BY IAN THORPE
The pool is ready, registration is being held and another season of spring and summer swimming is about to get underway. Which means that members of the Nanaimo White Rapids swim club are ready and eager to take the plunge!
Now heading into its 53rd year of operation, NWRSC is a non-profit, parent-run, competitive summer swim club that was formed back in 1965. Its emphasis has always been on personal improvement, encouraging physical and mental development of athletes and developing friendships through swimming.
Returning as president of the White Rapids this season is Laurel Laturnus, assisted by vice-president Chris Boulding and past president Leah Johnson. Sarah Segal is the secretary, Sean O’Toole the treasurer and Rob Richards looks after registration. Other directors are Travis Telfer, Kate Palmer, Nicole Barberie, Dave Morch, Renay Deschambault, Cheryl Morch, David Say, Crystal Duffell, Tammy Toor, Andrey Growcott and Carly Williams.
The club operates from the heated outdoor Kin Pool in Bowen Park, thanks to a co-management agreement with the City of Nanaimo. NWRSC operates a competitive summer swimming program as a member club of the B.C. Summer Swimming Association. The program offers an intensive training program from May through August with local, regional and provincial championship meets. Swimmers are coached in the technical aspect of all four strokes, endurance and swim meet procedures.
Swim meets play a large part in summer swimming. They are not mandatory for members, but swimmers are encouraged to take part as a way to see self-improvement and build friendships with teammates and swimmers from other clubs. The White Rapids will kick off the season by hosting their annual Blue and White club meet on May 25. Then the Vancouver Island Region Summer Swim Meet schedule begins June 1-2.
On deck to assist swimmers this year is a large group of club coaches. Leading the way is head coach Baylee Munroe, along with assistant head coach Steven Moore. Senior coaches are Em McGibbon and Lee Vanden Ham and intermediate coaches are Dima Bobkov, Ava Johnson and Finn Bodnor. Sophia Schellinck, Arada Barclay, Connor McIntyre and Eric Labas will serve as junior coaches. Senior development coaches are Nyah De Pol, Kayley Morch, Cameron Laturnus and Abby Pallard, while junior development coaches are Ella Page, Isabella Richards, Isabelle Parsons and Sophie Peer.
In addition to the competitive program, NWRSC offers the Mini Rapids Swim Lesson program during July and August, offering lessons for beginners to advanced swimmers. Public swim session are available during weekends in June and throughout the week in July and August.
Registration for swimmers interested in joining the White Rapids can be done online. However, any new swimmers to the club must attend a short in-pool evaluation at the Kin Pool April 29-30 between 4-6 p.m. New members are asked to bring proof of age along with a swimsuit and towel. There is no minimum age to join, but members need to be able to swim a width of the pool unassisted, using a recognized stroke..
To find out more about registration, or about Nanaimo White Rapids Swim Club programs, visit www.teamunify.com/team/cannwrsc.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.