First published in Lethbridge Herald, Wednesday, September 4, 2019.
In less than four years, Canada’s women’s swimming team has gone from a curiosity to one of the things to be most excited about at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics according to CBC Sports.
Swimming is considered in the top three most popular sports in Canada behind soccer and hockey when you include the recreational component.
So how does swimming compare in Lethbridge? From the first length of the pool to the Olympic Games, Lethbridge offers diverse activities for all abilities and ages, and in a variety of environments.
Lethbridge is home to three competitive swim clubs, a university swim team, a lifesaving club, a synchronize swim club, a diving club, Special Olympics Swimming, a triathlon club, and a newly formed recreational water polo league.
2016 Olympian Rachel Nicol is arguably Lethbridge’s most accomplished competitive swimmer. Swimming with the Lethbridge Amateur Swim Club she first made a name for herself at the 2010 Youth Olympics bringing home gold and two bronze. At the 2015 Pan Am Games she won two medals, silver and bronze. Seeded 18th going into the 2016 Rio Olympics, Rachel placed 5th in both the 100M Breaststroke and the 200M Medley Relay.
The Lethbridge Amateur Swim Club has been the home to competitive swimming for over 75 years and have helped hundreds of local swimmers achieve their goals. They offer programs for swimmers aged five to adult with the Junior Pronghorns, Competitive and Masters’ groups. They offer professional certified coaches at every level led by Head Coach Peter Schori and a volunteer Board of Directors.
The Lethbridge Summer Swim Club members range from 5 to 19 years of age with coaching available for varying abilities from novice to the club nationals. Their season runs from May 1 to mid-August.
The Spartans Aquatic Club based out of Fritz Sick Pool offers competitive and non-competitive swim sessions from September to May.
Beyond good programs, led by good people, quality sport consists of good places.
Lethbridge is home to five indoor aquatic centres that provide fitness, leisure, and competitive opportunities throughout the year. The City operates three, Fritz Sick Pool, Stan Siwik Pool, and Nicholas Sheran Leisure Centre.
The Max Bell Aquatic Centre located in the University of Lethbridge, is the city’s premier competition 50-metre pool constructed in 1985.
Opening in 2019 the Cor Van Raay YMCA at the ATB Centre includes a 51,000 square foot modern leisure aquatics centre.
Having access to good programs, people, and places and a hometown advantage, Lethbridge should be well represented at the Alberta Summer Games next summer.
The 2020 Alberta Summer Games will host competition for male and female swimmers born 2005 to 2008, para-swimmers Classes S1 – S14, Special Olympic swimmers born 1998 to 2008 at the University of Lethbridge Max Bell Aquatic Centre.
If you are interested in getting involved or learning more about swimming programs visit our online Sport Directory
Throughout the year, Lethbridge Sport Council will publish articles about each of the 14 sports included in the 2020 Alberta Summer Games highlighting local programs, people, and places.
For more local sport information visit www.lethbridgesportcouncil.ca