Diving into a new experience, Los Angeles swim tour

Saints swimmers come together for a photo with Wayland, Andrew, and Roland buried under the sand.

Selected swimmers from the St. George’s team embarked on a trip with Mr. Dustin Hersey and Ms. Suzanne Dill to Los Angeles, scheduled during the Thanksgiving weekend from October 9-13. Leaving on Thursday and coming back on Monday, the swimmers stayed with billets for five days and four nights.

On the first day, the team arrived at the Los Angeles Airport by 2:00 PM and drove for about an hour to their destination, Pacific Palisades High School. After arriving, they met up with West Point Grey Academy at the school pool to have a short but intense practice.

After a good night’s sleep, the team met up in the school’s pool at 7:50 AM to have a two-hour practice. During the two hours, the swimmers had to endure grueling sets that worked them to their cores. The sets included fifty times 50s of either fly or free, and twelve times 200 IM (Individual Medley: 50 Fly, 50 Back, 50 Breastroke and 50 Freestyle). For the rest of the morning and afternoon, the team went to downtown and 3rd street promenade to eat and shop. Then, the team attended to a party located in an American swimmer’s huge house by Beverly Hills.

Early on Saturday morning, the team travelled to Six Flags Magic Mountain Theme Park for the extreme rides and festivities. Trailing the amusement park, the team went to Venice Beach. While some decided to surf, others shopped or walked around, enjoying what Los Angeles has to offer.

On Sunday, the team went to the school pool to compete at the USA versus Canada swim meet (Palisades High School vs. Saints and WPGA). The meet passed by quickly and the Canadian swimmers got insights to racing in another country. Following the meet, the team walked to the ocean for a fun beach party. The activities included ultimate, body surfing, and boogie boarding. To finish the trip, the swimmers went back to their billets’ houses for dinner, ending the final night of the trip.

When asked about what he learned or gained from the trip, Matthew Lee (Gr. 12) stated, “I think that the fact we stayed with billets instead of staying in a hotel/resort was much more meaningful than the previous tours.  This is because we got to see and explore life down in the Pacific Palisades Area from a local’s point of view instead of a tourist’s point of view.  Additionally, it was really cool to live in a humongous house with Jacuzzis, saunas, multiple home theatres, etc.”

When asked about what his best experience was, Colin Mitchell commented, “Staying in the billet family is the best part because you get the genuine experience of being in a real environment where everything feels more exciting. The billet family provided a very different feeling of attachment. I would undoubtedly be able to host families if they came down here.”