Team hopes to gain varsity status in the near future
The StFX swim club was started in 2012 and has been a welcoming place for swimmers of all skill levels to enjoy. While in the past the StFX swim team has competed against winter clubs who would practice and train year round, the team has recently become a Masters team. This has evidently been a good move because it allows the team and its competitors to enjoy themselves at a more practicable level.
This is a significant year for the team as they are striving to establish themselves as more of a competitive team on campus. On Saturday, February 10, the team will be hosting a swim meet at the Oland Centre. What spectators should look forward to is seeing the skill and diversity that this year’s team has to offer. “We have really good swimmers on our team” says Brenna McDonnell, Vice President of the swim team. McDonnell is a fourth year forensic psychology student, and also a member of the StFX swim team. She also has coaching roles at the school which includes coaching the PHAST Swim team.
“We bring a wide range of abilities and attitudes, and we’re all at this meet because we worked to made it happen,” McDonnell tells. There will be participants not only representing many different areas of the Maritimes, but also many different age groups and skill levels. “There are swimmers participating from university age up to people in sixties and seventies. Its super cool to see because swimming is something you can do at any age.” McDonnell continues by explaining the kind of community the sport garners. “With this meet bringing Masters teams from all over Nova Scotia and other provinces, its more so that everyone is there because they love swimming, and they’re taking part in the sport to keep fit and keep active. Swimming is a great community to celebrate those things.”
Working to achieve varsity status, the team is holding this swim meet to high importance in showing the skill and diversity to it. At the moment, the team has approximately 30 members. A great advantage that the club aspect currently has to offer is that people who don’t want to compete are still allowed membership to the team, where they can swim and still keep the fitness aspect and team network. At the same time, those who wish to compete can compete. Sometimes feeling torn, because McDonnell explains that the swim team is great because you want to be there, nobody judges you, and everyone is welcome.
“The whole goal for the swim team for the last couple years has been to eventually receive varsity status.” McDonnell describes. She proceeds to tell about the efforts made to having a high performance segment of the club. “This would change the whole dynamic of the team and we may lose the social part but we’ve made segues into channelling a high performance team.” The expectations of the high performance team would be to attend a certain amount of practices, dry land training, and combat room sessions.
In order to move forward and attain varsity status, the team is working to have the skill to back it up. Practices are currently 4km to 5km practices, which is what is expected of any varsity swim team. The next step is getting the strength and speed to keep up with the other varsity teams. The team has started doing weight lifting, and they have three dry land sessions a week; two in the dungeon and one in the combat room run by Tyler Thorne, the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
McDonnell and Thorne are joined by a treasurer, registrar, secretary and president. This year's president is Alison Armstrong, and Coach is Laura MacMillan. “We are very lucky to have an amazing executive team,” says McDonnell. This executive team has made progress in the right direction to hopefully achieve varsity status. The team and its executive team is set up in a way that the efforts will be carried on, and they can pick up exactly where we leave off. Next year’s executive team will be decided closer to the end of the year.