White Rapids swimmers dive in

It’s that time of year, as the Nanaimo White Rapids are holding registration this weekend for the spring and summer season ahead.

It’s that time of year, as another popular Nanaimo sports organization is holding registration this weekend for the spring and summer season ahead.

The Nanaimo White Rapids Swim Club has been operating for nearly half a century in our city. It was formed back in 1966 and for the many years since then has offered top notch swim training to the Nanaimo community.

As the club’s mission statement explains, the Nanaimo White Rapids provide “coaching and organizational support for both recreational and competitive swimming and water polo. This family-centered youth swim club fosters social and skill development focusing on each athlete’s personal best, in a safe and fun community-based program.”

Instruction offered by the club includes the various swim strokes such as freestyle, back stroke, breast stroke and butterfly. There’s also instruction in diving and water polo for those who wish to try it. Most of the club’s swimming is outdoors, as NWRSC uses the Bowen Park Kin Pool which it operates in a co-management arrangement with the City of Nanaimo.

During the season, which runs from the beginning of May to the third week in August, there are fun and competitive swim meets in addition to practice times. An annual highlight is the club’s popular invitational meet which this year has been scheduled for June 28-30.

There are also social events, cross training and of course a chance for members to form new friendships. The club stresses commitment and team work, but the emphasis is placed on personal improvement rather than on winning. Encouragement is given in the pursuit of personal best times and in both physical and mental development.

Returning as president of the White Rapids Club this season is Russ Der.

Kevin Bourgeois is past president and Leah Johnson the vice president. Also on the executive are secretary Diane McGonigle and treasurer Sean O’Toole as well as Bernie Taekema, Kevin Bourgeois, Jo Anne Kossey, Amy Nowicki, Lynn Tissington and Don Goodman.

Head coach for the club this season is Gareth Saunders, with Ian Mattock the assistant coach. Senior club coaches are Byron Trajan, Courtney Poulin and Michelle Lorusso. Junior coaches are Vanessa Yates, Haley Price, Catherine Carriere Der and Ellen Taekema, while developmental coaches are Steven Moore and Riley Prout Holm.

Swimmers can register today (April 27) or tomorrow from noon-2 p.m. at Bowen Park’s Kin Pool. Newcomers are asked to bring a bathing suit, towel and goggles to demonstrate their ability. The swim club is for youth of all ages. There is no minimum age, but a member does need to be able to swim the width of the pool, unassisted, using a recognizable stroke.

The registration fee structure is $325 for the first swimmer from a family, $300 for a second family members and a $25 discount for each additional sibling.

Club members are divided into various age categories for training.

Practices are usually four times per week, with times set according to the different age levels.

The White Rapids Club also organizes public swim times, private rentals and birthday parties at the Kin Pool. As well, a set of Mini Rapids swim lessons will be offered during July and August at the pool. Sessions of beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons will be held, with registration for those lessons to happen on June 9.

For more information on Nanaimo White Rapids swim club programs, phone 250-753-8176 or e-mail nanaimowhiterapids@gmail.com.

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

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.