Saturday, August 31, 2013

End of Year Wrap Up

The Deep River Candu Swim Club wrapped up a very successful 2012/13 season with its annual Awards Brunch and AGM on June 15 2013.  It was a fun event, with food prepared by our dynamic group of coaches; Bingo enjoyed by the kids while 38 parents attended the AGM, and of course, the presentation of awards and recognition for a great year of swimming.  Special recognition was given to the following:


  • Best All Around:  Ecaterina Facina and Lauren Adams (Deep River)
  • Blimkie Best All Around 12 & Under: Noah Gallagher (Petawawa) 
  • Bonnie Harrison Award for Dedication and Excellence:  M.J. Lusty-Smith (Deep River) 
  • Snider Pharmasave Leadership:  Vincent Martel (Petawawa) 
  • Coaches Choice:  Connor Pike (Deep River) and Victoria Adams (Petawawa) 
  • Sportsmanship Award: Alexander Williams and Jodie Lance (Deep River) 
  • Rookie of the Year:  Kylie Smith and Raphael Guerout (Deep River) 
  • Leeson Rising Star 12 & Under: Breanna James (Chalk River) 
  • Top Score:  Ecaterina Facina (Deep River) and Vincent Martel (Petawawa) 
  • 4 A Award (Attitude, Achievement, Attendance, Ability):  Liam McKenna (Deep River) 
  • *New* Diane Davis Team Spirit Award:  William Miller-Muir and Hannah Williams (Deep River)

Looking back at the 2012/13 season shows the growth and progress of the club and its swimmers.  A total of 62 youngsters participated in our Sears I Can Swim (ICS) program, swimming 2 hours per week for a total of 30 weeks divided over 3 sessions.  Coach Heather Pentney led a group of coaches to deliver 54 basic skills that enable kids to learn the four major swim strokes and progress into competent swimmers, while having fun.  Four new coaches completed the ICS coaches training and all coaches received in-house training with a focus on stroke improvement and diagnosis as well as safety.  ICS swimmers had a chance to track their progress by participating in mock meets during sessions 1 and 2 and participation in Sundaes on Sunday, the Blackfly meet and our swim-a-thon in session 3.  During the 2012/2013 swim season, 8 swimmers graduated from the ICS program and began swimming with the pre-competitive team. Ten more swimmers have since completed the 54 skills during session 3 of ICS and were presented with a certificate at the banquet inviting them to move up our program.

New in 2012/13 was the development of a precompetitive program under the direction of Coach Mitch Blimkie which provided a stepping stone between our learn-to-swim and competitive programs.  Twenty-four swimmers trained for 2 or 3 one-hour practices per week and participated in an average of 3 meets (Great Harvest, Sundaes on a Sunday, Blackfly) and some travelled to away meets in the 2nd and 3rd session.  The swimmers were exposed to a variety of developmental activities including a stretch clinic, video analysis and some shared practices with the competitive program.  One swimmer (Noah Gallagher of Petawawa) graduated from the program and joined the competitive program for Session 3.

A primary focus of the Candu club is to produce swimming athletes.  We had 15 swimmers in the competitive program this year, and Coach Chela Breckon developed a strong program to motivate and train these athletes.  She implemented new and innovative training from the province, including new measurement tools proven to provide a tailored view of swimmers strengths and areas for improvement.  Her back to the basics approach produced cleaner swims and fewer disqualifications.  Training focused games were also a hit with the swimmers, keeping things interesting while they trained up to 5 times per week.  Video analysis during training proved a valuable tool and the club would like to thank the Town of Deep River for its financial assistance in purchasing the hardware, as well as Connor McKenna for his assistance with filming/editing.  The team competed at 11 swim meets, plus swimmers qualified for an additional 4 meets run by the Eastern Ontario Swimming Association or Swim Ontario.  Steady progress was made by all swimmers, achieving personal best times throughout the year, thus knowing their training was working!  Congratulations to all the swimmers.

The Candu club provided an opportunity for non-competitive swimmers as well.  Our fitness program had 17 participants who joined the competitive swimmers for any 2 of their weekly practices.  Several fitness swimmers took the opportunity to compete in our Blackfly Meet as exhibition swimmers and also were able to participate in the stretch clinic and video analysis.

The club’s 3 program leads mentioned above provided the structure for great programs throughout the year.  They were supported by each other and a large group of adult and teenage coaches, providing great variety of instruction for each swimmer.  A dedicated group of parents/grandparents on the Executive provided organizational structure for the club.  Parent’s supported the club and their swimmers.  And of course, the community supported our fundraising events.  Thank you to all!!

Planning is well under way for the 2013/14 swim season.  Stay tuned next week for an overview of the programs on offer (we are always evolving to meet the needs of swimmers in our communities).  Get ready for more: small town, big waves!

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