From Friday, Oct. 19 – Sunday, Oct. 21, 596 athletes converged on the Lincoln-Hancock Pool in Quincy to honor local teacher and coach Bob McGillicuddy who passed last year at the age of 52 of amyloidosis, a disease prompted by the body producing too much protein that affects the heart and other organs.
To say that Bob was well-known not only in Quincy, but across the South Shore would be an understatement. Bob was a Science Teacher at Quincy’s Sterling Middle School. He was the head coach of the combined Quincy/North Quincy High team for nearly a decade, a program that truly transformed under his tutelage. He coached swimming at YMCAs and youth programs. Though Bob wore many hats, no matter where you turned, he made time for life’s little moments and worked tirelessly to spread learning, love, compassion, kindness, positivity and caring in a way that only Bob could.
During Bob’s time assisting and supporting the South Shore YMCA Strypers Swim Team, Strypers Head Coach Bernie Dickman was able to learn from Bob as a newcomer herself to the South Shore, and for this she remembers him fondly.
“Bob’s belief of doing a little bit of good wherever you can was not only his motto, but they were truly words that he lived by, day in and day out,” said Dickman, Director of Competitive Swimming and Head Coach of the SSYMCA Strypers swim team. “Though Bob is no longer with us, his legacy carries on. These ‘bits of good’ he taught others to spread are still in motion to this day and will remain infused throughout the Quincy community and beyond for years to come.”
And with more than 1,400 people including athletes, volunteers, coaches and spectators in attendance at this year’s meet, these ‘bits of good’ were evident throughout the weekend, both in and out of the water.
“This year’s meet was a huge success,” noted Dickman. “There is no better way to celebrate Bob’s legacy than through swimming – the sport he coached passionately and loved dearly. The outpouring of support from children and families from near and far for our second annual McGillicuddy meet was a true testament to Bob, and the perfect venue by which to honor his memory.”
To cap the weekend, on Sunday, the 2nd annual “Bits of Good” Character Award was given out to one male and one female athlete to highlight the lives of swimmers in and out of the pool, seeking examples of the embodiment of those ‘bits of good’ that help change the world through volunteerism and paying the good in life forward. This year’s award recipients were J.T. Levesque of the WACK Swim Program in Nantucket, and Kristina McNaughton of the Hamilton Dynasty Swim Club in Boston.
Though things have wrapped for this year’s meet, the SSYMCA Strypers are already looking forward to carrying on this tradition next year, and to spreading ‘bits of good’ in honor of Bob in all the days in between.
“Bob combined the power of education and sport to make a difference to all those he came in contact with,” concluded Dickman. “This annual event helps us to remember Bob, and to remind us of his belief that there are ‘bits of good’ everywhere you look.”
About the South Shore YMCA
The South Shore YMCA is a not-for-profit association of individuals dedicated to improving the quality of life for all through programs that promote healthy spirit, mind, and body. Serving the communities of Quincy, Randolph, Holbrook, Weymouth, Braintree, Milton, Hingham, Hull, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hanover and beyond, the South Shore Y provides the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive through its services and programs. Financial Assistance is a Y community benefit available to all families in need, applicable to all Y programs and services. To learn more about the South Shore YMCA, visit www.ssymca.org. The South Shore YMCA. The Better You Belongs Here.
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