For the past few years, the Elmira Aquaducks have been the perpetual guests – always the hosted, never the hosts. The shabby old Elmira pool was simply too small to hold all the competitors and their parents, so all of their meets were on the road.
That changes today (July 24) when the club hosts the semi-finals of the South Western Ontario Regional
Swimming Association. Close to 150 swimmers from Elmira, Kincardine and Fergus will dive into the new pool in the Woolwich Memorial Centre.
“The other two teams are really looking forward to coming,” said Cindy Nicholson, the team’s manger. “A lot of parents have said ‘I can’t wait to see the new facility.’”
The parents will have a good view too, keeping an eye on the competition from the lobbies upstairs and downstairs.
The swimmers are battling for a top-eight finish and a berth in the championship finals in Guelph Aug. 7.
Elmira’s team of 24 is much smaller than either of their competitors, who have around 60 swimmers each.
The team has a number of new swimmers this year, thanks in part to the new pool. Parents bringing their kids to the arena for hockey or figure skating saw the new facility, learned about the Aquaducks and signed up their children.
Despite their smaller numbers and a sizable group of new members, they’ve done well so far this season, Nicholson said.
Swimmers practice twice a week during the year, which is divided into four sections. The summer session is usually the smallest, as some kids opt out of competing and return in the fall. Although they do have a series of meets during the summer, the Aquaducks are still a recreational swim club. Swimmers who decide they want to be more serious about competing move on to the Region of Waterloo swim club after a year or two.
Today’s meet gets underway around 9 a.m. and should wrap up around lunchtime.