CLUB NEWS, October 23, 2013


“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”

- Babe Ruth

Congratulations KISU, on first place at the Iron Pentathlon Meet!  Great Job Swimmers!

KISU’s top Triple Pentathlon overall finishers were:  10&Under Girls 3rd - Marlee Caruso;  11-12 Girls 2nd - Acacia Benn; 11-12 Boys 1st - Tyler Wall; 13-14 Boys 1st - Samuel Lasinski; 3rd - Riley Wall.  These rankings are based on overall cumulative times for all 15 events swum during the course of the meet.  Well done!

And a HUGE bouquet of thanks to all of the KISU parents who donated their time to the club over the weekend so that we could host 8 other clubs, and 440 swimmers, to a fantastic swim meet weekend.  As I’m sure you will agree, pulling off a successful swim meet is no small task and it couldn’t have been done without the strong support of club parents – Thank you!



Come to the Spring Break Camp Meeting Tomorrow: We will be meeting at 5:30 tomorrow in the upstairs viewing area (aka “The Greenery”) to determine final interest in an international camp (Hawaii or Europe) over Spring Break.  It takes a minimum of 8 committed swimmers for the Camp to run.  If your swimmer is interested, please plan to attend.  It will not be a long meeting.

Remember to order your KISU Cookbooks: Order online. $12 for one, $10 for two or more.  Great Christmas gifts!

Bring your swimmer to Team Practice this Friday: TEAM PRACTICE IS 4-5:30.  This includes MiniSquad swimmers. It will look busy in the water for the first half hour, so if your swimmer is nervous then please let them watch on deck and we will get them on the water for the last hour of games. 

Help out at the High School Meet:  Still haven’t had your fill of swim meet action after the Iron Pentathlon weekend?  Come and volunteer at the Regional High School Meet.  This Sunday, October 27th, from 1-5pm.  It’s short and sweet, and a really fun meet!  Kids get to swim for their school – and show their school spirit.  Even if you think you’ve had your fill of swim meets for now, the club could really use your help as we are the host team.  Sign up is online.

Sign Up for the Vernon and Kamloops Swim Meets: The deadline is FRIDAY.  The Vernon Meet is the November 8th weekend, and the Kamloops meet is in early December.  The Kamloops meet is a qualifying meet, meaning that swimmers must have an “A” time standard in order to attend.  There will still be time for swimmers to reach this standard and sign up late, however, for swimmers who currently have an “A” time, we need you to sign up by Friday so that we can start planning team travel.  We hope to share a bus to Kamloops with the Kelowna Aqua Jets, and we will be staying as a Team at the Best Western Hotel.  Chaperones will be travelling with the swimmers and will be with them at the swim meet and hotel.

Mark your calendars:

October 31: Halloween – regular swim practice

November 11: Remembrance Day – no practice

November 29: KISU Annual General Meeting

Be a Tech Savvy Swim Parent!  Download the Team Unify OnDeck Parent app, and the Meet Mobile App.  OnDeck allows you to track your swimmer’s best times, meet entries, view SwimBC time standards, and many other functions.  Meet Mobile allows you to get live meet results.  Both are worth checking out!

Think 50: Monday, October 28th is the 50th day of practice . . . ask your swimmer what kinds of “50” themed sets they swam at practice when they get home on Monday.



Mark your calendar and plan to join us on Friday, November 29, at 5:00, with a parent social to follow - locations of the AGM and parent social TBA.  When you attend the AGM, you not only stay informed about the activities of your swim club, but you also help us show granting agencies and our community that we have an active, interested membership.  We promise to keep it short and sweet - last year's AGM took 22 minutes, and this year we are aiming for another best time.  The AGM will include elections to the Board of Directors.  Nominations are being accepted for the following positions (two year terms except otherwise noted):  Vice-President, Secretary (one year remaining in term), Treasurer, Directors at Large (3 positions).  For more information about these positions or to submit a nomination, please contact Nancy Telford,



The following was written by former KISU parent, John Kennedy – the man in white who blew the whistle all weekend at our recent home meet - the 35th swim meet at which he and his wife Cathy have volunteered!


Reflexions From An Ex Swim Parent

Last weekend we were in Calgary at the Canadian University national swim championships watching our son compete representing the University of Toronto. This was Andrew’s fourth national championships and he will be graduating in June with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He starts Law school this fall and won’t have time to train. This was his last swim meet! We have been involved in swim clubs and going to swim meets with our three boys since 1997 and this weekend has given me pause to reflect on the past 14 years. I had absolutely no experience with competitive swimming until I met and married Cathy, a former Canadian National Team member. In 1986 we moved from Calgary to Creston, a little town in southeast B.C. and had three boys, Daniel, Andrew and Peter. There was a very small swim club in town and an outdoor pool that was only open for four months every summer. When the boys were old enough we enrolled them in the Creston Wave swim club and competed in the BC Summer Swimming Association. We had so much fun those two summers with the Creston Wave and all the families in the Kootenay Area. I was hooked on the sport. It was, however, a steep learning curve for me and for the boys. In their first few meets they were disqualified in every event for every infraction you can imagine, but we all learned fast. I became a certified Stroke and Turn Judge my second year (I needed to learn why they were being DQ’d!). In the summer of 1999 we moved to Penticton and the boys swam summer club with the Pikes and then winter maintenance (two hours a week) with Kisu. After summer club provincials in 2000 with Pikes we committed to swimming with Kisu full time and have been with the club until 2010.


Daniel is our oldest and was a very accomplished swimmer. At his first provincials in Prince George he won three silver medals and one bronze medal in the 12 and under division. He then won a few more medals in the 14 and under division in Langley two years later. Dan then fell in love with Rugby and devoted most of his time to this, including travelling to England and Wales with the Okanagan Team in grade 10. Even though Dan didn’t compete in swimming after age 14 he still swam regularly with the club for fitness and always entered in our own Iron Sprint and Cherry Blossom meets until graduating from high school. He still has some club records. Swimming was great for Dan and he often speaks highly of his time with the club. Dan is now at the University of Victoria studying electrical engineering.

Andrew is our middle child. He did well in summer club but never really came into his own in Kisu until grade 11 (grades are the only way I can keep track of the boy’s careers). He was a middle of the pack swimmer, but always qualified for AAA provincials. Grade 10 was a tough year for him swimming and after a lot of soul searching he made his mind up he was going to really become dedicated to swimming. He made every workout including mornings. In grade 11 he was the fastest junior in backstroke in B.C. He made Team BC and travelled to Anne Arbour, Michigan for a huge meet where he swam against top swimmers like Michael Phelps. He remained the fastest junior in backstroke in grade 12 as well. He was recruited by many universities in Canada and the United States. Andrew wanted to swim and study in Canada and enrolled at the University of Toronto and swam under head coach Byron MacDonald. Toronto was terrific for him and he did well. He won a number of athletic and academic scholarships. Andrew’s best swims were a silver medal in 200 back at Western Canada Champs in Winnipeg in grade 11 and making the B finals at Canadian Senior Champs in Toronto two years ago finishing 15th overall in the 50 back. At Seniors he made a point of wearing a Kisu cap. 

No one had more fun at a swim meet than our youngest, Peter. Being the youngest he was dragged to meets starting at age five. It was easy to find Peter at a swim meet, he was surrounded by all the other little boys from every club. Peter would bring a big box of Lego and that was a magnet for the others. Swimming his races seemed to get in the way of his fun. I don’t think he ever missed a race though. He lived for the Kisu bus trips. Peter was a very good swimmer and his best race was at age 16 he won the100 fly at the AA provincials in Chilliwack and qualified for AAA’s. Younger swimmers would look up to Peter and he would help them at meets. We received many complements from parents of younger swimmers about how good Peter was with them. Peter soon became very interested in coaching and passed his Level I and II Canadian Coaching Awards as well as his National Lifeguard Certifications. He coached Pikes for two summers and last year taught Red Cross for Kisu and life guarded. He is now at University of Toronto studying engineering science. He has formed an unofficial engineering swim team and swims during lap swimming.

Swimming was great for the three boys. They all took something different from the sport. It provided them with many life skills. They learned time management (with classes, homework, workouts and going to meets), dedication, teamwork and good sportsmanship. They also understand the importance of regular exercise, proper eating habits and remaining fit as a lifelong goal.


Families are what swimming is all about. Swim clubs are run by families. There could not be any swim meets, from local club meets to the Olympics, without families volunteering their time. We have met so many great families in this sport from all over the country and have developed many great friendships. When you start out in the sport you get to know the families in your club and hang out with them at the local meets. As your children get faster you start to go to regional, provincial and national meets. At provincials you start hanging with the families from the Okanagan, then with the B.C. people at nationals. We got very involved with the club. Cathy was president of Kisu for three years and I worked my way up to Senior Official with Swim BC and Swim Canada. Swimming relies on volunteers and my feeling is you get out of the sport what you put into it. We have run so many meets for the club. I officiated at every meet I attend. It helped the time go by faster, and you always got to see your children swim, you get lots to eat and generally were always appreciated. As the boys got faster and went to larger meets I would officiate at these meets. I’ve officiated at provincial, national and international meets. One time I was turn judge for world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte at a Grand Prix meet (he had perfectly legal turns!). Pretty good for a guy who, before 1986, thought side stroke was an Olympic event.

My in-laws were the ultimate swim family. When Cathy was seven years old she came home from Red Cross lessons at Foothills pool in Calgary and asked her parents if she could join the swim club there. Both her parents worked full time so they put all their kids in the swim club for something to do. Bernie and Nancy, like me, had absolutely not idea about swimming. Over the years Cathy, her sister and brother all made it onto the Canadian National Swim Team. Maureen was national champion in 200 fly, and her Jeff won many national championships and was a medalist at Commonwealth games. Both Cathy and Jeff got full scholarships to University of Arizona and Arizona State. When the new 50 m pool opened in the 1970’s at the University Bernie formed the U of C Swim Club which has been one of the most successful clubs in Canada and has produced many Olympians. He was the club’s first president. Bernie claims that he became president and worked in swimming administration so he wouldn’t have to get wet working as an official on deck. Nancy, however, started out as a timer, then stroke and turn and eventually was the Chief Referee at the Commonwealth Games in Edmonton! Now they go to all their five grandson’s swim meets, including our nephew Jake who swam for Canada at the Olympics in China.

When Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal at the last Olympics he immediately went up into the stands. Despite the hype and glamour going on around him all he wanted was to hug his Mom. A swim parent.

Vancouver swimmer Brian Johns broke the world record in the 400 I.M. five years ago at the CIS championships in Victoria. When FINA arrived to ratified his record, the starter and referee for the race was Brian’s mother and father. Swim parents.

Swimming is such a family oriented sport! So driving your kids to all those workouts, swim meets, morning practices, running the club, officiating and running swim meets all pays off one way or the other. You just never know.

John Kennedy, Spring 2011