Victoria Salinas has been swimming most of her life. She swam competitively throughout high school, went on to swim for Texas A&M University College Station for five years, and now is swimming as part of her career.
A Lifeguard and Swim Coach at the Harlingen CISD Aquatics Center, Salinas was recently awarded a collegiate South Eastern Conference championship ring in recognition of her alma mater’s first place win at the 2016 SEC Swimming and Diving Championship.
“Here in Harlingen, my trajectory in swimming is rather low-key until somebody goes swimming at the Brownsville pool,” Salinas said. “Sometimes people will see me on a banner posted there as an All-American and they’ll come back surprised. The cool thing is that when they find out that I did collegiate swimming, they realize that it is a possibility for them too.”
Salinas teaches the fundamentals of swimming to different groups of students throughout the day. She is especially proud of taking part in the Safely Educating Aquatic Learners (SEAL) program, which is currently in its second year of existence and focuses on educating young swimmers about water safety.
“Something that is important to me, especially living so close to the ocean, is for children to learn how to swim. It is a lifelong lesson, and I just feel very honored to teach them something that can save their lives one day,” Salinas said.
She shows her passion for the sport by always encouraging others to pursue it. She is grateful to have the opportunity to give back to the community and the children through her lessons.
“I want the kids to know that it’s possible to swim at the college level like I did. Anything is possible,” Salinas said. “You just have to work really hard at it and love what you are doing.”