The Golden Dolphins Swim Club is ready to dive into summer for their 30th year of operation.
The swimmers range in age from five years old up to 18, and sometimes older, and it is expected that between 90 and 100 kids will be signing up for this season.
“Golden is a small community, but we’re actually one of the largest swim clubs in the province,” said Kyle Morrow, head coach with the Dolphins.
The 21 year old has been swimming most of his life, coaching for four years, and is excited to be returning to Golden for the second summer.
“Both swim teams that I’ve coached have been small rural clubs, and I really enjoy it. I find they’re a lot more tight knit, and there’s a lot of community support,” he said.
As one of the few clubs with only outdoor facilities, the Golden Dolphins have a slightly shorter season than many of the clubs they run into at competitions.
“There’s limitations on how much winter training you can do in a summer program. They’re only allowed a couple hours a week to train. But our biggest thing is that we lose three weeks of training at the beginning of the season because of the outdoor pool. So we’ve got to catch up for those three weeks of daily training that other clubs get on us in indoor pools,” said Morrow.
So several club members have been doing dryland training with Nicki McIntosh at the Lady Grey Elementary School gym twice a week, all winter. One of those swimmers is 17-year-old Lochlan Noble.
“It is a lot of work, but it really pays off. I really like pushing myself,” said Noble. During the busiest points of the season, Noble can be found training up to four hours a day (two in the morning, two in the afternoon), five days a week.
It is that dedication that has made him one of the only Golden Dolphins members to win a medal individually, as opposed to competing with a relay team.
“It was in the 50 freestyle,” said Noble of the race he medaled in last year in Richmond B.C. “It was a really close race, the top six were within half a second of each other.”
Noble is graduating from high school this year, and has hopes of swimming in university. He has already been accepted to the engineering program at UVIC.
But Morrow insists that not every athlete in the club must have as high of aspirations as Noble does.
“We have a very diverse group. We have individuals who have medaled at provincials and are in the top tier of athletes in the province, and then we have individuals who choose to do swimming as cross-training for other winter sports… And there’s a number who joined the club for social reasons, and to get involved in the community, while others do it to stay healthy and stay fit,” said Morrow.
“We cater to all the different groups. And one of the things we do is we develop different training programs for individuals who have different goals within the sport.”
Swimming can be a lifelong hobby, and it’s never too late to get started.
I encourage anyone who’s interested in joining the team, regardless of their age, to contact the club,” said Morrow.
Registration for the Golden Dolphins’ 2012 season will be held at Lady Grey Elementary School on Tuesday May 1 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.