In the Face of Adversity, Webb’s Tornadoes Swim Team Supports Teammate and MGH 


Sarah Smith

The Former Hingham Highschool Graduate, HHS Swim Captain, and Webbs Captain, Sarah Smith is currently working at the ICU at Mass General Hospital. Join the Hingham High Community in celebrating her courage!

Mary Kelly Prosky Gilbert, Photography Editor

COVID-19 is drastically impacting the lives of many Americans. Every day, new updates and predictions are broadcasted, introducing HHS students and students across the nation to a new normal. While school programming has shifted to a virtual learning environment, our community has come together in many ways to fight this battle.

For the Webb’s Tornadoes Swim Team, located in Norwell, Massachusetts, COVID-19 put a sudden pause on their long course swim season. In the weeks following the national pool closures, swim coaches around the country met virtually to develop a plan of action to keep their athletes active.

However, for the Webb’s community, this pandemic hit closer to home, as former Captain and 2017 HHS Graduate, Sarah Smith, is involved on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. Smith is currently a Junior at Northeastern University’s nursing program, and while the rest of the world is sheltering in place, Smith is courageously joining other nurses and doctors in the ICU at Mass General Hospital. 

Smith explains, “working with the nurses and doctors at MGH has opened my eyes to a community not many people get to be a part of. I am so grateful to be able to work with people who would risk their own health to help others. They are courageous, caring, and dedicated. Being on the frontlines during this is definitely scary but has made me want to become a nurse and pursue my career in healthcare even more. I believe that although we are all apart physically, we can all get through this together. “ 

Smith’s meaningful words and heroic actions gave an extra incentive to the Webb’s community to give back to healthcare workers in any way they could, sparking a program to both keep these athletes active while giving back to a bigger cause. 

In Webb’s Musical Fitness Challenge, swimmers were challenged to complete two fitness challenges a day. Smith’s teammates did not hesitate to support their former captain, posting their own videos on social media to encourage others to join the cause, donating all proceeds to the nurses, doctors, and first responders at MGH.

“The Webb’s dry land challenge not only allowed the whole team to raise a considerable amount of money for the extraordinary healthcare workers at MGH,” states Elizabeth Galicki, one of Webb’s Captain and Junior at Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree. She adds, “it also motivated the Webb’s Tornadoes swimmers to stay active and healthy in the comfort of their own homes.”

Adding to Galicki’s statement, HHS Junior PJ Harrington remarks, “it gave us something fun and rewarding to do in a difficult time, while also helping to make a difference in our community.” Ella Richards from St. Paul School contests, “It was really cool to see when all of us worked together, we were capable of helping the nurses and doctors at MGH.” 

In just seven days, the challenge proved to be a major success. Head Coach Bill Edward reflects, “our goal was $1,500. We ended up raising $3,000 with 36 people donating! We are trying to have the funds donated in Sarah’s name.” This small yet wildly successful fundraiser proves that any small contribution can make such an incredible impact when fighting this pandemic.  

Just like many other teams across the nation, the Tornadoes have taken the “Just Keep Swimming,” motto to heart, attempting anyway they can to stay active while pools and gyms remain closed.  

Coach Edward explains, “as a team, we are trying to stay in top shape to be ready to go when our pool at Webb’s Pro fitness re-opens. The senior group swimmers are working incredibly hard with me supervising them via zoom. We are currently working out 4 days/week 1.5 hours/workout, broken into 2 groups. Our younger swimmers are working out at home with a fun program that we came up with called ‘workout from a hat’ where the athletes pick an exercise out of a hat. All of these athletes are incredibly dedicated and I couldn’t be prouder of them!” 

This is just one example of hope sprouting in a time riddled with anxiety, reminding the world that although COVID-19 may drastically shift our daily lives, it can not stop communities from coming together to help ease the transition into this new normal. 

If you are interested in donating to the Webb’s Tornadoes fund for Mass General Hospital, please visit