RETIRED CANADIAN Olympic bronze medal swimmer Brent Hayden works with one of his students at a swim camp last year. Hayden returned to Penticton's Community Centre to hold a camp following an invite from the Pikes swim club.

Olympian provides tools

Former Canadian Olympic swimmer Brent Hayden helps make impact on local swimmers with camp

Avery Barnett dreams of swimming in the Olympics.

To help reach that dream he attended the Brent Hayden Swim Camps over the weekend at the Penticton Community Centre. It’s the second time Barnett has attended the camp, as Hayden and wife Nadina Zerifeh were asked by the club to come.

“I really wanted to improve how I was doing my strokes for distances,” said Barnett, one of 17 swimmers in the camp. “I found that because I’m a larger guy (6-foot-4), that with my shorter stroking it wasn’t helping me out as much versus having a longer stroke. They have helped me with that.”

After the work he had done in last year’s camp, Barnett noticed a difference in his performances.

“I’m very trusting they know what to do,” said Barnett. “He’s a great role model. I just really want to see where this will take me in life.”

Barnett’s friend Xelian Louw also wanted to see what he could learn, entering it for the first time.

“I’m going to remember these things for a long time,” said Louw, who focused on working on his techniques. “I don’t think it’s going to be hard with him telling me.”

“A lot of them get so inspired by Brent and his story,” said Zerifeh of her husband, who won bronze at the 2012 Olympic Summer Games in London. “As a kid he failed swimming lessons twice. It kind of inspires them in a different way. They want to be here.”

“It’s really amazing. It teaches you how to do strokes,” said Madison Seeley, who worked on her freestyle swim, as well as flip turns and starts. “He helps you get faster and improve your stroke. It’s just fun to know how you can get better.”

Of the 17 swimmers, six returned for a second time and Hayden saw how much better they are.

“You can definitely tell how they respond a lot quicker,” he said. “What we taught them last year, as soon as you start reminding them, it kind of comes out of the depths of their memory. They are physically able to adapt to the direction that we’re able to given them.”

After spending time with swimmers in the water and providing tips, Hayden told the group when they get home to write down things that are in their mind so they don’t forget. There was a lot of information to absorb. He also emphasized the importance of them pushing themselves.

“We can definitely make them faster swimmers by the way they swim,” said Hayden.

Stroke counts were performed and there was a decrease in every swimmer.

“They are taking fewer strokes per length. They are going to have more gas in the tank,” said Hayden, who won a gold, three silver medals and a bronze in world championship competition, to go with eight medals in the Commonwealth Games, including two gold. “They are going to be moving through the water a lot more efficiently. Each stroke is going to be more effective.”

Hayden said you don’t know how every athlete will learn. He said being able to explain things and show it visually are two important ways. Zarifeh said it is important they learn how to do techniques properly in the camp and execute them in practice properly.

“You can’t go into a race and expect to do it when it isn’t done right in a practice,” she said. “It’s reaction time. It’s when you’re racing, every little bit counts.”

What both of them saw in the swimmers was a desire to learn.

“They responded amazingly,” said Hayden.

 

 

Just Posted

Penticton local looking to go pro in kickboxing in 2020

The sport will become officially legal in B.C. in just over two months

Vees fall to Vipers in overtime at the SOEC

Penticton takes on Nanaimo tonight in their double header home game weekend

Summerland holds multiple events to launch festive season

Festival of Lights, Light Up the Vines and Sip ’n’ Shop will be held in late November and December

South Okanagan zone championships Oct.21

The Princess Margaret Mustangs are headed to the south zone field hockey finals

Penticton Vees to host 2021 Centennial Cup

It’s the first time Penticton has hosted the tournament that decides the country’s Junior A champions

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Letter: Candidates and social issues

Reader feels only Cannings and NDP have plans for social issues

PET OF THE WEEK: Moose still needs a home

Critteraid cat wants a nice, quiet environment

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Most Read