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Swim team celebrates season
Trip to Fort Nelson makes a splash

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, August 14, 2014

ACHO DENE KOE/FORT LIARD
Members of the Fort Liard swim team swapped pools last week to celebrate their season.

NNSL photo/graphic

Hailey Sassie, left, Amy Thomas, Holly Fantasque, Madison Capot-Blanc and Dylan Steeves play in one of the features at the Rotary Club Spray Park during the Fort Liard swim team's season-end trip to Fort Nelson. - photo courtesy of Abby Duntra

A trip to Fort Nelson B.C. on Aug. 7 was a way for the swim team to wrap up the season especially because there wasn't a regional swim meet this year for them to participate in, said Amy Thomas, the hamlet's pool supervisor. Nine members of the team, who all happened to be girls, along with Thomas and Dylan Steeves as chaperones, made the trip.

"It was a fun day for us to hang out and get wet," Thomas said.

The original plan was to spend most of the day in the Fort Nelson Aquatic Centre, but beautiful weather tempted them outdoors to the Fort Nelson Rotary Club Spray Park.

The water park was Hailey Sassie's favourite part of the trip.

"You get to splash people and you can play tag in there," she said.

The water at the park was a little cold, "but it was fun," the 11-year-old said. Shopping was also one of Sassie's trip highlights.

"It was an all girl's group so shopping was high on the agenda," said Thomas.

After making some purchases the swim team participated in an open swim at the aquatic centre. It was a different swimming experience for the girls. The pool in Fort Nelson is a lot deeper, longer and just bigger than the one in Fort Liard, Sassie said.

"It's really deep," said Abby Duntra.

Duntra, 14, enjoyed playing games in the pool like tag and Marco Polo. This was Duntra's first year on the swim team.

Since the end of June, just after the pool opened, the team has met daily for an hour. Duntra said she made almost every practice. She spent her summer focusing on improving her breaststroke and front crawl.

Breaststroke and the whip kick that it uses, which the swim team members refer to as frog legs, was also the focus for Sassie who said it's her favourite stroke.

"Because you get to go underwater and you get to race your friends a lot," she said.

In addition to learning the breaststroke, members of the team also worked on breathing with their head tilted to the side during the front crawl and on the back crawl, said Thomas. Some of the older members also learned the butterfly stroke.

The team members liked to race each other and time themselves while practising their strokes, she said.

"I've noticed really great improvements in some of the kids in their times," she said.

The Fort Nelson trip concluded with a bit more shopping and supper at Boston Pizza. The swim team had their final practice on Aug. 8. The season at the pool will end with three weeks of swimming lessons.

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