When asked what the most important things in life are, Timmy Hayes responds with: “not money, but valuable relationships, mentoring, and using those experiences to work with people and give back.” Hayes’ answer is not atypical from somebody who is the co-founder of nonprofit organization Nica Nadadores, which translates to “Nicaraguan swimmers” in Spanish.
In 2014, Tim Hayes, Scot Robison, and Kyle Shoemaker, all former collegiate swimmers with a passion for helping others, built Nica Nads after Hayes’ volunteer stint in Nicaragua. As a 23-year-old swim coach in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Hayes never expected to stay in Nicaragua. He spent most of his volunteer time giving swimming lessons to children in the local community, as well as helping a missionary who owned a sports complex build a swimming pool.
What started as an 9-kid-operation in a 3 lane swimming pool has expanded to nearly 100. Hayes comments that they’ve started a new campaign to build a larger pool in order to grow the organization even more. Nica Nads reaches the youth to inspire them “to lead, improve, and aspire in the pool, classroom, and in their community.” Most importantly, they emphasis education and offer scholarship programs that grant academic financial assistance for student athletes.
The biggest accomplishment Hayes has ever achieved isn’t any dollar sign or mega-influence through his organization. It’s the success story of Fernando, a Nica Nads swimmer, who now swims at Augustana College in Illinois.
Fern enrolled in Nica Nadadores when he was just a sixth grader at the local public school. After falling in love with swimming and the program, he received a scholarship to enroll him in a private school, then an international academy. There he learned English and was able to go to college in the United States and swim for Augustana. Hayes reflects on Fernando’s growth and leadership in the program and hopes that many others can follow in his footsteps.
With almost a decade of experience under their belt, Nica Nadadores is making strides to positively impact their community. Crown Connections continues to be grateful for this opportunity to assist nonprofits like Nica Nads in their journey to help others.
To learn more about NICA NADADORES and their work in Nicaragua area
click the button below to visit their website.