Hats Off to the Grads!

Brandon Dove

There simply aren’t words to describe the journey our graduates have taken these past few years.  Their high school years have been full of worldwide pandemics, local natural disasters, and countless other logistical challenges, but you would never know it as they continue to dive in, work hard, and climb podiums.  Before these Mighty leaders leave us to take on the world we want to take a moment to celebrate them, to thank them for all they have done for the NKB family, and to wish them all the best for their continued success in and out of the pool!


Breckin Gormley
With a decade of swimming under her belt Breckin has had a career that has taken her all across North America and we know her journey is far from over.  Breckin will be graduating from Carleton Place High School in the coming weeks, then heading south to the University of Kentucky in the fall.  While there she will be swimming varsity as well as continuing her studies in the Gatton College of Business & Economics. 

"This is a grueling sport and the last few years have been tough. What you have demonstrated, Breckin, is your perseverance and grit. While things did not always go the way you had planned them and your coach challenged you in ways you sometimes did not know if you could handle, you continued to keep focused on your goals and that really is the key to success in life and relationships. We are very excited to see what the next four years have in store for you and we hope you’ll be a little easier on your next coach than you were on Scott!” - Parents of Breckin

We’re sure Coach Scott is going to miss all your questioning of things... sets, why you're doing something, if you don't have to swim spec... but you are a better swimmer for it, and certainly your coach in Kentucky will enjoy being the one on the receiving end of your questions next year.  Cheers to you Breckin, we’re wishing you all the best!

Beatrice Buentiempo
"Make sure to have fun! Sometimes life can get overwhelming so it's important to slow down and enjoy yourselves for bit!!”  - Beatrice Buentiempo.  No truer words can be spoken about how our graduates have managed these past few years of their journey with such success! 

Over the past six years Beatrice has grown from a Junior Barracuda into the fierce competitor we see and know today.  As she moves forward from her graduation from St. Joseph Catholic High School she will continue her swimming ways at Carleton University.  While there she will also be studying Commerce and Finance. 

Beatrice’s parents are very proud of her focus, passion and her love for the sport of swimming.  They recognize that competitive swimming has been a big part of her growing into a dynamic and successful individual and athlete.   We’re pretty sure her commitment to no junk food at swim meets, a good night’s rest, and having fun helped a little, too.  ;)  Beatrice, congratulations on your graduation and cheers to a university experience filled with fun and success!

Thinula de Silva
Thinula came to NKB with a bang, literally!  His first team travel trip was full of thunderstorms and tents crashing down, dancing in the bleachers to the beat of some loud music, and club records crashing down as his relays took gold.  Things only got better from there!  “Throughout those years I’ve been able to develop skills and habits that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Having the ability to wake up early and be on time is a habit that has been implemented in my everyday life as both a student and athlete. I was able to race against high level athletes who are now friends. We all got to see each other grow as people. Through the help of my coaches, family and friends I was able to achieve many accomplishments from club records and my first medal to provincial golds and qualifying for nationals.”

As Thinula wraps up his tenth year of swimming he’ll also be graduating from John McCrae Secondary School.  Looking forward, he is headed to University of Ottawa to study commerce accounting, with a goal of becoming a certified public accountant. 

"Thinula … was 8 years old when we first took him for a try out at Region of Waterloo Swim club. He could not swim the full 25m length, he was in tears. But since then he has achieved some exciting moments including winning provincial golds for fly and free as a 13 year old. He has grown up to be a man that can get on well with the society. He has only swum with NKB for 3 years, but during that time he has made some great friends and memories. As mom and dad we are so proud of him.” - Parents of Thinula

Here’s to you, Thinula, and hoping your new adventures start with just as much excitement as your journey started with at NKB. 

Matthew de Sousa
When the coaches weren’t keeping Matthew on his toes, sometimes quite literally at dryland, he could still always be found poolside! In addition to his own training schedule, Matthew has spent hours each week teaching the next generation of swimmers the FUNdamentals of swimming. 

This spring, Matthew will be graduating from St. Joseph Catholic High School then heading downtown to Carleton University.  While there, he’ll be studying Computer Science and Math.  We’re pretty sure though that he’ll continue his aquatic ways, whether it be competing on the university team, coaching, or continuing to impart his sage advice on up and coming athletes.  “For goodness sake, don't forget your towel or mesh bag or you'll be in for a world of pain.”

"Matthew wasn't sure that competitive swimming was for him, but when he joined in grade 8, he finally found his sport and his people. His love of swimming and dedication has been admirable. Watching him swim and being one with the water has been a very wonderful experience. We are very proud of him.” - Parents of Matthew

There were moments when those early morning practices were painful (perhaps when you forgot your mesh bag??) but as your parents highlight and your coaches see, your passion for the sport and the feeling of accomplishment are what drove you to be successful.  We know these same skills are what will lead you to continued success in and out of the pool.  Congratulations on your graduation!

Lydia James-Brennan
A wise woman once said set two alarms, maybe three.  Who’s that wise woman you ask?  Lydia.  While Lydia may have only been part of the NKB family for a short time, you’d never know it.  She dove right in (and notably, not once late to morning practice), quickly becoming a leader in our distance events. Lydia’s swim career has spanned seven years so far, and we know she is far from done.  She will be graduating from Elmwood School then heading to Western University in the fall.  While there, she will continue to make waves as part of the Varsity team and majoring in Biology on the academic side of things. 

"Ever since her first try out as a 11 year old, we have been amazed and impressed by Lydia's unfailing dedication to swimming. She is disciplined and committed, rarely missing a practice regardless of circumstances. Her dedication has translated into regular qualification for Regional to Eastern Canadian Championships. We could not be more proud of her efforts and achievements" - Parents of Lydia

Lydia, we are sending positive vibes for your continued success at Western and are hopeful that your roommate won’t mind the early alarms!

Camilla Nunes
Camilla spent her entire career with NKB, and while we’ll miss her donning the green and black, we are sure she’ll be no stranger to the pool.  After graduating from Sir Robert Borden High School she’s planning to spend her summer traveling, spending time with friends, trying out new recipes, and drawing.  Come fall, she will be heading to University of Ottawa where she will be working on a degree in Computer Engineering, combining her love of robotics and AI with her immense level of creativity.

"I’m so proud of my daughter for her accomplishments in this sport. Believe it or not, Camilla was hesitant to try out for the club because that means she would have to quit choir. She did it anyways, and after the first practice, she said it was the best day ever. I always admire her determination and drive to go after what she wants. I know that these skills and values will stick with her throughout her life, even if she decides to stop swimming.” - Parents of Camilla

Camilla you are one of the most kind hearted and creative souls.  We’ve seen you support everyone around you, from volunteering with our Junior Barracudas to motivating your closest friends as you train alongside them. NKB is excited for you and all that lies ahead.  Your advice even as your move forward from NKB continues to demonstrate this and can best be shared in your own words.  “My piece of advice is to stop comparing yourself to other swimmers. To some people it may seem obvious but this is one thing that took me a very long time to learn. You might be swimming with people who are younger or older than you but that doesn’t matter. Your swim journey is your own, no one else can change that. If you work hard, put in the effort, and believe you can do it, the results will show. They might not always be what you expect, but that’s ok. You race yourself and you can even forget about everyone else. It’s your race, your win, and only you can decide how much you want it.”