May 6, 2019
Full Stroke Newsletter - Spring Championship Edition (Part #2, Mar-Apr 2019)
Please read along to view what’s been happening lately in our competitive groups over March and April. SCAR swimmers participated in both our annual Swim-A-Thon event, and our 2ndSuper ‘Duper’ Saturday of the season. Swimmers also took part in the Pickering Rainbow Classic, Ontario Team Challenge, and Eastern Canadian Championships.
Frist of all, thank you to our tremendous swimmer volunteers from the Scarborough Swim Club that worked a dedicated SCAR session of the 2019 Canadian Trials at TPASC. You all represented our club brilliantly, as stated on Swim Ontario’s online April news.
Spring Break training took place in the form of a home camp at TPASC for our more experienced competitive swimmers. This provided additional long course training time for our senior athletes in HP and Gold. The groups took part in a six-day challenge through progressively challenging workouts that concluded with some extremely fast swimming in racing suits. This is also a targeted transition time of year for our Development swimmers to have their week off from school, and enjoy some downtime away from the pool. Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy working through the holidays soon enough!
Over the Break, Swim Ontario hosted an Ontario Youth Men’s Camp at TPASC, where only the most highly ranked athletes aged 13-16 from around the province took part. I learned from Swim Ontario that I was to join a small group of coaches as selected mentors to lead individual sessions of this camp. It was an honour to be selected as it offered a great experience with elements to bring home to our own program.
Swim-A-Thon provided all of our swimmers a wonderful opportunity to challenge themselves through a 5,000m swim. While training groups may appropriately attack this challenge differently, our groups in HP and Gold, Silver and Senior, and Bronze and Junior, all completed a 40 by 100m challenge at a set interval of rest that is then subtracted at the end of the swim. Our overall club winner was Victor Crisan. Congratulations to all our swimmers that took part.
The following week on March 30thsaw our 2nd Super Duper Saturday of the season, where groups again rotated through 4 separate stations; this time with a Short-Axis theme. Swimmers worked through both Butterfly and Breaststroke technical and skill development, and of course, then wrapped with a team-relay. Congrats to ‘Team Chris’ for pulling out the win this time around! We’ll head into next season as defending champs. Thank you to all of my HP and Gold swimmers for their leadership through another successful Super Saturday. You are wonderful role models for our next generation of swimmers.
While HP and Gold did not race at the Pickering Rainbow Classic, we certainly did at the Ontario Team Challenge. My swimmers were a part of a selected 40-swimmer team that competed against other teams across Ontario for the title banner prize. Scarborough finished a strong fourth place, and we’ll be looking forward to improving on that finish next year. All meets revolve around improving one’s personal bests; however, we’re always there as part of a team. This means team scoring and supporting one another. It was an incredibly long weekend for everyone (thanks as well to our parents!), but the coaching staff was thrilled at the support teammates provided each other in both prelims, and especially, finals. We will continue to have swimmers return to finals specifically in designated team-travel and team-selection competitions. We will ensure notice of these competitions will be provided well in advance. There is nothing better than being part of a strong presence on deck in an exciting environment. If you follow us on Instgram (scarswim), or were present, you definitely witnessed our TEAM in action. This is part of our culture.
Lastly, I wanted to give special congratulations to our 11 athletes that represented the Scarborough Swim Club at Eastern Canadian Championships in Quebec City in April. Congrats to: Heidi Akot, Olivia Baldwin, Sam Bereza, Mikaela Blake, Alyse Borges, Katelyn Hume, Velica Mangos, Claire Nykoliation, Asahi & Kosei Okugawa, and Janelle Gursoy. This is an exciting accomplishment by our club that is not to be overlooked, and one that we are looking to improve upon for next year. All of our athletes worked exceptionally hard to get themselves here, and we are extremely proud of them. There were many second swims with SCAR swimmers in finals every evening session.
I am also very excited to congratulate both Sam Bereza and Asahi Okugawa, who both qualified for their first Trials cuts on this weekend. Sam qualified in both her 400 IM as well as her 1500 Freestyle, while Asahi qualified in his 100m Breaststroke. Both SCAR swimmers will be competing at the 2020 Canadian Olympic Trials next April at TPASC. This will be an incredibly exciting event as it serves as a staging meet for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Our HP & Gold Swimmer Of The Month for April is awarded to Asahi Okugawa. Asahi has shown great dedication to his training group and sport while managing an extremely difficult schedule that incorporates his swimming. He meticulously worked through his Easterns preparation, maximizing his opportunities in practice that inevitably led to multiple finals births at the national level meet, as well as qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Trials in the 100m Breast. That same performance also booked him a ticket to Canadian Junior Championships (17&O) in Calgary this summer. Well-done, Asahi!
HP & Gold have recently been reviewing our comparisons of school and sport. While one aspect is forced upon you and gives you no alternative than to succeed, the other is a complete choice. Both should be enjoyed with potential maximized. Most often, everything will not come easily or without hard work. There is seemingly no escape from accomplishing schoolwork for improved grades. Students are without choice and must respond accordingly. If you find yourself privileged to participate in a sport you love, why would it not receive your dedication in absolute? If you do something you love, love doing it. That means even when it is most challenging. Here’s to a strong finish to our swim season.
Best of luck to all swimmers as we head into May. Our Annual Audi Midtown Toronto Pan Am Invitational will take place over the May 24-26 weekend at TPASC, and we'll of course need all of our wonderful families and their support in running a busy meet. Coaches will soon be contacting their families in regards to the competitions their swimmers will attend to wrap up the 2019-2020 season in June and beyond.
Scarborough Swim Club
March and April were busy months with various events going on within the club. The Silver and Senior Select athletes participated in Super Saturday, Swim-A-Thon, Eastern Canadian Championships, Pickering Rainbow Classic, and Ontario Team Challenge over the past few weeks and had some great results!
For starters, Super Saturday was a huge success with a great turnout from the Senior Select and Silver athletes. I’m happy to see the swimmers in these groups mixing with athletes from all groups in the club, and taking a leadership role when called upon to demonstrate either in-water or on land. There were also many skills that were taught at Super Saturday that apply to everyone in the Silver and Senior Select group, and everyone should remember what they learned and take it with them to practice.
The Swim-A-Thon was also a success this year as we divided it up into 1,000m warm-up and 40x100 as fast as possible on :20 rest. Swimmers were able to get their time for the 4km set, and I’m happy with how many of them approached the set one 100 at a time. We have been speaking about accomplishing large tasks by breaking them up into smaller, easier ones, and that is a skill we will continue to work on in the two groups.
The Silver and Senior Select swimmers also competed at 3 competitions, including Eastern Canadian Championships, Pickering Rainbow Classic, and Ontario Team Challenge. At all 3 competitions there were exciting swims, with athletes stepping up and racing hard. Stepping up on a big stage like Easterns can be intimidating, but the 3 swimmers from the Silver group that competed there did a great job at focusing on what they had to accomplish and racing their hardest.
At Pickering and Ontario Team Challenge there was more great racing, with swimmers winning heats and dropping time in many events. Many Silver swimmers got up and raced hard in prelims at the Team Challenge, qualifying for finals when they were seeded in the top 10.
Swimmer of the Month in the Silver group for March goes to Sarah J. Sarah has been a dedicated swimmer all season long, and is someone who leads by example in the group. Regardless of the race or workout, she consistently puts her best foot forward and gives everything she has. She had successful meets at both Festivals and OYJ, and shows the drive to continuously improve.
Swimmer of the Month for March in the Senior Select group goes to Jessie P. This is Jessie’s second time winning Swimmer of the Month this season. Jessie has continued to demonstrate her willingness to train at consistently higher levels, coming into workouts with her goals in mind daily. I’m looking forward to Jessie’s continued improvement throughout the rest of the season.
Swimmer of the Month in the Silver group for April goes to Anthony. Anthony has shown high levels of attendance and effort throughout the entire season, and as such as seen much improvement. Anthony has become a swimmer that trains hard regardless of the workout, whether it’s focused on his best stroke or worst stroke, and has ultimately become more of a well-rounded athlete.
In the Senior Select group, Sean B. is the Swimmer of the Month for April. Throughout the month of April, Sean has been bringing a competitive drive and focus to practice daily. Training with his goals in mind for different strokes has been giving him that push he needs to step up to new levels and prepare himself for the upcoming competitions. I’m looking forward to Sean’s continued effort and commitment, and can’t wait to see him race in the coming weeks.
As we enter the final stretch of the season, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone approach practice and competition with their highest levels of focus and effort. Finishing the year off on a high note is important, and the fastest swimming of the season is right around the corner.
Assistant Head Coach
Head Age Group Coach
Hello Families and Swimmers,
Looking back at the past month we have had some exceptional experiences as a team. Super Saturday, Swim-A-Thon, Easterns and Rainbow Classic, and the Ontario Team Challenge.
First I wanted to mention the immense success of our second Super Saturday! Not only did both Bronze and JR have the ability to be leaders in front of the Dev and Pre-Comp swimmers. But the swimmers also had the opportunity to work as a learning opportunity to our SSA Instructors. It was an excellent display of the continuity we are developing within our club and the atmosphere of sportsmanship.
Swim a thon was another exceptional experience for both the Bronze and JR groups who preformed exceptionally well, surpassing challenges I set before them. I was impressed with the intensity and determination displayed by our swimmers.
Moving into our most recent competitions I would like to start with a shout out to Velica Mangos who was our sole representative from JR or Bronze at Easters this year. Exceptionally well-done, Velica!
Rainbow Classic brought with it some significant improvements as well as some firsts! We took these last two meets to introduce a number of our Bronze and JR Swimmers to the 400 IM as well as the 200 fly! I am proud of the bravery and maturity as athletes that all swimmers displayed in the face of “more intimidating” races. My most heard response to the experiences was “It wasn’t as bad as I thought”, and “I can do better next time”.
Finally our Team “crushed it” at our Team Challenge meet in Markham. This was a pivotal meet for a number of our Bronze swimmers. It was an opportunity for them to demonstrate the technical and physical efforts they have been making in practice and they did just that. We had significant time drops across the board as well as some new festival qualifiers!
Swimmers of the Month are as follows:
JR: Nazli Hart - Nazli is newer to our group and has made an impact already. She has been exceptionally receptive to all technical feedback and has worked exceptionally hard to better herself as an athlete. Well done Nazli!
Bronze: Justin Bereza - Justin has been working exceptionally hard this entire season and has been stepping up that much more in the recent months. He has been exceptionally dedicated and it is showing in his preformances. Well done Justin!
Well-done teammates! I am excited to see what we can do at our home meet at Audi Midtown!
Age Group Coach
SCAR Swim Academy Coordinator
What a great few months of training we’ve had with lots of hard work and dedication from most swimmers! Since march break we have had a lot go on whether it be swim meets, swim-a-thon, for our super Saturday which has been very fun and exciting for us as a team!
With a long practice and a lot of swimming, most of our swimmers in both groups were able to complete the 5K swim-a-thon with in excellent times! Most swimmers being under 2:00:00 for the first time and a lot of great swimmers new to the groups being able to complete the 5K!
Super ‘Duper’ Saturday:
With the main focus of this super Saturday being short axis strokes (breast and fly) we were able to learn a lot from each of the coaches! I noticed a big difference after the super Saturday with a lot of swimmers breast and fly! One thing that was also exciting about this super ‘duper’ Saturday is that we were also able to help out some of the pre-competitive swimmers and be mentors to them by helping them understand new drills for fly and breast, as well as for starts and turns!
Pickering Rainbow Classic:
At the rainbow classic meet out in Pickering, there was a lot of fast swimming that happened! But not only that, but I was impressed by how mature everyone was at the swim meet. The swimmers were setting very good examples for some of the new competitive swimmers and were very focused all meet. Not only that but they were attentive to when they needed to come talk to a coach before their race and they were very focused before each race. There were a few new qualifiers for some central region meets as well or some new events for swimmers who have qualified for a regional event before! I’m over all really pleased with this meet and can’t wait for the next one!
Although we have had a temporary schedule I’m pleased that most swimmers have still had good attendance. But I would like for everyone to try their best to be at every practice with drylands clothes on starting their activation no later than 15 minutes before we get into the water. I can’t wait for what the rest of the season has for us as we get ready for a big meet that we are hosting.. the “Audi Midtown Invitational.
Swimmer of the month:
The swimmer of the month for the 11-12 & 10U ‘A’ groups will be Kamea this month! Kamea has had perfect attendance throughout the past few months and has been a hard worker at every practice. Kamea has also taken charge in helping lead dry land at practice or a swim meets! Great work Kamea!
Hello Parents and Swimmers,
Looking back in the month of March and April, we have had a long week to take a break and pause for a while. The commitment and effort shown from our swimmers continues to drive us closer to better results in the upcoming long course season.
We as a group have been working non-stop on getting our standards in order for strokes and skills. It is very important that we take our time to specifically explain and demonstrate as to why each and every movement in the water is significant. We had a discussion as to why every single wall should be taken advantage of. Some of their responses were: “to rest”, “to gain more power”, “to go faster”, and to “cheat”. And by “cheating”, they acknowledge that they do the minimum amount of effort to gain such a maximized amount of length. We’ve established that under no circumstances, that they are to be seen approaching the wall slowly, and rising up on the surface straight from the push. We practice 3+3. This is our 3-metre push, followed by 3 underwater kicks.
Every single one of our DEV swimmers knows our tactics and standards of what we want to accomplish through each stroke and skill. It is up to them to be focused on how they want to perform every single time we train. This includes from the start of our activation, until the very end of practice. As a coach, it is very rewarding to see my swimmers listen and understand the concept of every workout, getting better each time. Our group has demonstrated very good sportsmanship and leadership during the Pickering Rainbow Classic. We had many great swims from multiple swimmers throughout the Dev-B groups.
As we continue training through our long course season, I am very excited to see what we can achieve. “No pain, no gain” is a saying I love to refer to. As each and every single one of them pushes themselves to be better athletes than they were yesterday, they will continue to gain great results in the future.
Our swimmer of the month for March is Aidan DeMata, and for the month of April it’s Brandon Brock. Both swimmers have demonstrated great leadership and sportsmanship within their groups. They both continue to push themselves to become better every single practice.
Congratulations, boys!! Keep up the good work.