The Stettler Tsunamis are looking to take the competitive swimming world by storm, and started with their competition in Edmonton on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Almost every swimmer from the club competed, according to Stettler Swim Club President Sarah Halverson.
Natasha Smith took second place in the 200-metre individual medley in the 11-12 year-old category, and took third place in the 50-metre fly. Jessica Schmucki took second place in the 200-metre individual medley in the 10-and-under category, and Elizabeth Morton took third place in the 25-metre breast stroke in the 10-and-under category.
The club has 24 kids in its competitive programs, plus five in the introduction to competitive swimming pre-program, Halverson said. The club is looking at recruiting more youth for competitive swimming, Halverson explained, in the hopes that the Tsunamis can look to running a full winter year of swimming – from September to June. Right now, the Stettler club runs from September to April.
“I think (competitive swimming) is the type of sport where kids who don’t want to play contact sports, or want to compete more against themselves can find fulfillment,” Halverson said, explaining that while swimmers compete against other swimmers, the end goal is always to reach a better time than the previous one.
“It’s a good sport for people who want to improve their health, too,” she noted. “I’ve been swimming lengths in the morning, and I see improvement.”
According to Halverson, that was a goal the Tsunamis met when they entered the pool at Grant MacEwin on Nov. 5.
“The majority of kids had personal bests,” she said.
Halverson became involved in the club when her daughter began to swim with them, and is in her first year of presidency. Much of the club’s board is new this year, she added.
With the help of Head Coach Rebecca Boxma, Coach Charlene Baharally, and Junior Coach Taylor Perkins, Halverson said she hopes to see the club not just succeed, but flourish.
Training happens every Tuesday and Thursday from 4:30-6 p.m., and a full year costs $650. The year is broken into sessions, which means youth can join at various points in the year, and pay the pro-rated fee. The next session starts in January.
The really friendly atmosphere is a boon, too, Halverson said, with elder swimmers taking the younger ones under their wings.
“There’s lots of techniques they need to learn,” Halverson said. “It amazes me how fast they learn.”
The next competition is in Ponoka from Dec. 10-11.