News Published: Jan 7, 2020 - 10:17:18 AM

Stamford YMCA and Stamford Sharks Swim Team merge

By Stamford Family YMCA

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The Stamford Family YMCA has merged with the Stamford Sharks swim team, to help better serve the competitive swimming community of Stamford. Stamford Y Shark's plan to bring back a swim team to the organization and provide the youth and parents of Stamford an accessible swim team for all ages and abilities. The YMCA is an organization with a strong background in teaching swimmers and the leaders of tomorrow, has been looking to bring back a team. The Y is excited to be able to offer more programs to the swimmers that are graduating out of their swim lessons. The Stamford YMCA Sharks swim team is proud to continue their history as a part of the YMCA and look to expand their program and host more meets for both USA swimming teams as well as YMCA teams.

Together both Coach Rick Lewis and Coach Kurt Bittel bring over 60 years of experience in the competitive swim. Rick Lewis began his coaching career in 1978. He has coached swimming at Westhill High School (41 years), The New Canaan YMCA (5 years), Roxbury Swim and Tennis Club (39 years), Fairfield University (5 years), and with the Sharks since 1988. During that time, he was named Fairfield University’s most outstanding coach twice, Connecticut HS Coach of the Year twice, and won 17 FCSL titles as the coach at Roxbury. During 2006-2007 Rick Coached Dan Madwed to the USA Swimming National title in the 200-meter Fly and the US Open title in the same event. That year Dan was ranked 13 in the world in that event. He has coached many USA swimming top 16 swimmers and has been a member of the CT Swim, CHSCA, and FCSL Board of directors for many years

Coach Kurt Bittel swam for Westhill High School and Southern Connecticut State University. He has been a swim coach for over 20 years. He’s been with the Sharks since 2000. Before that, he was Head Coach of the Italian Center Swim Team. Kurt has also been coaching the Westhill/Stamford High School Girls & Boys teams since 2000.

Rick and Kurt are excited to have the Sharks Swim Team become part of the Stamford YMCA family. "Our mission is to provide an environment where a swimmer’s full potential may be reached by focusing on physical fitness, sportsmanship, team involvement, self-discipline, and building self-confidence."

Interested swimmers should contact Coach Kurt Bittel at for all age-group swimmers and Coach Rick Lewis at for all senior-level swimmers. Any general questions about the Stamford Family YMCA should be sent to Shawn Patch, CEO,

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