June 13, 2014
Whitehorse Glacier Bears Swim Club (WGB) is open to everybody from 5 years old. The club has 7 basic squads, which are also divided in even more specified groups according to the level of swimming. It is a competitive swim club, with children qualifying for BC Provincial competition, reaching finals and winning medals at this level. Also WGB swim club has one qualifier, Cassis Lindsay, representing Yukon this summer at National Age Group Championships. Winter season was successful for the WGB club. Swimmers came back home from BC AAA Short course Championships with 3 medals, one of each colour won by sisters Cassis and Rennes Lindsay, and one bronze from BC AA Short course Championships won by Alex Petriw. We are all looking forward to our 3 remaining summer meets: AA and AAA BC Long course Championships (both in Victoria, BC) and National Age Group Championships (Winnipeg, MB).
The club attends 2 outside Invitational meets every year. In December 2013, over 20 swimmers travelled to Victoria, where all of them swam faster than their best times and acted very well as one big team. In May 2014 we went to Kamloops, where 13 swimmers represented Yukon and all of them swam smart and much faster than their old personal best times.
For our younger athletes we also have 2 outside meets to go to: we travel to Haines, Alaska, and we fly to Calgary. Both meets bring back a lot of experience for every swimmer and teach them responsibility from the youngest age. This is always a good start for real, every day life. Getting up early for swim practice at 5 am for the oldest swimmers, is not easy. However, it is a good lesson for athletes to learn discipline; to learn how to organize your day around school and homework and all other commitments. Swimming will prepare you to become an adult.
WGB hosts 2 swim meets in Whitehorse: the Ryan Downing Memorial Invitational in November, and Yukon Invitational Championships in April. There are no qualifying times for those meets, so every other club is welcome to attend. We are always very happy to race with our neighbor teams from Alaska, which makes the meet much more interesting and fun. Usually both of the swim meets end up with fun relays with children of all ages participating as one team. Team spirit and hard work, combined with fun is very important for our club.
Beside those 2 big swim meets, the club runs local time trials, where our swimmers also get a chance to break their best times and work on race strategies.
While other children are off school, the swimmers like to work. So we organize swimming camps which are available for certain levels in the club. In these camps we focus on a details and skills.
We know how important fun is while working so hard and how much cross training matters. So the club is trying to combine other sports when the swimming season is over. During our short winter break we organized a cross country ski camp run by ski coaches and for the next season we will also try to combine swimming with some downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mount Sima.
Occasionally as a team bonding activity the coaches will organize a day out, such as climbing.
Knowing how much effort our swimmers put into this hard sport, and how high the expectations are to the highest level and expecting them to be there every day..., we care about their future. Therefore, we work with a Physiotherapist on weekly basis, to guard against injury.
In addition to our competitive side of the club, we have introduced a new Teen squad for September 2014. This is a squad for our ex-swimmers, or triathletes or teens who are interested in other sports as well as swimming and wish to stay fit and work on their technique in the water, or for those thinking of becoming a lifeguard or swim instructor. Everybody who would like to join this squad has to be able to swim all strokes and be age 13 up to 18 years.
The end of season BBQ brings all families and swimmers together and gives the club an opportunity to recognize the best. We have awards for our: AAA and AA medalists, we recognize National qualifiers, but also we are proud to see and give awards to our most enthusiastic swimmers, the most improved swimmers and those who had the best attendance during the entire year in their respective squads.
All of what we do and what we achieve is possible thanks to; our qualified coaches, voluntary board members, Swim Yukon, and parents who are driving swimmers to the pool, trying their best not to miss any practice, and also the swimmers themselves.
We would like to say thank you to our sponsors for the great support we had during the season.
Swim Yukon, Pete, Johanne & Rebecca Koser, Castle Rock Enterprises, Capstone Mining Corporation, Dr. Anthony Strelzow, Porter Creek Super A, Duncan’s Ltd., Pizza Hut (Rob & Laurie Fahr), Alro Properties Ltd.
It is not difficult to join our competitive swim club, but a lot depends on space availability in the current year. Our website: www.whitehorseglacierbears.ca will provide you with all information needed. We will have one more evaluation for new members in September, so please check our website during the summer if you are interested and wish to have your swimmer safe in the water.
Swimming is a lot of commitment, but it also a lot of fun with plenty of new friends for our young athletes.
Head Coach Malwina Bukszowana