The pool is ready to open, registration is happening and members are set to celebrate a golden anniversary. The Nanaimo White Rapids Summer Swim Club is about to begin another spring and summer swimming season and it’s a special one as the club is marking its 50th year of operation.
The club was formed back in 1966 and in the years since then has established a reputation for providing top-notch swimming instruction in an enjoyable atmosphere of camaraderie. It is a non-profit, parent-run competitive club that has a training season from May until mid-August. Headquarters is the heated Kin Pool in Bowen Park, which the club operates in a co-management arrangement with the City of Nanaimo.
As a member of the B.C. Summer Swim Association, the White Rapids offers training and a series of meets for competitive young swimmers. The experienced coaching staff is led this year by co-head coaches Byron Trajan and Courtney Poulin, along with assistant coach Vanessa Yates. Senior coaches are Eliza McGuire, Taylor Snowden-Richardson and Baylee Munro and junior coach is Nyree McGonigle. Senior development coaches for the coming year are Andrew MacLeod, Jessica King and Hamish Macmillan, while junior development coaches are Ava Johnson, Erin O’Sullivan, Delaney O’Toole and Katrina Rivers.
Swimmers are given instruction not only in the technical aspects of the various swim strokes, but also in endurance and swim meet procedures.
Swim meets are a large part of summer swimming and are scheduled around Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland during the season. Meets are not mandatory, but they are seen as a great way for swimmers to see improvement and build friendships with teammates and swimmers from other clubs. In the White Rapids, emphasis is placed on personal improvement rather than on winning and club objectives promote both physical and mental development.
Heading up the White Rapids executive again this year is president Leah Johnson. Russ Der is on the executive as past-president, along with vice-president Don Goodman. Sean O’Toole is the treasurer and Diane McGonigle is club secretary. Other directors are Melissa Todd, Craig Rivers, Shauna Kazell and Laurel Laturnus. Registrar for the club is Michelle James and she’ll be busy this coming weekend as registration is being held on Saturday and Sunday (April 23-24), from noon until 2 p.m. both days at Kin Pool. Those who are new to the club will need to bring their birth certificate and care card, as well as a bathing suit and towel in order to demonstrate swimming requirements. There is no minimum age for joining, but swimmers must be able to swim a width of the pool unassisted using a recognizable stroke.
It should be noted that the Kin Pool is open to the public during the summer, under the direction of pool manager Amanda Stull. There is a weekly schedule of everyone welcome drop-in swims, shallow water aquafit sessions, a sunrise adult swim group and also times for drop-in adult water polo. There are public swimming sessions, mini rapids swim lessons and the pool can also be rented for private functions.
More information is available at www.teamunify.com/cannwrsc.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.