BY IAN THORPE
Our city is fortunate to have two youth swim clubs, allowing those who love the water to enjoy the sport year-round if they wish. During the spring and summer, the Nanaimo White Rapids Club, a member of the B.C. Summer Swimming Association, operates mainly from the outdoor Kin Pool in Bowen Park. And during fall and winter, the Nanaimo Riptides Swim Team offers recreational and competitive programs held at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre.
More on the White Rapids in a future column. This week we’ll focus on the Riptides team, which is heading into another busy season. That season actually began at the end of September, but registration is still ongoing for youths ages 7-19 in a wide variety of programs which can be viewed on the club website at www.nanaimoriptides.com.
Just prior to the start of the fall season, the Riptides held their annual general meeting. Returning as club president for the year ahead is Marcel van den Berg, assisted by vice-president Cheryl Morch. Also on the board of directors are treasurer Lisa Cajolet, secretary Kristen Catton, and Tanya Evans, Sean Pendergast and Erin McPherson.
The AGM was also the opportunity to recognize the achievements of club swimmers from the 2021-22 season, and my thanks to club administrator Katrina Pellegrino for passing along the highlights…
Last season, the Riptides could boast of having 538 registered members. At the club’s awards night, the most improved category honoured Ashton McGuire in the developmental age group. In the junior division, Jack Fergus was most improved along with Keana Paproski, Charlotte Christensen, Cassia Riendl-Ling and Kailyn Paproski. In the 13-and-over division, Winona Wang was the major winner and Kyle van den Berg, Meghan Lutz, Simone Widmeyer also received awards.
Recognition in the most diligent and dedicated category saw a major award go to Lilah Armstrong from the developmental age group. In the junior divison, winners were Grayson Riendl-Ling, Amani Hasni, Kelana Cottroll and Aaliyah Armstrong, with a major award given to Sylvia de Jong. From the senior group, Peyton Pearse was the major winner with Daniel Saunders, Jamie Sprott and Nicole Saunders also recognized as winners.
Top performance recognition was also given to boys and girls in each age division. Jack Fergus was the major award winner and Ryan van den Berg, Xander Macalister, Noah Lutz, Cameron Patterson, Peyton Pearse and River Roos were other winners.
For girls, Taylor McPherson was the major top performance winner among juniors while Zoey Flood, Rosanna White, Kelana Cottrell, Sylvia de Jong, Winona Wang and Devinn Moore also won awards.
Other awards presented included top individual performance awards to a boy and girl registering the fastest swim in the entire club last season. Winners were Peter Morch in the 100-metre freestyle event and Camryn Stannard in the 200m freestyle. As well, a major sportsmanship award was presented to Jamie Sprott.
Now, NRST looks ahead to the coming season, led by head coach Scott Flood, assistant head coach Roberta Roos, and competitive coaches Sidney Klaassen, Jasper Cottrell, and Brie Rhind. Next month, swimmers and spectators won’t want to miss the Ugly Sweater Swim Meet set for Dec. 17-18, and then the Riptides will host the Vancouver Island Regionals in the new year on Jan. 27-29. It promises to be another fun, successful season.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.