The KISU swim club is going back to basics with their first swim meet five weeks away.
Coach Tina Hoeben is making sure all the swimmers strokes and body position in the water are solid, while taking care of a few small details before training gets going.
“Have building blocks in place,” said Hoeben.
While Hoeben works on those key areas with the group, there are minor events for the swimmers to be ready for their host meet scheduled for Oct. 18 to 20. Among those will be to teach a detailed strategy for the 50-metre freestyle and get rid of the swimmers cobwebs.
Two things excite Hoeben about the upcoming season. Their swim academy, which enters its second year, and the addition of coaches Theresa Zunich and Sue Logan.
Last year the program started with 13 kids, but this year is full at 25.
“Those kids are all excited to be out there. I’m excited to have them swimming in there. A big energy in the group,” said Hoeben. “I think that’s trickling down.”
For the kids in the academy, one of the benefits is better pool times that allow them to come in at 2 p.m. It provides flexibility to be involved with school sports should they choose or get other things done.
“Those kids that make a huge commitment to swimming, we’ve been able to adjust their timetables,” said Hoeben, adding that the swimmers receive a physical education credit. “It’s a great atmosphere to be in.”
As for coaching, Zunich joined KISU from Kamloops and also coached in Nova Scotia. She is working with the junior group.
“She’s over qualified for that job,” said Hoeben. “It’s really nice to have someone who has had experience coaching the top end also now coaching the bottom end. They know all the skills that are important. Coaching all the skills we know we need to have.”
“I’m really excited about it. It’s been a great team and I love Penticton and any kind of kids are great,” said Zunich, who is working six days a week on a one-year contract. “Tina offered me a position with the team and I snapped it up.”
Zunich’s focus is helping the swimmers learn their strokes before they move on. She started on Monday and said their response to her has been fine.
“They are lovely,” said Zunich. “We’ve already bonded. They are excited to be here.”
Zunich said the main goal with the kids is to have them completing the 200 individual medley in under four minutes.
Logan is working with the age group swimmers and Hoeben said she is overqualified for the position as well.
“I’m really thrilled to have this very qualified staff,” said Hoeben. “I think she will be a great asset to our club.”