The Nanaimo White Rapids summer swim club had another super season despite the challenges of COVID health restrictions, says columnist.

The Nanaimo White Rapids summer swim club had another super season despite the challenges of COVID health restrictions, says columnist.

White Rapids swim club athletes show improvement, win races

Nanaimo summer swim club won virtual provincial meet


The summer swim season may be over, but we’re jumping back in the water this week to recognize another successful year of operation for members of the Nanaimo White Rapids.

The summer swim club that trains in the outdoor Kin Pool in Bowen Park had another super season despite the challenges of COVID health restrictions. That season was capped off with the local club capturing first place in the B.C. Summer Swimming Association provincial championships. Held virtually this year, the provincials involved over 1,500 swimmers representing 36 clubs from around the province in all age categories of competition.

White Rapids swimmers recorded a number of personal best times and provincial gold medals. Enough, in fact, to earn 547 points and the provincial title. Impressively, three White Rapids swimmers placed in the top five for individual point earners: Taylor McPherson was first overall with 54 points, Colton Gonzales was in a three-way tie for second with 52 points and Oliver Orton was fifth with 48 points.

As noteworthy as the provincial successes were, just as important were the individual achievements by all club members as they improved every week during a challenging season. Those accomplishments were celebrated at the club’s annual general meeting and year-end awards ceremony held recently. My thanks to White Rapids president Kate Palmer for passing along the highlights…

Among the awards handed out were those for outstanding swimmers by division. Recipients were Jasmine Lowe-Peters and Finn Jakobsen from the Div. 1 age group. Lila Barberie and Evander Huston were chosen from Div. 2 and Raine Deschambault and Elijah Collishaw from Div. 3. Winners from Div. 4 were Amariah Zult and Nathan Nakagawa, while Reese Deschambault and Aiden Telfer were winners from Div. 5. Most outstanding from Div. 6-plus were Nyah DePol and Dylan Barberie and Taylor McPherson and Colton Gonzales from the Category O swimmers. Recognized as outstanding swimmers overall were Faith Telfer for junior girls, Daniel Nakagawa for junior boys, Danielle Barberie from senior girls and Lukas Elzinga from senior boys.

Named as most improved swimmers over the course of the season were Sydney Leggett, Hadley Palmer, Owen Wetklo, Ember Vaitekunas, Jakob Rajchert, Eva Blackburn, Tycho Thibault, Namiye Barber, Connor Goerzen, Avari Dodd, Drew Duffell, Isabelle Parsons and Brent Williams.

From the club members experiencing their first year in a competitive swim club, top novice swimmer awards went to Laina Romanik and Xavier Huston.

Sportsmanship awards were presented to Audrey Palmer from junior girls, James Boulding from junior boys, Aia Segal from senior girls and Jack Mace from senior boys. Most dedicated water polo player was Michell Gauthier and outstanding attendance awards were highlighted by Hadley Palmer, Jasmine Schellink and Hudson Palmer – each with perfect 100 per cent attendance on the season.

Work ethic awards were given to club members Maximus Gadsby, Wren Vaitekunas, Kamma Romanik, Gabe Parsons, Chase Goerzen, Eden Segal, Piper Collishaw, Hannah Duffell, Miia Rajchert, Stellan Kydd, Finley Lowe-Peters, River Deschambault, Logan Growcott, Clare Boulding, Emiliya Taylor-Savard, Bryan Moore and Kennadie Sheppard.

New club records were set this past year by Taylor McPherson, Danielle Barberie, Kennadie Sheppard, Colton Gonzales, Faith Telfer, Taylor McPherson, Kelana Cottrell and Raine Deschambault. Recognized as having set new regional records in the pool were Danielle Barberie, Tayden DePol, Lukas Elzinga, Colton Gonzales, Taylor McPherson, Oliver Orton, Jasmine Schellinck and Kennadie Sheppard.

The final award of the evening, the prestigious Marge Dudley Award named in honour of the club’s first president, was presented to Sophie Peer for her overall dedication to the sport.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.