Scholarship Honors Late CYO Swim Coach

coyne-1_cmykThe Swim Strong Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that seeks to save lives through the sport of swimming, plans to establish a scholarship fund in honor of Helen Coyne, who passed away Oct. 14 at the age of 91.

Coyne started the girls’ Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) swim program at St. Sebastian, Woodside, in 1965 to ensure girls were being provided the same as opportunities as boys. She was tasked with recruiting new members, training the swimmers and developing a coaching staff.

Her teams won 14 consecutive diocesan titles and a total of 150 swim meets in her 22-year coaching career. She was part of the CYO Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015.

“Helen made a difference in so many young women’s lives,” said Shawn Slevin, another former St. Sebastian swim coach as well as the founder of the Swim Strong Foundation. “She had no daughters of her own, but through her work with St. Sebastian’s, she had 45 to 100 daughters every year.”

Donations to the scholarship fund may be made at

Obituary: Helen Coyne