The Thompson-Okanagan’s top swimmers were in Penticton in late April for a 12-and-under swim camp.
KISU coach Tina Hoeben said it gave swimmers a little extra boost.
“It gives them some exposure to what it’s like to be a part of a bigger team picture,” said Hoeben, who had Myah Nackoney, Samantha Oliver, Belize Souch-Tremblay, Samul Lasinski and Reece Haberstock represent KISU among the 40 in attendance at the Penticton Community Centre. “The 12 and under all swim in their region. Once they are 13 and over, they get an opportunity to go away either to a camp in B.C. or a meet outside the province.”
Part of the camp had the swimmers slow down and perform techniques properly so when it comes to racing, it becomes habit for their body to do so.
“I was impressed with how quickly they picked up on the skills,” said Hoeben. “It’s also a great opportunity for us as coaches to interact with the other coaches of the region at a coaching level.”
Among the Swim B.C. coaches there was Olympian Brian Johns.
Hoeben said the swimmers gained confidence, but added it was a privilege for them to be chosen.
“If it was open, we would have had more kids from Penticton participate,” said Hoeben, adding that swimmers were selected based on their times in the 200-metre freestyle and 200 IM.
Hoeben said the swimmers are trying to make Team B.C. for 2012 while others will try and make the 12 and under camp the following year.
“It was really fun,” said Haberstock, who learned different techniques.
Oliver said the camp was easy and there was lots to learn helping her improve from the experience.
Hoeben said it was great for the KISU swimmers to have other swimmers here to go through that process.
“I can see the difference in their swimming. It had a big impact,” she said.
Having the camp at the PCC was good for another reason.
“It was great for us to showcase our new facilities,” said Hoeben. “It’s the first time that people outside of our region have been here. Hopefully they will consider it for larger meets in the coming season.”
KISU recently held its annual fundraiser, which provides swimmers with a chance to show off their skills and endurance. The fastest older swimmers will complete 5,000 metres or (5-km) in two hours or less. Brian MacPhail was the fastest at one hour, four minutes. Reilly Rowland and Julia Veidt had a tight race going with Rowland edging out Veidt in 1:06:12 compared to 1:06:32 seconds.
“That’s quite a battle to be going over an hour and be only 20 seconds apart,” said Hoeben.
“I wasn’t actually thinking much about racing her,” said Veidt. “I just wanted to go under 1:07 because I did that time two years ago. It was nice because I was watching the clock and I could sort of watch her so I think that just helped me along.”
Rowland said she knew Veidt was right behind her and it was a race for her.
“I wanted to beat her,” she said with a smile. “I also wanted to try and do better than last year. I had a one hour, eight minutes. I got one hour, six minutes this year. I like doing distance a bit more. It gives you more time to build up to your speed and you don’t really get bored.”
Veidt likes the event because it’s a good challenge, one that is more mental then physical.
“You have to plan it out because its 5-km,” she said. “You have to pace yourself.”
Hoeben said the total raised that goes to help the club had yet to be known.