The Bear Facts January 15th, 2021

Paul Birmingham

Welcome to the  seventy-fourth  issue of  The Bear Facts:
A source for all things Keyano!

1. Schedule Information
2. For Parents and Swimmers
3. Group Report
4. Bingos/Fundraisers Information
6. Bear Birthdays!

Note: The newsletters are posted in the News section on the homepage, should you ever need to revisit them or see a record of our communications!

Thank you for reading. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Keyano office. 

Happy New Year to all members! 
I hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing break (although somewhat 'modified').

Whilst we are all coping with this period in our lives in different ways I really just wanted to take the opportunity to recognise the absolutely  amazing job the kids/young adults in our club have been doing in just 'getting on with things'. It has really been so amazing to see the resilience of our swimmers to deal with the ebb and flow, ups and downs and highs and lows of the current situation. 

This concept of resiliency is so important to the evolution of our swimmers as both athletes AND people.  As coaches when we discuss this concept it's so often in reference to dealing with the peaks and troughs related to athletic performance. We redirect the athletes thoughts from what 'has happened' to what they can do in the future to make 'better things happen'. The challenges that our swimmers have faced this year far exceed the temporary disappointment of a missed best time in a race. Despite this the resiliency the coaches at EKSC have witnessed amongst all our swimmers in the program has been quite humbling. The capacity for our swimmers to remain patient and calm in not being able to pursue their sport as we all would like is incredibly inspiring. 

The tough lessons our swimmers have been forced to learn - resiliency, adaptability and dedication to their goals no matter the pitfalls - is an outcome that they will all take with them forever. We can't put an accurate time frame as to when our sport will be back to normal. I can say though it is a LOT closer than it was last year. Stay the course swimmers, maintain this patient focus and your rewards will come as athletes and as PEOPLE.


EKSC Covid-19 Update 

Our online programs are back at full steam after enjoying a couple of long weekends during the holidays, and we are so happy to see up to 150 swimmers on any given day actively participating on any one of our online workouts. 

At this time, we have heard no news about the extension of the current health order that includes a ban on sports. We do not expect pools to reopen on January 21, when the current health order is set to expire. However, we are expecting more information on this to be announced either today or Monday - we will continue to interpret and communicate how those changes affect you and Edmonton Keyano's programs. 

In the news this week, on January 14 the Alberta government announced some minor changes to the current health lockdown. This includes the reopening of personal care businesses on an appointment basis only. While this does not include recreation centres and swimming pools at this time, it is encouraging to see the start of a safe reopening of non-essential businesses that are important for mental and physical health. 

The best way for us to continue through this pandemic is to remain optimistic, but also to keep our expectations focused on the current programs for however long it might take for the next reopening announcement. Alberta has really bent the curve back down, and with continued respect for health orders we will all be in a better place to return to swimming sooner than later. 

As we look forward, our staff are actively working on plans for both re-entering the water and for extended dryland work - whichever comes next we are prepared to keep the programs as fresh and engaging as possible. 

For more details on group scheduling for the new season 2020/21 please click here:

Swim Canada National Virtual Event Camps

This year Swim Canada has instituted a new initiative for members of the Canadian National Team and national development swimmers. A series of Virtual Event Camps has been created to bring together top performers in the country for each event. There have been 6 Event Groups Camps established:

100/200 Freestyle
Distance Freestyle

Each group averaged around 15 selected athletes.

The Virtual Camps were run over consecutive weekends and various activities were conducted eg talks on sports science, athlete panel talks, race analysis, nutrition etc

This year Keyano had 4 athletes selected to camps:
Distance: Emma O'Croinin, Emma Finlin
100/200 Freestyle: Christey LIang
IM: Olivia Brendzan

I was also selected as the Head Coach for the 100/200 Freestyle Camp and was required to plan, co-ordinate and host the sessions.

For a more in depth look at what occurred on one of the camps here is report from Keyano swimmer Christey Liang:

Swimming Canada 100 and 200 Freestyle National Virtual Camp
by Christey Liang (Senior National Group)

This past week I was able to participate in a Swim Canada camp mainly focused on 200 freestyle and under. There were two zoom sessions, with the first one being mainly focused on relays and the second zoom focused more on the freestyle stroke.

Being a development swimmer myself, it was really cool to be able to be apart of something with many senior team members such as Penny Oleksiak, Kayla Sanchez, Taylor Ruck,Brent Hayden and more. I was able to learn about team Canada’s relays and the details of what Canadian swimmers needs to improve on in order to be able to medal at big competitions such as the Olympics. It was really interesting to see the small but important details within relays, things such as the splits, takeover times, the difference between prelims and finals for relays and more. I was also able to listen to some Q and As with senior team members and retired swimmers where we got to learn about their past experiences being on Team Canada. Listening to coach Ian Arminger and Coach Tom Johnson was also really cool, learning about their takes on Canadian swimming and their past experiences coaching was pretty interesting.

Overall, it was a really great camp to be on, especially during these times where many swimmers are not able to train. Being part of a mix of both developing and senior swimmers was a really cool way to bring all of us together where we not only get to learn about freestyle and relays, but the mental aspect of swimming, being apart of a team and working together with your coach to achieve your goals. It was so great to be apart of this camp and I can’t wait to get back into training and racing!

Keyano Through The Years
By Mattea Lastovka (Senior National)
  1. The name Keyano comes from the Cree word “Keyano”, meaning brotherhood and friendship. This name was inspired by the mascot of the 1978 Commonwealth Games,  Keyano the Bear, which took place in Edmonton (Keyano the Bear is pictured on the right)
  2. In its first full season, Keyano adopted the grizzly bear as the mascot for the team. The grizzly bear was indigenous to Northern Alberta, a fierce competitor, an excellent swimmer, therefore it seemed a powerful symbol for Keyano as the club worked to seek a place in the world aquatic community.
  3. In the 80s, whenever the rookie male swimmers achieved their first national time, they had to shave their heads.
  4. Over the years, Keyano has placed 22 swimmers, coaches, and other staff (such as therapists and team managers) on Olympics teams.
  5. Keyano’s own Ollie Currie, team manager extraordinaire accumulated five Olympic rings throughout her career.
  6. Throughout the 80s and 90s, a Tuesday night timed 12,000m time trial was instituted for Keyano distance swimmers.
  7. Keyano was founded following the end of the 1978 Commonwealth Games. It was formed by the union of the Jasper Place Swim Club and the South Swim Club. Later, the North Edmonton Sharks and Bonnie Doon Blue Fins joined as well.
  8. At Keyano’s pinnacle meet, Edmonton Keyano International, the club used to hand out gold, silver, and bronze pins instead of medals (pictured below).



Here is another fantastic recipe from one of our Keyano swimmers. This awesome idea is from Isabella Dej in the Senior National Group!

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Dressing 

Prep time: 25 mins
Total time: 25 mins 
Servings: 12

  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style prepared mustard 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces 
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1 apple: peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 pear: peeled, cored, and sliced
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine sugar, lemon juice, onion, mustard, and salt. Process until well blended. With machine still running, add oil in a slow, steady stream until mixture is thick and smooth. Add poppy seeds, and process just a few seconds more to mix.
  2. In a large serving bowl, toss together the romaine lettuce, shredded Swiss cheese, cashews, dried cranberries, apple, and pear. Pour dressing over salad just before serving, and toss to coat.


Development (Gold/Silver/Bronze)

Happy New Year Keyano families!

Although training has looked a little different recently, we’ve been having fun and working hard at our Development Group Zooms. The coaches have loved seeing so many smiling faces so far!

The Tuesday and Thursday sessions with Gold, Silver, and Bronze Groups have started off with Coach Matt leading us through a dynamic warm-up. Then, we’ve had a few coaches take us through a series of either 1-minute challenges or 5-minute workout sequences. Our coaches have been focusing on three main areas: strength, coordination, and flexibility. Some of our favourite exercises have been mountain climbers, lunges, squat jumps, planks, and flutter kicks, just to name a few. We have then been splitting off into separate breakout rooms at the halfway point to get some more face time within our groups. Here’s a picture from one of the Bronze Zooms:

On Fridays, the Gold and Silver groups have continued working on their strength, coordination, and flexibility with their coaches through dynamic warm-ups and 1-minute challenges. They’ve also had a chance to catch up with their individual coaches and with each other. Rumour has it some groups have even done show-and-tells! Coaches have had the opportunity to take swimmers through swimming technique and race videos at these sessions, something we aren’t usually able to do when we’re at the pool.

On Wednesdays, Coach Madi has designed fun challenges and games for the Gold groups. After a 15-minute warm-up, the swimmers split up into two groups and face off in a points challenge for 25 minutes. The swimmers can choose which exercises to do, with a varying amount of points awarded for each exercise. Some of the swimmer favourites so far have been the 6-minute burpee challenge worth 2 points for every 10 burpees, 25 tuck jumps worth 4 points, 1 minute of shoulder taps worth 3 points, and more! The RGC, Meadows, and Jasper Place group has been on a winning streak lately but the Kinsmen group has been closing the gap every week. We’ve closed every session with a fun Jeopardy Game of questions about swimming, famous swimmers, Edmonton, EKSC, and Canada. Here’s a picture of the Kinsmen Gold group tackling a jeopardy question:

We’re looking forward to seeing even more of you at the Development Zooms!

Coach Lili

Junior Provincial

The Junior Provincial group have been hard at work with their at home programs since pools have been closed for just over a month now. Attendance has been great in the group and communication has remained constant over this time. Over the last 5 weeks of zoom workouts, we have incorporated resistance bands into the training. Bands allows swimmers to perform very similar movements like freestyle on land. This allows them to work on their technique and keeps all their muscles fit. Many swimmers have shown improvement on their catch and it should carry over when they return to the pool.

The Junior Provincial group has also enjoyed some fun activities over this time, like show and tell about all the new Christmas presents they have received. Swimmers were very excited to show off what they got and some shared about how proud they were of choosing the perfect gift for their parents or siblings. We also played some fun online games during this time. Among Us was the most popular game that involved deceptions and lies. I was quite impressed with many swimmers poker faces and strategies taken to win the game. 

The group is making the best of their current situation, so keep up the good work!


Junior National 
The New Year has arrived, and our Junior National swimmers are back into their dryland sessions with vigour. The group has worked hard on improving their bands skills, ‘swimming’ to repeat times ranging from smooth long distance per stroke style to faster tempo/rate sprints. The important piece is holding that proper catch/set at the top of the stroke movement.
 Our Tuesday and Thursday morning sessions are bands focused with the Monday to Friday afternoon sessions are a combination of strength and core dryland along with HIIT video workouts. Recently we have added another segment to the dryland called ‘Yoga for Swimmers’ and they have done extremely well picking it up. 
Our afternoon sessions have also had an element of music trivia! Mostly from the Classic Rock genre several swimmers have shocked me with knowing some of the songs and artists from Rush to David Bowie, Beatles to Pink Floyd! Must be listening to mom and dad’s music in the car, ya baby!
That is all for now!
Coach Alex

Swim Alberta Health and Wellness Initiative
For more information on this please follow the link:
Bingo Update
Please Contact Christine Reeves at [email protected] if you have any questions about signing up for your bingos. 
We would just like to remind members that information on equipment required for each group is located on the Keyano page of the Team Aquatics Website please click here.
Lena Slee
Clare Grehan
Ila Donald
Open O'Kelly
Jake Fairey
Finley Minskip
Olivia Morrow
Alana Devlin
Kaley Thomas
Narra Holman
Mattea Lastovka

Copyright © *2020* *Edmonton Keyano Swim Club*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
106, 9100 Walterdale Hill
Edmonton, Alberta T6E 2V3
[email protected]

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.


This email was sent to [email protected] 
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 
Edmonton Keyano Swim Club · 106, 9100 Walterdale Hill · Edmonton, Alberta T6E 2V3 · Canada 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp