Tide is turning for Rip Current masters

Swim club competed for the first time in meet in Nanaimo

The SEAPARC Rip Currents swimmers

Fifth place out of 18 teams at an Island swim meet is not a bad place to be, especially when you take into account that many of the members on the new SEAPARC Rip Currents masters swimming team have never competed before.

Coach Jen Bell said they were “absolutely phenomenal” at the competition that took place in Nanaimo a few weeks ago,  and had more made the trip instead of just the six that went they could have contended for a top three finish.

Masters swimming is an international adult program that is a carry over from competitive swimming, said Bell. There are regional, provincial national and even world events.

“It’s for anybody — you have to be (at least) 19 to join. Once your swimming career is over, the only place you can go to is masters.”

On the Sooke team, members range in age from 30 to 70, with about half training for various triathlons. There are more elderly people joining swimming than ever before, which Bell guessed is due to the increasing trend of being health conscious.

To participate, “you just have to be able to swim somewhat,” she said. At practices, she focuses on what she calls the “technical stuff” like breathing, body positioning and movement.

The Rip Currents are part of the Swim Fit program at the pool, also for adults working with a trained coach on swimming strokes and endurance but who don’t compete. Many people take part in both clubs.

Bell, who has been swimming since she was 16 and coached for 24 years, said some of her students were intimidated by the thought of competition. She stressed that the whole point is to have fun and there is a definite camaraderie that exists amongst swimmers.

Next for her group is the provincials at Commonwealth Pool in Saanich on March 30. If they qualify, they will move on to the nationals in Kelowna. Practices take place in the evenings on Monday and Wednesday, and mornings on Tuesday and Thursday. The cost is $6 per session, for more information call SEAPARC aquatic programmer Elizabeth Olsen at  250-542-8007 or by email: eolsen@crd.bc.ca.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

National Drug Drop-Off month aims to reduce substance abuse by house-bound youth

Expert says there is misconception prescribed medication is safe to take

Victoria mayor wants newspaper boxes removed from downtown streets

Mayor Lisa Helps says the boxes are not needed, often filled with garbage

Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

Group invites budding, or just willing artists, to join at Saxe Point

Langford firefighters raise $1,065 for Burn Camp

B.C. firefighters and burn survivors raise $200,068 this year for Burn Camp

Victoria church to ring bells for 75th anniversary of atomic bombings

Bells expected at 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 6 and 11:50 a.m. on Aug. 9

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Plane crashes into Nelson supermarket parking lot

Pilot and passenger have minor injuries

SOOKE HISTORY: A peek into the journal of John George Whiffin

Elida Peers | Contributed One of our most popular walks is on… Continue reading

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

Most Read