Eight Quesnel swimmers were chosen to attend Swim B.C.’s northeast regional camp Oct. 28-29, where they met Canadian Olympic athlete Alec Page.
Quesnel’s Boroka Peter, Chloe Hopton, Lainey Van Horne, Gavin Currie, McKayla Bolitho, Luca Armstrong, Owen Larsen and Austin Novak (who was unable to attend) were selected for the Prince George camp, where they learned from Page and other top coaches in the region.
The local swimmers are all part of the Waveriders Swim Club.
Says coach Jeritt Brink: “I have been in Quesnel for seven seasons and we have had swimmers in the camp every year. I still learn something new every time. It’s an amazing opportunity for coaches and kids.”
Olympian Page, who is from Cortes Island, B.C., was on the 2012 Canadian Olympic men’s swimming team when he was 18.
“For myself and the kids, it was awesome to see a 5’11” world-class medalist and Olympic team member in this camp. So often we are looking at 6’3” men and 5’11” females as the top in our sport, but this is a misconception,” Brink notes.
“Japan is not known for having the tallest people in the world, yet Japan is pound-for-pound the best breaststrokers and butterfly experts out there. It’s all about how we propel ourselves through that water that matters.
“I remember seeing Alec as a young man, maybe 15 or 16. So seeing him again all these years later was very surreal. I saw him young just like many of this towns swimmers, and now in his mid-20s, after some hard work… boom, he’s a world champ and great human.”
The camp focused on how the swimmers come off the walls in the pool, says Brink. The coach adds he saw improvements in his swimmers right away in this and other areas.
“[Our kids’] stroke counts, underwater dolphin kick timing and efficiency were all correct after just that one change. A couple Waveriders were definitely the stars of this.”
The Waveriders Swim Club will compete in its first meet in Prince George Nov. 17-19, and for these young athletes, the extra training from an Olympic swimmer can only help them with their sport.