2014 Northstars – An Emotional Farewell

Hey Northstars,

I’m sad to say that this will be my final farewell to everyone. This summer season was truly one of the best – as evident by the awesome slide show that the Cheng family created. I joked with my coaching staff that I only ball my eyes out when I watch the beginning of UP, but the slide show (and banquet speeches) made me tear up. I like to think the ending of the slide show was my own little UP journey. Thank you so much for that. 

I know I already touched upon this last night during the banquet, but I just wanted to say it one more time to signify the progress that our team has made together as a community. When I first joined the Park Paseo Northstars in 2006 – I felt disconnected from the team because I was rarely going to practices and would only show up to volunteer or compete at meets. No one knew who I was despite volunteering and I didn’t feel like I was really a part of the team. In fact, the coaches at the time even made me do the 100 Medley Relay Coaches Race at half-time by myself! 

I had envisioned a different type of swim experience for a summer-league team. I wanted to swim with a team that I felt connected with – not just by practicing and attending meets but by having fun outside of the pool deck as well. I wanted to know who my teammates were more than just knowing “that person is good at backstroke.” When I was given the opportunity to become an Assistant Coach and then Head Coach, I wanted to do my best to inspire and create a team that embraced the community-aspect of the Irvine Swim League, which I think that some of the ISL teams forget about. It isn’t just about giving kids swim sets and trying to win divisions, events, and etc. The ISL is about making friends within your community – both parents and kids alike – and having a fun experience both inside and outside of the water. I didn’t want water polo players to only do water polo and NOVA swimmers to only do NOVA – I wanted to encourage them to do both. And although it took a couple of years to introduce and execute Fun Fridays, FUNdraisers, and other team activities (like the popular Sleepover) – it worked. And this year was the first year – in my opinion – where it felt like a norm. These events are now Park Paseo traditions that a lot of kids and coaches can look forward to in the future.

But none of this would have worked if I didn’t have the support, care, and blessing that I have received from the Park Paseo Board, all of our Northstar families, and of course my coaching staff. Even though I’m the recipient of the Todd K. Larsen Coach of the Year Award – I want you all to know that everyone has a part of that award.

I would also like to thank everyone that wrote in a letter of rec to the ISL committee. I had the chance to read all of them today and I feel very proud, blessed, and honored to have been looked up to as a role model rather than just a swim coach. I loved working with all of your children and have had the pleasure of watching some of them literally grow up to teenagers/young adults. Every kid was a pleasure to work with and all of them are great kids – a clear reflection of what wonderful parents all of you are. 

I promise to come back to home meets next year and maybe even crash in on Fun Fridays or other events (if that’s okay, of course). I know that whoever replaces me as Head Coach next year will carry out the Park Paseo traditions, cheers, and more that we have put in place for the past four years.

As I conclude my e-mail, I would love to see all of our Northstars continue the swim progress that they made this summer – either through water polo or a club swim team. I have an enormous amount of passion for both sports and it’s my hope that the kids continue it throughout the year. If you need any advice on clubs in the area – I would love to provide what I can and I also suggest contacting families that are already a part of these clubs.

I hope all of you enjoy the rest of your summers and have a wonderful rest of the year. I will miss all of the great moments that I’ve had as a coach of the Park Paseo Northstars but I will never forget them. 

And thank you to everyone that hid in those stands, made those signs/banners, and ultimately made my last day as the Northstars’ Coach a life moment that I will cherish forever. 

All the best,



Northstar Trophies and Slideshow

Hi Northstars,

What a big turn-out for our end of the season party! It is so nice to have gone from 8 boxes of trophies down to 1 box. I still have the trophies that were not picked up last night. Please e-mail me so we can set up a time to get your swimmers’ trophies to you.

I am missing the trophies for Hari and Ranjani. Please let me know if you happened to pick up their trophies to give to them. I am hoping that someone who will be seeing them soon picked them up!

If you would like to receive a copy of the slideshow that was shown yesterday evening, please let Jerry Cheng know. They will cost $5 and will be a little fundraiser for the Northstars team. You can contact Jerry at jerry@onetri.com. Jerry, I would definitely like to have a copy!

Thank you!


Champs details 2014

Hello Northstars,

Attached is a map of where our team tent is located. Look for PP. If the map does not come through, I will make it available through the team website. Please allow plenty of time for parking. ISL Parking is on Escolar Street (Irvine High School parking). No ISL parking allowed on Yale and Walnut; library, fine arts center, playground, tennis and basketball courts included. Irvine Police will be ticketing and towing. There were car break-ins in the past, so please do not leave any valuables in plain sight.

Swimmer and volunteer check-ins will be at our tent. Please be sure to check-out when you leave so that we do not have to go looking for your swimmer, in case they are about to miss their event(s).
If you made banners, please bring them to the team tent. I will bring the rest of the Goodie bags for those that have not claimed theirs.

At Champs tomorrow, there will be breakfast, compliments of Chick Fil-A, for swimmers and coaches, and limited amounts to families on a 1st come 1st serve basis.

All Northstars families are reminded to please pay close attention to the trash in our tent area. The penalty to our team, if we do not have our trash under control, will be $500 and we would also get trash duty come next year. The ISL will have people picking up trash bags throughout the day; we are responsible for bagging and placing our trash in the designated areas throughout the day. Extra trash bags are inside the bins.

I will issue yellow wrist bands to those that ordered Tacos for lunch.

And most importantly, please be safe, enjoy and swim fast.

Thank you to all our Northstars families for a wonderful swim season.

MAP of PP Tents

Go Northstars!

2014 Northstars Last E-mail before Champs

Hey Northstars,

I hope everyone is relaxing today, especially those of us going to the Irvine Swim League Championships tomorrow. Make sure to get plenty of sleep and to have your Northstar “carb-load” with pasta, bread, or something like that. Carb-loading the night before is always a good idea before a swim meet.

As I mentioned before, I would like for this to be our warm-up schedule:

Warm up
720am : Level 4 and 5
745am : Level 1
755am : Level 2
810am : Level 3

Because of these times, I would recommend showing up to Woollett between 6:30-6:45am. Although it’s early, parking is going to be stressful – which is why I’m stressing on making sure you plan enough time to get there, park, and get to the pool area on time. 

I would like ALL NORTHSTARS swimming in the first half events (medley relay, butterfly, backstroke, IM) to check in and show up between 6:45-7:00am

If you’re a 9-18 year old swimming in a second half event only (breastroke, freestyle, freestyle relay), then please show up at around 10:30am.

If you’re a 5-8 year old swimming in breastroke, please show up at 9:30am - but if you’re only swimming freestyle, please show up at 10:30am.

Remember, ISL gave out time estimations but the meet can always run quicker or longer. That’s why I put conservative times on when to get to the meet. I think arriving around 1.5 hours before your estimated event time should be reasonable. 

If you’re on Twitter and would like to pay attention to any announcements (specifically ready bench announcements), follow @irvswimleague

I’ll see everyone tomorrow morning!




Kyle Kim-E
Head Swim Coach
Park Paseo Northstars

End of the Season Party– Lunch Tables at Santiago Hills

Hi Northstars,

We are going to meet for dinner at the Santiago Hills lunch tables at 5:30 PM tomorrow evening. We do not have access to the inside of the club house this year because of the date change. The club house has been reserved by another homeowner. We are going to have dinner, the award ceremony, and the slideshow at the Santiago Hills lunch tables. However, we will be using the club house restrooms during the party. Please enter the restrooms by going through the pool gate and the outside restroom door instead of though the club house entrance since there will be another group inside.

We are expecting a big turn-out of Northstars families this year! 60 families will be attending. We are planning to begin the awards ceremony as soon as people have finished eating.

Good luck at Champs tomorrow! Go Northstars!


an Irvine Swim League team