In 1970, Shell Oil transferred many families from California to the Houston area. These families settled in the northwest part of Houston and wanted to continue the swimming experiences they had begun in California. So five fathers, employees of Shell Oil, got together and established the Northwest Aquatic League(NWAL).
Since that time, NWAL has grown to 99 teams with approximately 15,000 swimmers from ages 4 through 18. The teams are divided into sixteen divisions. Some teams have as many as 350 swimmers while others only have 45 to 50 swimmers. In the early days, the division line-ups were determined by a committee of five who would place teams according to what that committee believed to be the size and strength of each team, actually is determined by team size, meet scores and season record.
Parent volunteers have been and continue to be the key to the success of NWAL over the past 30+ years. As a mere spectator, to me the Northwest Aquatic League is an active part of the evolution of swimming in the United States. Here is an story of one of those swim teams "The Hurricanes" where you can breathe the teamwork, family-like union, the tenacity and love for swimming all framed in memories that are created in many children some of whom could be able to become the next Michael Phelps!
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