Orange Lutheran senior swimmer Felicity Holdsworth has traveled a long road to get to where she is today in her sport. She’s a kid who has been in the water since before she could walk, where lessons taught for pool safety quickly turned into competitive races. And she has loved it all.
“I just love competing,” says Holdsworth. “I may have sacrificed a lot…but honestly, swim is just my life.”
When her years of six-day-a-week practices as a distance swimmer came to a screeching halt last spring due to Covid-19, Holdsworth found a way to continue training by utilizing a neighbor’s pool. The kindness and generosity extended to her helped her both mentally and physically.
“All of a sudden when everything shut down, I knew I couldn’t stop and get out of shape,” says the 18-year old. “My dream was to swim (NCAA) D1.”
A worldwide pandemic has not been the only hurdle Holdsworth has faced in her pursuit of swimming at the collegiate level. After she transferred to OLu during her sophomore year, she had to sit out from high school competition due to CIF rules. She also rehabilitated through knee surgery. And just as she was back in the pool last fall preparing for her senior season, she was in a severe car accident that left her with a concussion.
Now on the road to recovery, Holdsworth is focused on finally swimming for the Lancers and getting her conditioning and times back to where they were before the accident. Her patience and persistence have paid off as she is headed to California Baptist University in the fall as a Division 1 swimmer.
“Felicity has been a great ambassador for our team,” says OLu swim head coach, Ed Carerra. “We look forward to her continuing her success at the collegiate level.”
Despite all the hardships she has faced, Holdsworth knows her challenges could have been much worse, and she is grateful for the chance to still compete. Her college commitment is a dream fulfilled and one in which she gives all glory to God.
“God has a reason for giving me all of these challenges,” says Holdsworth. “He wants me to become stronger…Now I have all this untapped potential going into college. I know by training so hard and learning from all that hard work and mental toughness that I’ve learned over the years, I’m able to work extra hard. He was there to prepare me. And being there through my toughest days…and having him by my side has been so rewarding and so helpful. You can see how God works in so many different ways.”
As a transfer student, OLu’s Ignite program helped Holdsworth transition into a new environment, and as a way of giving back, she has served as an Ignite Mentor for two years, assisting both freshmen and other transfer students as they acclimate to their new school home.
Additionally, Holdsworth has been active in the swim community through several years of involvement with the Special Olympics as a head volunteer, an effort that continually renews her love for the sport.
As she embarks on her next chapter at CBU, Holdsworth plans to study business entrepreneurship and will begin training with the team in the fall. She is thankful for her mother, the driving force behind her competitive nature and her never quit attitude.
“I love her because she’s such an inspiration for people around her,” says Holdsworth of her mom. “I always look up to her. She’s kind; she’s loving; she’s comforting. Any good quality you want out of a person, she has it. I’m so lucky to have her. She’s the best mom I could ever ask for.”