For Love of the Sport… and the Y
The Sivak family shares a love of water, swimming and the Y. Their oldest son joined the swim team 18 years ago, and soon thereafter it became a family commitment.
“We immediately knew the Y was different because it’s about much more than training… it’s a family and people really care,” says Katie. “They care not only about the swimmer’s success, but about the swimmer as an individual.”
Both Dave and Katie volunteered in various capacities to support the team before being asked to step into team leadership roles. Dave, a former collegiate swimmer, is the head age group coach and Katie, a triathlete, leads the developmental team.
Their children all started on the swim team at a young age, and progressed through the sport to qualify and swim at Y Nationals. Danny, 17, currently swims on the team and also serves as a coach for its youngest members and as a Y swim instructor. Erin, 19, now swims for UIC; she also served as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Y. And Brian, now 25, continued on to swim and coach throughout college.
“I returned to the Y from my Division I collegiate swimming career in summers to develop the young swimmers who were filling the shoes I had once filled many laps before,” shares Brian. “I wanted to come back because I had strong faith in the coaching staff, and felt I could contribute and continue building the excellence of the program where I built my swimming career.”
The Sivak family is quick to point out all they’ve gained through their involvement with the Y and the swim team. They’ve watched swimmers start as young children and go off to college. They’ve all created lifelong friendships and history, as individuals and as a family.
“We’re so proud of our kids—to see how hard they worked, how much they loved it, and how they gave back to the Y and the team for all they got personally,” states Katie. “I’ve always had such confidence in our kids and in our team. They’re just awesome.”