Hello! I’m Kendyl Stewart.
Hi! I’m Kendyl Stewart. I am the co-founder of PoolsNearMe, and I’m responsible for everything you see on this website. As an ex-professional swimmer representing Team USA, I know what to look for when it comes to pools and swimming both competitively and recreationally.
I was raised in a Southern California beach town, and began swimming lessons early in order to stay safe in the ocean. Growing up, I spent summers between the pool, the beach, and lakes on the West Coast. Competitive swimming quickly became my passion- not only was I progressingly quickly for my age, but I also absolutely loved being in and around the water.
In 2008, I was the youngest to qualify for US Olympic Team Trials ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games. I went on to represent the USA Swimming National Youth Team in high school, and in college, swam for University of Southern California as a team captain. In 2013, I made my first USA Swimming National Team, marking the beginning of a tenured career as one of the most dominant butterfly swimmers in the country and world. I represented the Los Angeles Current in Seasons 1 and 2 of the new International Swimming League, and retired from professional sport during the pandemic in 2021.
Why did I start PoolsNearMe?
The experiences swimming has given me are what I appreciate the most- much more than the podium finishes. I have met all my closest friends through swimming, and traveled to places across the world that I otherwise would have never seen. Swimming has taught me discipline, leadership, heartbreak and the importance of introspection and life balance. Hours spent in the water gave me invaluable time for personal reflection, peace and quiet in an otherwise hectic everyday life, and time to focus on myself, my goals, and my ambitions- in and out of the water.
The closure of pools and postponement of competition during the COVID pandemic gave me a lot of time to reflect on what an important role swimming has played in my life, and how much being in the water contributed to the person I am today. When we all had to stay at home to stay safe, I realised what a huge hole was left in my life when swimming was not available to me.
I promised myself that once the pandemic was over, I wouldn’t ever take our public swimming pools for granted again. More than that, I was determined to inspire more people to find the joy in swimming that I’ve been lucky enough to experience personally and professionally during my life. PoolsNearMe is an effort to make swimming more accessible to everyone, a place to easily find pools to exercise in, spend time with family, and take time for yourself.
2018 SCM World
2019 Pan American
“Even after my competitive career, getting in the water remains a priority- it’s medicine to my mind and body. I’d love to help make that more easily accessible to everyone. ”
THEMAGIC5 and PoolsNearMe
PoolsNearMe is developed in connection to THEMAGIC5- a brand thats touchstone is the creation of a better swimming experience. THEMAGIC5 celebrates the uniqueness of every individual, and helps bring us all to the pool together – and is a natural partner for PoolsNearMe.
Thanks for coming! Please get in touch with any questions.