CLUB NEWS, October 2, 2014

Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good.  It’s the thing you do that makes you good.

– Malcolm Gladwell


Have a Burger and Beer for Dinner Tomorrow:  Parents at the Parrot KISU fundraiser from 5-7pm at the Barking Parrot (the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Casino is our club’s host hotel.)  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door if you haven’t got yours yet . . . bring your friends and neighbors!

Last Chance to pick up ID and shirt! If you didn’t pick up your shirt and ID last week, please pick it up between 8:30 and 9am THIS SATURDAY in the pool office.

Sign up for the Officials Clinic:  Saturday, October 4th, during morning practice. We are hosting a Stroke and Turn Clinic for our volunteer parent officials. Parents of swimmers in Age Group and Swim Academy are strongly encouraged to attend, and all parents are welcome.  Because this is taking place during Saturday morning practice, you will have an opportunity to see swimmers in action.  Just in time for our home meet!  Please sign up through the event listing.  And, while you’re at it – sign up to help at the Turkey Time Trial and the Home meet if you haven’t already done so! J

Turkey Time trial - Re-write the Rankings: Our first club time trial of the season is Saturday, October 11. 25s of all strokes with a focus on starts and finishes.  For all swimmers in Juniors and Up.  Parents, please use this opportunity to hone your volunteer skills for our home meet weekend, and plan to stay at the pool and help out at the time trial!  Cost is $10 if you sign up by October 7, $15 if you sign up late.

Sign up for Home Meet: First draft of the entries is attached . . . Deadline to sign up is today! The meet weekend is the 17th-19th – you won’t want to miss this!  Its our first home meet AND the first meet of the season in our region.  The Iron Pentathlon, for kids who are sub 4 for their 200IM (check with your coach if you are unsure) is Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  The Jamboree (for mini squad and junior/super junior swimmers who are not yet sub 4 – check with your coach if you are unsure), is on the Sunday afternoon.  Please check out the event details and sign up by clicking the Attend/Decline button beside the event listing on our home page.  Don’t forget to sign up to Volunteer by clicking the Job Sign Up button beside the event.  As you will see in the meet information when you open the event, our home meets are MAJOR club fundraisers! You can sign up to volunteer for either or both meets!

Get your spot for Fundraising for the Kamloops Team Travel Meet in December, and the Big Bus Meet in the Spring:  There are three fundraising opportunities available . . . two parking lot attendant nights, and one Grocery Bag Fundraiser.  Check It out and sign up using the Job Sign Up button.  This is a great opportunity for your swimmer to be able to do some work to offset these costs!



Attached is our updated club records!  Check it out to find some of KISUs fastest swimmers in our club’s history.  Before we update the board on the wall, we need to ensure that the times and names are correct – swimmers – you know if you have a record . . . please let us know if we need to make changes before the final draft appears on the wall.


PARENT ARTICLE – Why we volunteer!

The following is written by our devoted Referee, John Kennedy.  He and his wife, Cathy Sheehan, continue to volunteer at KISU swim meets every year despite their swimmers being long gone from KISU . . . it’s worth the read!


Reflections 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