“Sports honestly saved my life,” Gary Muzzy says in this conversation without any hesitation. For many years he has coached swimming and water polo at the youth and high school levels for both his organization Blue Crush and for Parkrose High School. As a swimmer herself, Gary’s mother got him and his twin brother Larry in the pool at a young age. The pair excelled, but his brother went to jail at 17. Gary says he “gave up” around that time, but with the support of his mom, coaches, and mentors at after-school programs, he persevered and graduated high school. Melissa believed in him and supported his goals as a young adult as well.
Gary had a desire to give back to youth in a similar way, and the Parkrose water polo coach and superintendent Dr. Karen Gray both approached Gary to ask him to coach summer water polo and swimming, which led to the launch of Blue Crush Aquatic Club. Since then, Melissa and Gary have impacted countless youth, both boys and girls, and some of them received swimming scholarships.
We also talk about the racial climate of swimming and water polo, the current climate of youth club sports, and their hopes and goals for youth sports in Parkrose.
Crush Athletics offers swimming lessons (year-round is their goal), swim team, water polo, and they are adding other sports like volleyball, basketball, and futsal too. Check out parkrosepool.com for the hours and opportunities at the pool too.
If you want to contact Melissa or Gary, you can email [email protected].
You can listen to the Parkrose Life podcast on Apple, Spotify, any other podcast player, or right here by pressing the play button below (but the pause button won’t automatically let you resume where you left off). If you subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform, then you’ll never miss an episode.
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