Staff Report

The LA84 Foundation has awarded $75,000 to the Santa Ynez Valley Aquatics Foundation’s capital campaign.

The local aquatics foundation, which is trying to build a new pool and a sports science complex at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, is the only organization outside of Los Angeles County to benefit from $1.8 million in grants awarded by LA84.

In addition to being one of the largest awarded, the grant is one of only a few ever earmarked by LA84 for a capital campaign.

 “We are extremely honored and grateful to receive this $75,000 grant from LA84,” said local campaign Co-Chairman Gary Hall Jr. “LA84’s investment validates our vision to make the SYV Aquatics and Sports Science Complex the centerpiece of a valley-wide initiative to become one of the healthiest communities in America.”

Hall is a 10-time medalist in Olympic swimming. His co-chair of the capital campaign Kami Craig, a three-time Olympic water polo medalist

 “The LA84 Foundation is proud of our latest round of grants in support of Play Equity and the #PlayForAll Movement,” said Renata Simril, the president and CEO of the LA84 Foundation. “While many of the grants are going to cornerstone youth development organizations the LA84 Foundation has consistently supported, we are also delighted to welcome four new organizations, including the Santa Ynez Valley Community Aquatics Foundation, into the LA84 Foundation grantee community.”

The LA84 Foundation helped spearhead the effort to bring the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Los Angeles in 2028.

The local campaign is seeking support for the $11.2 million complex that is slated to open in 2019. More than half the amount been raised or pledged.

In addition to investments from local people, foundations and organizations, the project has forged partnerships with the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District, the American College of Sports Medicine, The Aspen Institute, National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute, and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.

The two-acre SYV Aquatics and Sports Science Complex will replace the badly worn, 53-year-old pool on the Santa Ynez High School campus.  In addition to an Olympic-sized 50-meter competitive pool, other features will include a warm-water therapy pool; an “In Memory of Those Who Serve” grand entry plaza; sports medicine and science building; changing rooms, storage and lockers; family play area; and affordable, accessible year-round programs and activities for all valley residents.

As a sports tourism destination site, the new aquatics complex is projected to contribute more than $5 million annually in new revenue to Santa Ynez Valley’s tourism economy, mostly in the off-peak season.

“This project started with capitalizing on the discounted purchase of the 2016 Olympic Swim Trials pool,” Hall said. “Then the Aspen Institute identified our complex as one of the top eight forward-thinking designs in the nation. Because of support from our community and national organizations aligned with our vision, we are making a final push to our fundraising goal’s finish line.”

For more information:, #syvaquatics or email

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