The younger group of the Selkirks Swim Club gathers in the pool at the Vernon Jamboree Swim Meet Nov. 3 to 4. (Barry Healey photo)

Young Shuswap swimmers dive into competition at the Vernon Jamboree

I Can Swim program introduces more youth to swimming

It’s taken nearly three years of planning and development, but the program for younger swimmers in the Selkirks Swim Club is starting to show a lot of promise.

Over the past three years, the club has gone from six swimmers in the “I Can Swim” program to having 30 swimmers. The program was designed to give young swimmers the chance to learn skills relating to swimming and earn awards for their progress.

While in the program the swimmers get the opportunity to take part in jamboree swim meets in the area, giving all the young swimmers a chance to show off their skills and race.

Related: Shuswap Selkirks bring home medals from season’s first meet

This past weekend, Nov. 3 to 4, the club took 23 swimmers to the Vernon Jamboree, and for many of the 23 swimmers it was their first swim meet.

More than 150 swimmers from the five clubs in the Okanagan-Shuswap area all sent swimmers to the meet.

Selkirks club swimmers entered more than 80 races over the weekend and at the end of the meet, they had improved in nearly every event.

Seven swimmers in particular were really impressive with their skills and efforts.

Leading the surge was Fin Skofteby, eight years old, who broke the club record for the 200m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 50m fly-stroke. Finn won the 100m freestyle, placed third in the 50m fly-stroke and won another third place in the 200m individual medley. Finn now moves up a level of swimming, having broken the four-minute time for the 200m individual medley.

Related: Sports council could present united athletic front in Salmon Arm

Cassia Franklin, 12 years old, also made the 200m individual medley time. She also won her heat in the 50m fly-stroke and was fourth in the 100m freestyle.

Sara Cosman, 10 years old, and Avery Anne Lega, nine years old, had an excellent meet with best times in all their events. Both girls are closing in on the 200m individual medley time and get closer to it each time they swim.

Some new members of the club had a very good start to their first swimming meet. Nico Miedema, 12, Julia Reid, 11, Clove Brooks, seven, Rebecca Perkins, six, Anna Scranton, 10, Aspen Tegart, nine, and Fin Hiller, nine, all swam great races. Nico actually swam fast enough to place in the top eight in all his events.

Coach Barry Healey was happy with all the swimmers, saying the skill level is getting better in each session and at each meet more swimmers are moving into the top eight spots.

“It’s always great to see new swimmers taking part in meets for the first time,” Healey says. “I am really impressed with how they raced, they all had fun and it’s great to see them receive awards and ribbons.”

The young Selkirks’ next meet will be in Kelowna on Nov. 18, and the next I Can Swim program will start early in January. For more information, visit the club’s website.


 

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