A Strong Start for the St. George’s Senior Swim Team


A St. George’s swimmer competes at the 2016 ISA Championships. [Photo Credits: Georgian Yearbook]

A solid start to a sport season is imperative to the success that a team will have later on in the year. Competitive sports serves as an essential part of the collective student identity at St. George’s and over the years, the school has been building an impressive legacy in competitive sports. On Monday October 2nd, 3:30 PM at the St. George’s Kerr Pool, the St. George’s senior swim team (Grade 8-12) competed in the Saints Classic Meet, the first swim meet of the year as a way for swimmers to get used to the intensity and competition of the swimming season. The meet was organized by the Aquatics Department of St. George’s and several other schools such as York House, South Ridge, and West Point Grey Academy.

The St. George’s senior swim team has been one of the reigning BC Provincial Champions for many years.
[Photo Credits: Jay Luo]

Over the past fifteen years, the senior swim team has accomplished remarkable feats, winning many provincial and national titles. This year, the team is once again looking to continue their success in highly competitive events such as the ISAs, the Annual St. George’s Invitational Meet, the WPGA (West Point Grey Academy) invitational meet, the ISEA Championships, the Victoria Elementary Championships, and the Provincial Championships.

The swim team sprang right into action in mid-September with 1.5-hour long practices from Monday through Thursday for team members to train and prepare for the season.

One of the most important factors to past achievements of the team is the pre-season preparations like the Saints Classic Meet that allow the team to start strong. Mr. Neil Jones, the Head of Aquatics, elaborates: “This [Saints Classic Meet] is a stepping stone to the larger, more competitive meets.  It’s a bridge between regular practices, the Saints only Time Trials, and those Championship meets down the road.”

The All-Time Records of the St. George’s swim team.
[Photo Credits: Jay Luo]

“This year’s group are very experienced and seasoned competitors, and combined with their talents, they form a very versatile and strong group,” describes Mr. Jones. “Already in our early season Time Trials we have witnessed 2 All-time School Records!”

“This is going to be a special year for Saints swimming. I think that there is gonna be quite a few records broken this year and that we will have a good chance in bringing back the combined banner at provincials and start another winning streak”, expresses Joel Goh, an experienced swimmer on the team. With the Saints Classic Meet that was recently held on October 2nd, Joel believes that the opening meet will help the team “to scope out some of the competition that will be at ISAs,” which is the first major meet that will be taking place in Watermania on October 12th. This year, the swim team also oversaw a couple of changes with the coaches: “Now we have a whole new crop of coaches, with Mr. Hersee and Mr. Sayers leaving the team last year. I think that the new coaches this year are extremely experienced and will be a major factor of the team’s success,” Joel asserts.

Although swimmers vary in experience and age in the team, Mr. Jones and the coaching staff believes that “an honest effort”, “individual goals to pursue”, and “support” for each other will ultimately propel the team to success. For swimmers that are new to competition, Mr. Jones hopes that they “gain an appreciation for the sport and learn some fundamental racing skills.” For the more experienced swimmers, he wishes that they “continue to promote the team aspect of what is often an individual sport.”

The swim team is off to a great start this year and hopefully, the swimmers can once again cooperatively meet their goals and can continue to dominate in swim meets–starting this Thursday with the ISA Championships!