The Sooke Tyee Aquatic Club is offering two swimming programs over the winter, for both beginner and seasoned swimmers. (Photo from Tyee Aquatic Club Facebook page)

Sooke competetive swim team dives in to their second season

Club offering two programs over the winter, for both beginner and seasoned swimmers

Dawn Gibson

Sooke News Mirror

The Tyee Aquatic Club was eager to start their second season in Sooke last Friday.

“I am more excited than ever about the future of the program and what it has to offer the community,” said swimming coach Marissa Schweitzer in an email.

She explained that last season ended incredibly for the club, as local swimmer Nick Ralph competed in the AAA Long Course Championships in Kamloops, and Tyrell Wydenes represented team B.C. in Toronto at the North American Indigenous Games this summer.

The AAA Long Course Championship is a competition that swimmers work towards throughout their entire season, and have to meet a particular time standard in order to be eligible to attend.

“Nick made it in not just one, but five individual events as well as a relay which is absolutely fantastic,” said Schweitzer. “He swam 200 butterfly, 100 Freestyle, 200 IM, 50 Freestyle and 100 Butterfly, representing both Tyee as well as Sooke wonderfully in the process.”

Wydenes was one of the 23 swimmers selected out of many to represent Team B.C. at the North American Indigenous Games this summer in Toronto, which only occurs every 4 years.

Schweitzer said the event hosts up to 4,000 athletes participating in 14 sports in three separate age categories. Wydenes competed in the 100m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke, 200m Backstroke, 400m Freestyle, 100m Backstroke and was in both the 400m Free Relay and 200m Medley relay.

“In all of his events Tyrell made enormous improvements to his times and raced exceptionally well, taking home two relay gold medals and placing top ten in all of his events,” said Schweitzer. “Perhaps even most exciting part is that this year was the first ever in Indigenous Games history that Team B.C. swimmers won the overall competition.”

Schweitzer added that she and all the athletes are looking forward to the upcoming season, and to meeting all the new swimmers joining the program.

The club held a “pre-competitive” trial program for swimmers ages 7-12 last winter, and intend to hold the same program this winter.

“This means that Tyee is offering two separate group options at SEAPARC, one for young new athletes to get acquainted with the basic skills involved in the sport of competitive swimming, and the other to broaden the skills of the more seasoned competitive swimmers in the community,” said Schweitzer.

To get involved with the Tyee Aquatic Club, visit their website at tyeeaquaticclub.com.