By Sara Whitney
Pride, determination and resilience is what it takes to be on top of your game and on top of your life. This is the main message of "Pride," a movie based on the inspiring true story of PDR Coach Jim Ellis, a college-educated African American who, in 1974, started an all African-American competitive swim team in one of the worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia.
PDR is originally the acronym for the Philadelphia Department of Recreation. At the beginning of the movie, the department gives out-of-work Ellis a job cleaning out the run-down Marcus Foster Recreation Center in preparation for its demolition. But while cleaning, Ellis decides to clean and refill the pool, which gives him a chance to practice his old swimming skills. It also sparks the interest of a few of the neighborhood kids to start a team and compete in meets.
Ellis’ love of swimming and his commitment to education give the kids that he coaches someone to look up to in the community. He also serves as a protector from the dealers, pimps and other lowlifes who threaten to steer the kids down the road of crime. He also instills in them good sportsmanship, self-confidence and appreciation for school, and of course pride, determination and resilience.
"Pride" is the classic overcoming-the-odds sports story about struggling to play your best and overcome social obstacles; but despite the tried-and-true premise, your heart still races at every meet.