DEDICATED DOLPHIN - Angelina Matheson practices the butterfly stroke during a training session with the Lacombe Dolphins

DEDICATED DOLPHIN - Angelina Matheson practices the butterfly stroke during a training session with the Lacombe Dolphins

Dolphins put in hard work for love of swimming

Swimming isn’t easy, but for those willing to put in hard work, it can be a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding pastime.

Swimming isn’t easy, but for those willing to put in hard work, it can be a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding pastime.

Erica Bolze, head coach of the Lacombe Dolphins swim club, said that swimming is a sport for those athletes looking to push their limits.

“It’s not an easy sport, we push them really hard,” said Bolze.

However, Bolze also said swimming has benefits like fitness, improved self-esteem and the learning of new skills.

Bolze has been with the Dolphins for about 12 years with her time as a swimmer and a coach combined.

She said she isn’t sure how long the club itself has existed, but knows it was around long before she joined.

It was the challenge of swimming that appealed to Bolze and what she said draws a lot of other athletes to the sport. While the sport is challenging and demands commitment and hard work, Bolze said the

Dolphins strive to find a balance between fun and competition.

“We’re really focused on having fun,” said Bolze. “That’s what we call our main rule. But we are also very competitive.”

Throughout the season, the Lacombe Dolphins will participate in about five swim meets as well as regional and provincial meets. Last month, the Dolphins held their own swim meet here in Lacombe at the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre.

Bolze said it was the first meet of the season and a chance for new swimmers to gain experience and for more experienced ones to shake off a little rust.

“It was very much a learning experience,” said Bolze. “It was our first meet back in the water . . . so it was very much getting back into it.”

Now approaching the end of the season with only five weeks left, Bolze said the club is in full swing training for regionals and provincials.

She said the club’s next two meets, in Ponoka and Killam, will have swimmers participating in their best events.

At the beginning of the season, Bolze said the swimmers participate in a number of different swimming events to see where they fare best. In these last two meets, the swimmers choose their best events to compete in, sort of like a practice session for the regional competition, which will take place when swimmers return after the August long weekend.

While it is no easy feat to qualify for the provincial competition, Bolze is confident in the swimmers’ abilities.

She said although this year’s team is fairly young, they have shown great commitment and that commitment has built up over the years.

“They’re really committed and they work themselves really hard,” said Bolze. “I’m confident with the progress of the year that they will be really happy with how they do at regionals.”

Bolze said the Dolphins have been doing fairly well this season.

She added that improvement is more important than placing though. Instead of judging swimmers’ progression by how well they place compared to other swimmers,

Bolze said the club tries to judge swimmers on how they fare against their own previous times.

“If they go to a swim meet and beat their time, that’s a huge thing,” said Bolze.

“That’s how we like to look at success and judge it, is if they are getting better, if they are improving their own personal skills.”

So far, Bolze is impressed with how the swimmers are performing this season. She said between 75% and 80% of the Club’s 80-plus swimmers are consistently beating their times.

“A lot of them have really improved this year.”

It takes a fair amount of dedication and commitment to excel in the sport of swimming. Bolze said the Club’s senior swimmers practice two hours a day five times a week.

“They have quite extensive training,” said Bolze. She added that younger swimmers in the Club’s intermediate and junior levels swim twice a week for an hour and a half and an hour respectively.

However, those who put so much effort into training do so because they love the sport. Bolze said that some of the senior swimmers even practice outside of Club training time when they are already swimming six times a week on weeks when there is a meet.

“They really enjoy it.”


Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported five additional deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19. (File photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer at 169 active cases of COVID-19

Province set to move into Stage 2 of reopening Thursday

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Most Read