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Local swim club gifts OU natatorium with splashy video board

Monday, June 20, 2011
Local swim club gifts OU natatorium with splashy video board

A $30,000 gift from the Oakland Live Y’ers Swim Team — OLY Swimming — has allowed Oakland University’s swimming and diving program to replace its aging video board with new, state-of-the-art equipment.

OLY Swimming, a Rochester-based swimming organization that trains at OU, has a long history of supporting the university and its athletic programs. The organization and university have had a positive rapport since the organization’s early days, when it was under the leadership of then Oakland University Athletic Director Corey Van Fleet. Today, a number of former OLY coaches work with OU’s athletic department.

“It’s just always been a fabulous community relationship Oakland has had with OLY,” says Jeff Cooper, head coach of OLY Swimming. “We have always fostered that and have felt like part of the Oakland family.”

OU’s athletic department started talking with OLY representatives last year about the possibility of an OLY gift that would have a far-reaching benefit to the university, its students and the community. Together, they developed the idea of OLY contributing toward a new video board.

“The board we had at the time was on its last leg,” OU Director of Athletics Terry Huth says. “The gift they provided had a profound impact in the program.”

The swimming and diving program has gone from a one-color board to a four-color display. The new video board has full graphics and video capabilities, including the ability to accommodate live streaming. It features timing and scoring displays, as well, and has dual capabilities that allow it to show swimming and diving results simultaneously.

OU received OLY Swimming’s gift in October and had its new video board in place one month later — in time for the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s state championship for girls swimming and diving, held at the university.

“We are very fortunate to have a strong relationship with OLY,” Huth says. “We thank them for their continued support of the athletic department and swimming programs.

“Without community support such as theirs, Oakland could not provide the type of facilities and programmatic support that our student athletes need to compete at the national level. I want to personally thank Jeff Cooper and Trish Liddiard (OLY Swimming board president) for their commitment in making this gift a reality.”