BY IAN THORPE
Near the end of last year I reviewed the past season of Nanaimo Riptides, the local fall and winter swim club based at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. As promised at that time, let’s now give equal space to the Nanaimo White Rapids Club which operates at the outdoor Kin Pool in Bowen Park during the spring and summer seasons.
The popular summer swim club recently held its annual general meeting, at which time awards were presented for the past season and election of officers was held to begin the planning for the year ahead. First to the elections, which saw Kate Palmer returned as club president for the 2023 season. Others on the executive are vice-president Mike Goerzen, secretary Terri Gauthier and treasurer Steve Cowie. Other directors are Mary Blackburn, Sarah Segal, Jaclyn Cleary, Crystal Linn, Amanda Watkins, Carly Williams, Landon Deibert and Julie Gibson. Club registrar for the season will be Mark Duffell, with sign-up for returning swimmers to start in March and for new members in April. Full details are on the White Rapids club’s website.
As for awards, the past summer season was a highly successful one for the White Rapids, both in terms of participation numbers and competitive results. There were new club records set at provincial and regional meets and the Rapids were a strong force at the B.C. Summer Swimming Association championships. With more than 200 members, an impressive number of team and individual accomplishments were celebrated at the awards ceremony and my thanks to Kate Palmer for passing along the highlights…
Among the awards handed out were those for outstanding swimmers by division. Recipients were Piper Collishaw and Edouard Fontaine from the Div. 1 age group.
Jasmine Lowe-Peters and Evander Huston were chosen from Div. 2 and Lila Barberie and Daniel Nakagawa from Div. 3. Winners from Div. 4 were Faith Telfer and Hudson Palmer, while Hannah Duffell and Mitchell Gauthier were winners from Div. 5. Most outstanding from Div. 6-8 were Reese Deschambault and Dylan Barberie, along with Kennadie Sheppard from O Category swimmers.
Recognized as outstanding swimmers overall were Hadley Palmer of junior girls, Gavin Kirk for junior boys, Danielle Barberie of the senior girls and Lukas Elzinga from senior boys.
Personal improvement is important at NWSC and awards were presented to recognize that. Chosen as most improved swimmers on the year past from various age divisions were Poppy Fontaine, Everett Buhr, Sydney Leggett, Xavier Huston, River Deschambault, Maximus Gadsby, Grace Lukaniuk, Isaiah Briese, Raine Deschambault, Elijah Collishaw, Elsa Romanik, Connor Goerzen, Hazel Elliot and Lars Lydersen.
Another valued attribute at the club is sportsmanship. For last season, sportsmanship awards were presented to Takaiah Zult from junior girls, Tieryn Taylor-Savard of the junior boys, Laura Mace of senior girls and Connor Blackburn from the ranks of senior boys.
Among other award winners, Mitchell Gauthier was recognized as most dedicated in water polo. From the new club members in their first year of competitive swimming, top novice awards went to Aryn Turchanski and Gavin Deibert.
As for new club records set last season, club members acknowledged for their individual performances included Reese Deschambault, Danielle Barberie, Kennadie Sheppard, Taylor McPherson, Peter Morch and Nicholas Bennett.
The final award of the celebration was the prestigious Marge Dudley Award. Named in honour of the club’s first president, the award went to Nyah De Pol for overall good citizenship, contributions and dedication to the sport of swimming.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair and show good sportsmanship.