The Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre parking lot was filled to capacity with RVs that had brought swim fans of all ages to town to compete in the Quesnel Aquatic Club’s (QAC) annual swim meet this Saturday (July 6).
The local Sea Lions were joined by teams from Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Mackenzie and Prince George and the newest squad in the region from Vanderhoof.
If the parking lot seemed full to passers by, the pool was even more so. The wading pool was emptied out and lined with towels for swimmers to wait their turn, and every space around the racing pool was taken up by a time keeper, coaches, relatives spanning generations and even more swimmers.
QAC president Mike Fisher said more than 120 swimmers from ages three to 53 years old took part in the meet.
“We have people in all divisions from pups to adults,” he said. “A lot of return swimmers and their familes have made the trip.”
For many, it is a chance to reconnect with old friends and take part in some friendly competition.
The host team is responsible for putting on a big dinner, so often, the teams will stay the night and make a social event out of it.
The Quesnal Aquatic Club served the grub in the rec centre’s multi-purpose room, and guests had the run of the place to enjoy their meals.
This year saw the addition of some much-needed technology that really added to the experience for everybody.
The club applied for a grant through the Quesnel Community Foundation to acquire some timing equipment to enable them to use the pool’s scoreclock.
In addition to the timing being more accurate, Fisher says it is a real treat for racers.
“After the swimmers are finished their race, they’re able to look up and see their result. So it’s immediate.
“It’s really great for them and also for the spectators. They know what event is being swam, what the times are and who’s placing where; and if they have a program, they can follow along to make sure they know when their kid or grandkid is swimming.”