ABC Action News' Sean Daly interviews Scott Nelson.

ABC Action News' Sean Daly interviews Scott Nelson. 

His quick smile, fit physique and bright eyes would never let you guess that Scott Nelson turns 70 this month. The fact he swam over 500 miles last year at the Bob Sierra Family YMCA – would only add to your surprise, and how impressive he is.

Scott and his family have been Bob Sierra Family YMCA members for nearly 38 years. His four sons learned to swim at the Y. Scott started swimming in 2013 after hip replacement surgery from years of running.  

“Swimming runs in the family. Two of my sons are marathon swimmers. One swam the length of Lake Tahoe and back last summer – that’s a whopper of 42 miles! The YMCA has been integral to our family. My boys wouldn’t be where they are today without the YMCA. I can’t say enough about the Bob Sierra Y. I’ve seen nothing but positive things, and that’s why I’ve been a member since 1986,” enthused Scott.

He joined the Y’s Lap League 100 in 2020, where swimmers can track their lap swim length to reach milestones like 100 miles, 300 miles, 500 miles, 750 miles and 1,000 miles. There is no pressure for a timeline. For every milestone achieved, a cool T-shirt is given as a prize.  

Scott got to 200, then 310 miles, and kept increasing his goals.  

“Swimming has kept my body in shape and my mind sharp. The Lap League has helped me immensely, even making me better at work. I’m a goal-setter. I set my goals high and try to achieve them. Last year I did 529 miles!”

A technology salesman for Milner, a leading provider of technology solutions for businesses, Scott notes the company is a big supporter of the Tampa YMCA. He was a swim official for 15 years for the Carrollwood Village Swim Team so he understands how hard swim coaches work.  

“I can’t say enough about Kareem and the lifeguards here. The Lap League gives you a purpose and a reason to try harder. It’s fun to make your goals.”

Kareem Kirby is the Senior Aquatics Director at the Bob Sierra Family YMCA. He met Scott in 2022 and applauded his commitment to swimming.  

“Scott is a local swimming legend. His dedication to swimming is very impressive. He is very active in staying fit. Swimming is a beneficial sport for this demographic. It is low impact. An hour of swimming is the same as running five miles! It is an activity for all ages and fitness levels. If we could encourage everyone to swim, our community would be better for it.”

Scott agrees.

“The Bob Sierra Family YMCA is a community bedrock. It is my happy place after work. A mile in the pool soothes me. I just love coming here!”

Thank you, Scott. We are delighted to have an amazing YMCA ambassador in you.

Visit the Tampa YMCA website to support our swimming or any Y program.

Published Wednesday, March 20, 2024.