Vicky Gouge is all wet.
More accurately, she’s wet a lot during the summer, as she coaches the Kidd Springs Swim Team in Oak Cliff with her twin sister and co-coach Becky Moffett. This dynamic duo has resurrected a team that had only a handful of kids six years ago into a dominating force of strong swimmers—and friends.
“Becky re-started the dying team six years ago,” Vicky says, “She realized that Oak Cliff needed a swim team for both recreational fun and safety: strong swimmers can help teach others to swim, become lifeguards and avert potential drownings.”
Vicky arrived in Dallas a year later, and with her love of swimming and background as a high school athlete and coach, became a co-coach. “We’ve Exponentially grown from about 30 swimmers to 140 swimmers. In fact, we had to cap it our team because there’s not enough space or time for us to handle any more team members,” Vicky explained.
The team practices for about six weeks beginning at the first of June, and then begins competition in mid-July to mid-August, competing through Dallas Aquatics program.
There have been major challenges in the past few years, Vicky admits. “Because the pool is in such bad condition, there was talk about the city shutting it down, filling it in. The city said the kids could just go up the road to Bahama Breeze to have their fun. But we asked the city officials, what about the SWIM team? They had no answer for that.”
So Vicky and Becky began a grass roots campaign. “We created our own PR a did a media Push,” Vicky explains. Fortunately, Vicky’s company, Full Moon Design Group, creates websites and does graphic design. She created a quick website for the Kidd Springs pool and team, savekiddpsringspool.com, and “That little website and our swim-a-thon help raise $40,000 through various sponsorships.”
Vicky proudly says the kids from her team were responsible for getting people to sponsor them, and even went to City Hall to sit in on some meetings about closing the pool. “We got the attention of City Hall and, working together, saved the Kidd Springs Pool from being filled in.”
It turns out, the Dallas Parks budget had money set aside for new pools to be created around the city, “And we were re-included in that list.”
Vicky acknowledges that, “When the parents and swimmers of our Kidd Springs team went to City Hall to speak to the Parks & Rec’s Board to talk about how the pool was helping our community, they listened.” The new pool will be built in the same spot with construction beginning next fall.
Both Becky and Vicky swam and competed as they grew up, then each worked in the Houston Recreational Swim League for four years, from 1990 through 1994. “We started out as assistant coaches the first year then became Head coaches the following three years.” Vicky lived in Austin for 17 years and moved to Dallas in 2010. “No joke—I made the move on April 1, so it’s easy to remember,” Vicky says with a laugh.
With an Art and Journalism degree from Southwest Texas State, now known as Texas State U., Vicky began her professional career as a high school teacher for a couple of years, teaching Art and photojournalism. She says it was fun, but she prefers the design arena and coaching.
Her dedication to the latter has paid off: the team that started small is now the largest in the Dallas Aquatics Program. Practices are Mondays through Thursdays with competitions on Saturdays, which means traveling to other pools because Kidd Springs isn’t regulation sized. The team competes at the Fretz Rec Center pool and one in Lake Highlands for meets.
And if all goes as planned, the Kidd Springs team will be hosting meets at their brand new pool after next year, as construction is set to be completed before May of 2018.
Vicky says, “It’s a dream come true for our neighborhood.”
The team is in the midst of their season with their final meet on August 13, 2016, right before school begins again. Vicky’s Saturdays are booked through until then, and she admits, “It takes a lot of time and work, and I’m wet every day, but I love it.”
To see some of Vicky’s Full Moon Design Websites, check out fullmoondesigngroup.com
Vicky’s designs include the Rosemont Dad’s Website and the Bishop Arts Theatre, among others.