Since the closure of the Sylvan Lake Aquatic Centre earlier this year, members of the Sylvan Lake Nauticals Swim Club have had to travel to other communities to use their aquatic facilities.
But that hasn’t stopped the club’s swimmers from continuing their development, with one of them — Elizabeth Moore — even set to attend Nationals this summer.
“(Moore is) very proud to be a member of the Sylvan Lake Nauticals Swim Club and representing her community at a national level and at a national competition,” said the club’s head development coach Sharon Burns.
Other swimmers were close to being eligible for national competitions as well, said Burns, proving it will take much more than a pool closure to prevent them from achieving their goals.
“We’re still going to try to maintain our goals and keep letting the community know that we’re still out there working,” Burns said. “We’re looking forward to keeping our swimmers at the national level and keeping our program going as much as we can.”
But when the town’s Aquatic Centre closed down, many Nauticals had to finish their season early because there was so much uncertainty as to when the pool would re-open. This caused the number of swimmers to drop from 120 to between 15 and 20.
“That’s a big drop,” Burns said. “As a result of that, we’re going to for sure have two coaches and six coaches that we’re not sure that are going to be there next year.”
One of the club’s biggest concerns, she added, is not knowing how long it will take for things to return to normal.
“We don’t know if we are going to be doing this for a while or when we’ll be back,” she said. “Some communities actually fold when this happens, but we have had lots of support, so that’s been nice to see.”