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Jim Ellis, Swim Coach and Subject of the Film ”PRIDE”, To Receive President’s Award

Fort Lauderdale – April 27, 2007

The International Swimming Hall of Fame announced today that Jim Ellis, long-time coach for the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and the subject of the recently released film, PRIDE, will receive the 2007 President’s Award during ISHOF’s 43rd Annual TOYOTA Honoree Induction Weekend, May 10-13, in Fort Lauderdale.  Coach Ellis will also participate in a panel discussion on “The Future of Swimming” on Saturday May 12, at 11 AM.  All events will take place at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Jim Ellis is a swim coach and youth mentor who built a successful swimming program in one of Philadelphia’s most impoverished neighborhoods in the 1970s. When Ellis founded the P.D.R. swim team in 1971, it was a time when the lives of young African-American teens in Philadelphia were often full of hardship and prejudice. P.D.R. has gone on to be one of the most successful swim programs in USA Swimming.  Ellis is being recognized not only for his accomplishments as a coach and mentor, but bringing his personal story to the Big Screen.

“Jim is a remarkable individual with a remarkable story to tell,” said Bruce Wigo, CEO of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  “We all share Jim’s dream that PRIDE  will serve as an inspiration for more African Americans and everyone who sees the film to share his love of swimming,”

PRIDE, which opened in theaters March 23rd, stars recent Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Hustle and Flow, Crash, Ray), popular comedian turned actor Bernie Mac (The Bernie Mac Show, Kings of Comedy, Ocean’s Eleven), and Kimberly Elise (star of CBS series Close to Home).

The President’s Award, recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions to promote the mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame opened in 1965 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as the first amateur sports hall of fame and the first international sports hall of fame in the world.  ISHOF’s mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of children.  For more information ISHOF or the 43rd Annual TOYOTA Honoree Induction Weekend, call 954-462-6536, or visit www.ishof.org
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