve her dreams.
Any contribution to Leah will inch her one step closer to the Speedo Winter Junior National Championship this upcoming December and beyond!
To keep up with Leah and her swimming achievements, please visit:
Twitter - @leahswimming
Facebook - Leah Gentry-Tuney
For videos search "Leah Gentry-Tuney" on YouTube.
Thank you you for your contribution and please share with family and friends.
God Speed Leah ♀️♀️♀️
Blessings to all!
Special thanks to:
My brother, Charles Ewing - Owner/CEO of Ephic Media, for designing and managing Leah’s website.
DaeShawn Beasley - Owner of Beast Productionz, for taking time to record and document Leah’s Meets.
Frank Barberena of University of Central Florida, for content and write-ups.
Alonzo Shavers - Owner/CEO of Infinite Sports Management, for spearheading Leah’s media campaign, designing her print media content and all the support, advice, and encouragement given to Leah.
Coah Alan Pfau - Director of YCF Swimming and Leah's head Coach.
Last, but not least, our Family for all they do in support of Leah's dream.
Together Everyone Achieves More!
Let’s make Leah’s dream happen together as Leah helps young aspiring girls know they too can achieve more.
Thank you for your support of my wonderful daughter, Leah!
Go God's Girl!!!
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