Coach wants swimmers to learn from Olympians

KISU swim coach feels performances of Canadian Olympians in Rio can be valuable for swimmers this season

Tina Hoeben hopes the performances of a couple of Canadians at the Rio Olympics provides a spark to the KISU swim club.

“We always hope that the Olympics Games get people excited about swimming,” said Hoeben, as the swim club started training a couple of weeks ago. “Hoping for a little bump (in registration).”

Hoeben not only talks about swimmers in the Olympics, but she plans to about the class Canadian race walker Evan Dunfee showed when the bronze medal was taken away from him. Hoeben said he is a good role model. She was also impressed with Toronto’s swimmer Penny Oleksiak, 16.

“In that 100-metre freestyle, she just put her head down to the last 20-m, which is a hard thing. Half way through the race she is in seventh place, second to last. She ends up tying for gold. Like that’s just a really good lesson to never give up.”

Hoeben is excited about the season ahead feels KISU will be strong with a fast group of academy swimmers and a younger group.

“We will be a force to be reckoned with because of the past coaching,” said Hoeben.

The club has also added a new coach in Jamie Ferguson, who swam with KISU from age six to 11. Ferguson said she has always liked coaching and has interest in it as a career when she finishes her post-secondary education.

“I love it,” said she of working with the kids. “I like teaching. I want to show them how fun swimming competitively can be.”

Ferguson will work with the juniors, super junior and intermediate group.

KISU has welcomed three new members in Ben Say, Jack McLennan and Alia Waters. The trio joined the academy because of the positive things they have heard about the program.

“It’s an awesome way to keep swimming,” said Say, who has been part of the Penticton Pikes program.

Say has a desire to keep swimming during high school. His goal is to make AAA standard times.  McLennan wants to keep his momentum from the summer when he was with the Pikes. His lone focus is to keep getting better and “just have fun with it.”

Waters joined after moving here from Ontario with her family. She heard about the championship meets KISU competes in and their successes. In the early going, Waters is impressed.

“I have improved a lot,” said Waters. “I have improved my times and hopefully I make Westerns.”

Hoeben said they have their sights set on different goals, but was holding back on revealing them. KISU begins its season by hosting their Triple Pentathlon meet Oct. 14 to 16.