Members of BYU’s swim and dive team headed to Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Dec. 27, for their winter training camp but will also spend time helping the community after Hurricane Maria destroyed most of the country earlier this fall.
“We have connected with Light Up Puerto Rico to build roofs and hand out solar lights,” BYU head coach John Brooks said. “This is a training trip, but we will help where there is help needed.”
The non-governmental organization's mission is to “help rebuild Puerto Rico and send what’s needed most — solar-powered generators and light systems, water filtration systems, tent shelters and other supplies to rebuild homes,” according to its Facebook page.
In November, 40 volunteers from the Utah Governor’s Office and Light Up Puerto Rico traveled and delivered supplies purchased with donations through You Caring. Light up Puerto Rico has also partnered with Tifie Humanitarian, Vivant Solar and many other companies. The BYU swim team will continue to help out Light Up Puerto Rico by handing out supplies among other service products for residents of Puerto Rico.
The Cougars will spend most of their trip training at Mayaguez University of Puerto Rico at the RUM Natatorium. The facility has three pools, including a 50-meter Olympic pool, a 25-by-25-meter warm-up pool and a 25-by-35-meter diving pool. BYU last traveled to Puerto Rico in 2013 for winter training camp and has traveled to San Diego in more recent years.
The swim and dive team returns to the United States on January 5, 2018. The Cougars will then compete at Grand Canyon University that coming weekend, Jan. 13, for their first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference meet of the 2017-2018 season.