Lacombe Sea Lion Junior Lifeguard Club hosts second annual swim meet

Eighty-three athletes from Lacombe, Wetaskiwin, Hinton and Innisfail competed in lifesaving swims

The Lacombe Kinsmen Aquatic Centre recently hosted the Lacombe Sea Lion Junior Lifeguard Club Swim Meet.

Eighty-three athletes from Lacombe, Wetaskiwin, Hinton and Innisfail competed in various lifesaving swim competitions.

Sheri Mitchell, meet manager for Lacombe Sea Lions Swim Meet, said first timers to one of these events would notice a distinct difference from other meets.

“This is a livesaving sport program, so it isn’t simply swimming back and forth. They are swimming with mannequins, they have obstacles and there are all sorts of different events going on,” she said.

The pool was full of athletes, spectators, volunteers and officials — keeping the second annual meet going.

“We have over 45 different volunteers and as you can see, there is so much equipment. Our equipment handling crew is running back and forth with carts. They are lots of parents volunteering and it is really cool. All of our officials, line judges and everyone are all volunteers,” Mitchell said.

The Sea Lion Club begins training in October in order to compete in local, provincial and perhaps national and international competitions.

“This is one of the last meets before provincials in April, which this year is being held in Lethbridge. All of the athletes have worked really hard. Our teams swim for 90 minutes twice per week. That is a lot of swimming,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the sport often gets confused with lifeguards. These meets, however, are very much athletic competitions.

“It is a lifesaving sport and it is the only sport in the world based on humanitarian principles. The athletes have a code of conduct and it is all based on helping saving other people. The mannequins they train with are representative as if they are saving real victims,” she said.

Mitchell said the sport is also very diverse.

“We have adult swimmers, we have seniors swimming and coaches swim with their athletes. It is a really cool sport in that it is not as strict as Swim Alberta. It is very inclusive and diverse. It also includes swimmers with special needs,” she said.

The Lacombe Club has been around for many years, but only became serious about competitions in the last two.

This is our second competition we have hosted,” Mitchell said.

The club is open to anyone who can swim one full length of the pool and the club does two intakes per year — one in the fall and one in the winter.

“We really want to bring attention to the sport because it is such a big thing and Alberta is currently the number one province in Canada with the strongest athletes. We beat Ontario and we really excited to continually grow our athletes. You can get the whole family involved,” Mitchell said.

Lacombe Sea Lions Results:

50 Meter Manikin Carry

  • 2nd: Irene Ruan (Girls 12-12)
  • 2nd: Abbygale Weston-Poole (Girls 14-15)
  • 3rd: Conor Casserly (Boys 9 and under)
  • 3rd: Mateo Verma (Boys 14-15)

100 Meter Rescue Medley

  • 2nd: Mateo Verma (Boys 14-15)
  • 1st: Abbygale Weston-Poole (Girls 14-15)

100 Meter Carry with Fins

  • 2nd: Abbygale Weston-Poole (Girls 14-15)
  • 2nd: Irene Ruan (Girls 12-13)
  • 3rd : Mateo Verma (Boys 14-15)

100 Meter Super Lifesaver

  • 1st: Abbygale Weston-Poole
  • 2nd: Mateo Verma

50 Meter Carry with Fins

  • 1st Sarah Richardson (Girls 9 and under)
  • 3rd Lily McMillan (Girls 10-11)
  • 3rd Max Ruan (Boys 9 and under)

50 Meter Tow with Fins

  • 2nd Lily McMillan (Girls 10-11)

100 Meter Tow with Fins

  • 1st: Abbygale Weston-Poole (Girls 14-15)
  • 3rd: Mateo Verma (Boys 14-15)


todd.vaughan@lacombeexpress.com

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