December 27, 2010

Jose Cerda Navarro Aquatic Foundation


MISSION: Non-profit fund aimed at 1) supporting and assisting water polo and swim teams and students who participate in these teams, 2) fostering unity among water polo and swim teams and 3) improving competitiveness of water polo and swim teams in the state of Ohio in memory of Jose Cerda. This foundation wants to honor Jose by carrying on his memory, his life’s work and what he believed in: give to others selflessly touching as many lives as possible; for love is the basis of spiritual growth.


PURPOSE: To memorialize Jose Cerda, a life-time swimmer who developed a passion for the sport of water polo.  Jose passed away while swimming on October 26th, 2010, the day of his 18th birthday.


Jose had a strong desire for self-improvement throughout his life.  Although he missed the sectional cut in 100 back by 0.01 sec in spring, 2010, this set back only made him work even harder to pursue his goals.  At the time of his death, he was training to make it to the short-course Swim State competition in 100-back, his favorite style and race.  He not only set goals for himself but challenged his fellow mates. Jose had envisioned a dream high school swim relay for his senior year and energized himself and his team mates to work towards achieving a champion relay.


Jose developed his swimming skills with the Sycamore Flying Fish, a club team.  He increased his love of the sport and commitment while swimming with his high school team.  He then joined the Cincinnati Marlins, an elite club team, to continue challenging himself in his belief that Marlin swimmers pushed each other together in daily practices to improve their times. Swimming provided Jose the discipline, work ethics and environment to develop his character, his social skills and lifestyle; in essence the foundation to form the outstanding citizen he became in and out of the pool.


 In his senior year, aware of the void the former seniors left in the Sycamore water polo team, Jose took upon himself the need to develop his skills and those of his team mates by joining summer camps like the MOOSE and by inviting other team mates to attend a camp in California.  After the trip, with newly-acquired skills and confidence, Jose rallied his team mates to maintain their skills with weekend practices at the MSTC and the Blue Ash Y. His dedication to the team was also evident in the words of encouragement he always had for fellow players.  Jose’s sense of humor, agreeable nature and happy disposition greatly contributed to his team members’ camaraderie and their passion and commitment for both water polo and swimming.


 Jose’s passing has brought sport teams and team members closer together.  This foundation wishes to maintain the magic of that moment, in which the best elements of humanity were exhibited: all sport teams, water polo players and swimmers came together ‘as one’, exhibiting great camaraderie, unity, respect, support, commitment and integrity.  







GOALS: This foundation intends to be perpetual, with measurable annual contributions to both sports – swimming and water polo. A short-term goal, to be achieved by the first anniversary of Jose’s passing, is to make a contribution at the local level to the communities that developed him; ideally in an area that is of common interest to water polo and swimming in the Cincinnati area.  Longer term, this foundation intends to contribute to each sport and to expand its reach across the state of Ohio.



  • Aim at benefiting /reaching the largest amount of beneficiaries at once.
  • Foster unity among water polo and swim teams across Ohio.
  • Aim at identifying synergies between the sports of swimming and water polo. Adequately handled, Water polo can complement a high-performing swimmer.
  • Fundraising activities to be held yearly to make the foundation self-sustaining. Funds donated to swimming can only be dedicated to this sport; likewise for water polo.  Proper accounting practices required to keep separate records of funds for swimming and water polo within the same foundation.
  • Trustees and Officers in charge of reviewing proposals and making recommendations on programs to be funded by this Foundation should have representation of parents with swimmers or water polo players active in high-school programs.



  • Other 501(c)(3) organizations, which may in turn donate to qualified individual recipients to help advance their progress.
  • Funds to be used on students at pre-College level.
  • Swimming:  Students must participate in high school swim programs. Club-only swimmers are not eligible.
  • Water polo:  Junior High students who are club swimmers, high school swimmers or water polo players active in a school or club program.
  • Beneficiaries should exhibit a desire to improve own skills, show dedication to his team and camaraderie with his team mates.
  • Recipients who have benefited from the Fund are not excluded to participate in future.
  • Recipients should have a GPA of 3.3 or above.