Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Water Polo coach (and former student) is living out her dream

    Laney College’s women’s water polo team may have stumbled out of the gate early in the season, but their head coach Elizabeth Flynn is living a dream in her first year in command.
    Flynn’s journey to Laney is atypical to that of a normal coach. It starts more than 3,000 miles away from the Laney campus in Oakland. Flynn’s love for water polo started as a kid in, a small town just miles from Syracuse, NY, nestled in a small community in upstate New York, south of Canada.
    Lack of opportunities to swim coupled with a love of math eventually led Flynn to abandon the dream of swimming altogether. She went on to attend nearby Syracuse University, earning both a bachelors and masters degree in bioengineering
    Flynn went on to become a teacher upon graduation; her teaching career brought her to the Bay Area, where she became an eighth grade math teacher within the Oakland Unified School District. Unhappy with her teaching career, Flynn found herself in search of something different. It just so happened that her drive home every night passed by a place that brought back a familiar feeling: the Laney swimming pool.
    “I used to pass by the pool all the time,” Flynn remembers from her office on campus adjacent from the school’s pool. “I ended up signing up for summer PE [classes] shortly after.”
    Inspired, she enrolled in a water polo PE class on campus. Two years later, Flynn not only enrolled full-time at Laney; she also joined the water polo team as a 30-year-old freshman.
    Flynn took on the role of mentor to the team, offering advice to her teammates on life outside of school, even helping some with their math homework.
    “I even helped them with papers,” she proudly remembers.
    After her college career ended, Flynn began a career in coaching, working under the previous Laney coach, Sarah Stretch.
    “I just felt very comfortable [at Laney], it’s kind of like a second home.”
    Today, she sits in the head coach’s seat and though the season hasn’t started the way she would like, Flynn still finds optimism in what the future has in store for her.
    “We’ve had some good games.”

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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