Phil White: Kingdom Games Pioneer Induction into NELMSC Hall of Fame for Contributions to Open Water Swimming
Phil White, the Director of Kingdom Games and the founder of the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association (NEKOWSA), will be inducted into the New England Local Masters Swimming Committee’s (NELMSC) Hall of Fame on October 1. Phil White has significantly impacted the open water swimming community through his extensive contributions as a race director, administrator, and founder of various swimming associations and events, fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for swimmers of all levels.
Upon the announcement of his induction, Tracy Grilli, the Chair of the NELMSC, lauded White and his team for their dedication to organizing over 40 days of diverse competitions through Kingdom Games. These competitions span a range of swimming disciplines, from ice swimming to marathon swimming such as Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival, Kingdom Swim, In Search of Memphre, NEK Swim Week and Vampire Swim among others.
“He inspires people from all walks of life, ages, and abilities to participate in races both short and long on a year-round basis,” Grilli remarked, highlighting White’s passion for encouraging and aiding individuals in achieving their swimming aspirations.
Phil White also co-founded the Vermont Open Water Swimming Hall of Fame together with Ned Denison as well as establishing the Northeast Kingdom Open Water Swimming Association (NEKOWSA) along with 11 others. White also owns and manages The Clubhous situated near Black Island, Bell Island, and Cove Island, which serves as the central hub for the open water swimming community in Vermont and neighboring regions, spanning from Lake Memphremagog to Lake Willoughby.
White’s response to this honor was one of gratitude and reflection on the growing recognition of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont’s waters as an “unlikely mecca” for open water swimming. He emphasized the sense of camaraderie within the New England open water swimming community and expressed appreciation for the acknowledgment of the region’s scenic beauty.
“We deeply appreciate this recognition of what we and so many others have accomplished over the past 15 years,” he stated, attributing the success to the hard work of volunteers, sponsors, partners, and friends, and emphasizing the quality, beauty, and supportive community of the Northeast Kingdom’s lakes.
The NELMSC Hall of Fame induction class of 2023 will be celebrated on October 1, 2023, at the Neighborhood Tavern in Northborough, Massachusetts. The Open Water/Long Distance category of the Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding achievements in open water swimming and includes individuals who have significantly contributed to the administration of the sport, organizing events, and creating opportunities for countless open water swimmers in New England.
Swim the Kingdom Events
Memphremagog Winter Swim Festival (February 22 to 27, 2024): Experience America’s unique two-lane, 25-meter ice pool, featuring races of various lengths and a festive atmosphere with hat competitions and more.
Kingdom Swim (July 27, 2024): Celebrate open water swimming with a weekend full of events, including a costume parade, pasta dinner, and races ranging from 1 mile to 25 km, concluding with a cool-down swim at Lake Willoughby.
Sunday Cold Water Swim Series (Spring and Fall 2024): Enjoy short swims at The Clubhous during May, early June, September, October, November, and December.
Saturday Clubhous Swim Series (Summer 2024): Participate in races of varying distances around the islands of Derby Bay on Lake Memphremagog, offered from mid-June through mid-September.
NEK Swim Week (August 3 – August 11, 2024): Swim 8 lakes over 9 days, covering 46 miles, with the opportunity to experience the beauty and challenge of each lake.
In Search of Memphre (Summer 2024): Embark on a 25-mile international swim between Newport, VT, and Magog, QC, offered in several three-day windows throughout the summer, supporting a more open border and the search for the elusive lake creature, Memphre.
Vampire Swim (October 26, 2024): Join swimmers worldwide, donate blood, swim in costume, and celebrate with a howl at the moon.
Each event offers a unique experience, catering to different preferences and skill levels.
Read about all the events on the Kingdom Games website.
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