Do you know of an athlete that swam for the Nanaimo White Rapids and went on to compete at a national or international level in sport?  Email [email protected] to let us know!

Erick Belanger

  • Erick was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 1991-2002. He was an integral part of the 2007 Nanaimo Clippers BCHL championship team and went on to play for the Ohio State University Buckeyes. 
  • "Spending my off-season training in the swimming pool helped me stay in excellent condition. This conditioning allowed me to have a smooth transition back onto the ice come Fall without missing a beat. It was a great sport to challenge myself and set goals, with amazing coaches and fellow members to push me to be better on a day-to-day basis."

Marc Belanger

  • Marc was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 1991-2010, first as a swimmer and then as a coach.  He has played hockey for the Nanaimo Clippers, St Norbert College where he won a National Championship, and then professionally.  He was previously the captain of Les Gothiques d'Amiens in the top league in France.   
  • "As a young hockey player looking for something to do in the summer, swimming gave me everything I was looking for. The cross training was absolutely the best thing I could do. In any sport you need a good aerobic base, which swimming gives you, but in hockey you need a strong anaerobic training. Summer swimming is the perfect exercise for that. The guidance and relationships I built throughout my time as a swimmer and then a coach have lasted to this day and will continue for the rest of my life. My level of fitness and work ethic developed through swimming helped me achieve many of my goals. It helped propel me to make the Nanaimo Clippers which led to a scholarship to St. Norbert College where I graduated with a degree in accounting and a National Championship. This opportunity helped me advance into professional hockey. I still try to swim as much as I can in the summer for training. Honestly I can trace back much of my success in sports & life to my time with the Nanaimo White Rapids and the guidance from my coaches."

Richard Bourgeois

  • Richard was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 1999-2013.  He swam for four years for the University of Victoria Vikes and has been a finalist at the Canadian University Swimming Nationals in multiple events over his career with the team.    
  • "The racing I did from a young age with the White Rapids has been a crucial factor in my success as a varsity athlete." 

Moira Brown

  • Moira was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 2005-2012. In her 5 years as a VIU student-athlete, Moira won 2 PACWEST Championships plus a silver and a bronze with the women's soccer team.
  • "I was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids for 8 years. Swimming not only made me physically fit, but I also give it credit for keeping me injury free. I have not yet had a serious injury, for swimming has strengthened the muscles that I normally don't use in soccer. It also prepared me for the high level intensity of conditioning that I now experience every day at practice."

Tommy Gossland

  • Tommy was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 2000-2005.  He swam for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds from 2007-2012, in which he won multiple national titles and was named Canadian Inter-University Sport (CIS) Male Swimmer of the Year in 2012.  He was a member of the 4X100 Freestyle and the 4X100 Medley CIS record setting relay teams, and currently holds the UBC Thunderbirds 100 freestyle record formerly held by Olympic medalist Brent Hayden.  Gossland has gone on to represent Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games, 2013 University World Championships, and the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships.  
  • "When I began swimming with the Nanaimo White Rapids Swim Club, I had a great time making friends and learning about the world of competitive swimming. When I first started, I was too nervous to compete and ‘scratched’ almost every race. The months and years went on, and after countless opportunities to race, I learned to handle my nerves and perform under pressure. I developed enough confidence in myself that I began looking forward to getting off the blocks and racing my friends. During the summer, the pool became my second home and my teammates became my second family. Some of my best childhood memories are of swimming at the outdoor pool in the summer with my friends. One spring, I remember hearing news that some of my friends wouldn't be swimming that summer. I wanted to quit because I didn't think it would be the same without them, but I was convinced to continue and give it a chance. If I hadn't swum that summer, I may not have ever realized my potential. Even long after moving on from the White Rapids, I still draw on the skills and experiences I acquired. Twelve years after my first practice, as I walked out of the ready room at the London Aquatic Centre for my Olympic debut, I remember thinking to myself 'It’s just like racing in the summer club.' "

Gareth Saunders

  • Gareth was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 1997-2008.  He swam for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds from 2008-2011.  In that time he was a member of the 2009 Canadian University National Championship winning team and the 2011 Canada West Conference Championship winning team.  
  • "Being a member of the White Rapids allowed me to excel as a multi-sport athlete through to Grade 12.  Taking part in a non-impact sport such as swimming helped me to stay injury free and gave me the opportunity to develop a great aerobic base.  By training with the White Rapids in the summer, I was able to become a well rounded athlete by competing in a number of sports throughout the year.  In turn, this helped me succeed in the sport of swimming after high school at a national level."

Forrest Simpson

  • Forrest was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 2000-2010.  He ran all 5 years with the University of Victoria Vikes Cross Country/Track team and is a two time Canada West Cross Country All Star (2012 and 2013). 
  • "My years spent swimming played a huge role in developing my aerobic system, which made it easy to transition into a high level middle distance runner.  Not only did the sport of swimming instill in me the core training values and racing instincts any athlete needs to be successful, but the many summers spent with the White Rapids also helped shaped me as a person, giving me memories that will last a lifetime."

Stephanie Taekema

  • Stephanie was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 2000-2012 and was the Provincial Record Holder in the Division 8 Girls 100m breaststroke from 2011-2013. She went on to swim with the University of Victoria Vikes for two years and attended the Canadian University National Championships both years.
  • "Being a part of the Nanaimo White Rapids provided me with long lasting friendships, taught me the importance about having a good work ethic, and provided me with the mentality that if I wanted something, it was up to me to go out there and achieve my goals."

Byron Trajan

  • Byron was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 1992-1996 as a swimmer, and has coached with the club since 2010.  He has gone on to become an accomplished Triathlete, most recently representing Canada at the ITU World Championships in 2012 (Auckland), 2013 (London), and 2014 (Edmonton).   
  • "What has really stuck with me is all the fun I had in summer swim club; beyond the swimming and behind the scenes at all the events, a ton of fun is taking place, and a lot of friendships and great memories are made."

Darby Walker

  • Darby was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids from 2000-2013 and a part of the Division 7 Girls 4 X 50m Freestyle Provincial Record setting team in 2013.  She has gone on to compete for the VIU Mariners Badminton Team and played with the team throughout her degree.     
  • "Summer swimming gave me the aerobic training I needed to be fit and strong for my winter sports (badminton, gymnastics and volleyball).  The coaches put a strong emphasis on personal improvement and team spirit.   Swimming helped me develop a good work ethic and learning the value of team mates pushing each other during practices. I particularly enjoyed swimming with the White Rapids because I got to have the experience of being a part of a team even though swimming is more of an individual sport.

Vanessa Yates

  • Vanessa was a member of the Nanaimo White Rapids since 2003, first as a swimmer and then as a coach.  She played 4 years of soccer for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma women's team.  
  • "During my 10+ years with the NWRSC, the club has helped teach me how to be a serious athlete for the full 24 hours a day. It's not only about the hours you put into training or competing, but the hours you spend recovering, preparing for the next training opportunity or competition to be the best you can be. Swim club also taught me how to be mentally focused, to not get too high or too low, to not dwell on the bad stuff, like a bad race or game, but to reflect, move on and focus on what’s next and how to build to be even better."