Kaitlyn Bendfeld takes part in the Tsunamis Swim-a-Thon at Stettler Pool on Tuesday

Kaitlyn Bendfeld takes part in the Tsunamis Swim-a-Thon at Stettler Pool on Tuesday

Tsunamis Swim-a-Thon raises over $4K for swim club

Swimmers collected pledges from friends and family in the weeks leading up to the event.

The Stettler Tsunamis Swim Club took over the Stettler swimming pool on Tuesday, April 18 for their Swim-a-Thon fundraiser.

This year, the swim club raised a total of $4,085.05, which they will use to cover expenses for activities such as swim meets and practice sessions.

Based on the work involved, this amount was well earned, according to Charlene Baharally, one of the swim club’s three coaches.

“The kids were exhausted but they earned a lot,” Baharally said.

The object for each of the 19 swimmers who took part in the Swim-a-Thon was to swim for two hours or reach 200 lengths.

Swimmers of varying skill levels from ages six to 16 competed to set their own personal best records.

“Each of the swimmers had their own personal goal, and I think they all managed to reach it, which was our main focus,” Baharally said.

All together, the 19 swimmers completed a total of 2,606 lengths.

The swimmers were divided into three categories: junior, intermediate and senior.

“A lot of them are swimming for their first year and some have been swimming up to four years,” Baharally commented.

Three swimmers from the senior category, Jaden Norman, Laura Smith and Emily Van Esch reached 200 lengths.

Norman was the first to reach 200 lengths with a time of 1 hour 53 minutes and 55 seconds, followed by Smith at 1 hour 58 minutes and 31 seconds and Van Esch at 1 hour 59 minutes and 4 seconds.

The top junior swimmer was James Morris, who completed 117 lengths, and in the intermediate category, Sadie Thebeau and Josh Nixon shared the top honours.

In addition to the hard work in the pool, the kids also put in a lot of effort to secure pledges leading up to the event.

“They’ve been fundraising for the Swim-a-Thon for the last month,” Baharally explained. “They collected pledges from grandparents and parents and friends and family.”

Stettler’s swim club hasn’t always been running as strong as it is now, Baharally explained, but with increased membership and a new team name this year, the Tsunamis are getting serious about competition.

“We try to attend one swim meet every month,” Baharally noted.

The team has attended meets in places such as Edmonton, Calgary, Ponoka and Rocky Mountain House, and on Saturday, May 29, they will be hosting a swim meet at home in Stettler.

“With our club building, we thought the Swim-a-Thon would be a good way to give the swimmers a challenge and get our name out in the community and let people know that we’re growing again,” Baharally commented.