Hammerhead Aquatics, a non-for profit Master’s and Age Group swim club, was founded in 2004 by John Grzeszczak. Since its inception, Hammerhead Aquatics has served over 100,000 clients. The premiere South Florida swim program caters to a variety of groups, including a Master’s swim team, an age group program, swimming lessons and even a swim instruction program for infants. The program has produced Master’s world record holders, numerous top ten rankings, medalists on the national and world stage, Junior Olympics qualifiers and Olympic trials qualifiers.
In order to meet the needs of the South Florida swimming community for a covered 50 meter pool and a fitness and therapy destination, Hammerhead Aquatics in undertaking the creation of an indoor 50- meter swimming pool and therapy pool. With an indoor training area, lockers, small café, food prep, kitchen facility, event space and outdoor patio, the envisioned June Krauser Memorial Pool will create a destination like no other in South Florida in June’s long time home of Wilton Manors.
Master’s swimmers know June Krauser as the “Mother of Masters Swimming.” June was instrumental in establishing the competitive swimming program for adults 18 and up now known as United States Masters Swimming (USMS) now with over 60,000 members. Without June’s contribution thousands of adults would be without a competitive swimming outlet and aquatic based wellness and fitness realm.
June was a strong woman who could complete any task with great success and applied her skill and passion at both the local and national levels to help make USMS what it is today. It didn’t matter whether the event was the Masters nationals with 2,000 competitors; a social event serving as a recognition ceremony; doing double or triple duty as a clerk of the swim meet or collaborating with international meet directors to overcome language barriers for her team, she was always there to pick up the reins, provide encouragement or simply assist someone who needed help. What’s more, for years she did much of the same for the Florida Special Olympics.
Many younger Masters swimmers today do not realize that for the first three or four years of USMS’s existence, when it was not yet clear whether the organization or the sport would survive, let alone prosper and flourish, June was the glue that held it — held us –together. As if she didn’t have enough to do, running multiple events while competing in them, she also served as editor and publisher of Swim-Master, the first Masters publication.
June was a highly decorated swimmer as well. As a 16- and 17- year-old, she swam on three winning relays for the Indianapolis Athletic Club at the National AAU Swimming Championships. It turns out that those performances were merely preludes to her second swimming career, her real swimming career, as a Masters swimmer. In that career, spanning nearly 50 years, she won 65 short course and 71 long course championship titles. It was for all of these achievements that she was honored with election to the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2008.
Traci Grilli, the Executive Secretary, and for years one of the foremost leaders in US Masters Swimming, first met June at the USMS Nationals in Orlando. June, of course, was running the meet. “I have a vivid memory of the first time we met,” Tracy said. “Two things stand out in my mind: The first was that in that pool length walk to greet me – about 60 meters or so – all of the competitors seemed to line up for a hand shake, a hug or a high-five with June. Then I noticed that almost all of these enthusiastic swimmers were men. And fit. And 10-20 years younger than June.”
It was abundantly clear that June was highly respected by all of the competitors. “The second thing I noticed was the way she carried herself. She may have been just 4-10, but she carried those few inches with the commanding presence of a General Patton.”
June Krauser was the kind of person who makes the world a better place wherever she went. She is best appreciated not so much as a well-rounded human being but as a force of nature. Today, since June’s passing, we take notice of how June already has made the world a better place. This June Krauser Memorial Pool will serve a wide variety of clients, from babies just a few months old, to age-groupers, to college level, and Masters swimmers.
It is with the tenacity and dedication that exemplifies June Krauser, that John Grzeszczak has started a development campaign to help raise funds for the project.
Tiffany Cohen, a double gold medalist (400 meter and 800 meter) in the 1984 Olympics will lead the development campaign for the project. John has already embarked on getting the necessary site plan approval for the project, which included a rezoning of the property.
There will be a number of donation and sponsorship opportunities outlined in the very near future. Without your support, this swimming facility will only be a dream, however, if those who love June and love swimming step forward to support the June Krauser Memorial Pool, it will be a reality.