Salmon Cove swimmer succeeds
“When I am in the pool, I feel like I can do anything.”
Early every Saturday morning, Sarah Forward drags herself out of bed and gets ready to head to Carbonear Swimming Pool.
This is usually the sixth day in a week the 12-year-old competitive swimmer trains.
She, along with the rest of the competitive Poseidon Swim Club members, have upped the ante on training, and increased their schedule from five nights a week, adding the Saturday morning practice.
Although Sarah often struggles to get up on her day off school, she knows once she gets up and moving, the practice will be worth it.
“After practice is over, I’m happy I went,” the shy seventh grader told The Compass during a brief pre-practice chat last Tuesday.
Sarah not only enjoys the exercise and excitement of being on a competitive swim team.
“When I am in the pool, I feel like I can do anything. I dive in and I’m really excited about
what I can do.”
Swimming for Sarah is about more than medals and personalbest times. The younger swimmers look up to her.
“When I was down in the change room I was telling the younger girls, ‘ You need to get your champ times,’” she said. “They said they couldn’t, but I told them they can.”
The younger swimmers like to hang out with the more senior team members at swim meets. In fact, the age differential — the team has swimmers between the ages of nine and 15 — doesn’t appear to affect any of them.
“It’s nice to see them all working with one another, talking with one another and encouraging one another,” Sarah’s mother Megan Forward told The Compass. “I think it’s awesome that Sarah and the older swimmers are role models.”
Sarah confirmed the group cheers for each other during meets and plays together during downtime at practice.
Sarah has been diagnosed as double jointed, or hypermobility, by an orthopedic surgeon. It can cause looseness or laxity in the shoulders, which can present a challenge for swimmers.
She was having some difficulty with her rotator cuff, which prevented her from being able to swim three of the four strokes — front crawl, backstroke and butterfly.
At the time, breaststroke was not her strongest swim, but it was the only one she was allowed to participate in. So, while going through physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles around her shoulder, Sarah began improving her breaststroke technique. It is now her favourite stroke.
Megan said the injury didn’t deter her daughter from swimming, although others her age may not have stuck with it.
Sarah is proud of getting over that threshold, and is working to not let her hypermobility affect her swimming. She continues to have her shoulder checked out, and said she will do what she needs to in order to keep swimming.
Sarah has been working hard in the pool to prepare for one of the biggest meets of the year — the East Coast Championships at the Mount Pearl Summit Centre. Sarah is the only Poseidon swimmer to qualify for the competition, happening March 5-9.
How does she feel about attending by herself?
“I feel excited and a little nervous,” she said.
Her mom is really excited for her to be competing at an elite competition for the second year in a row.
Sarah Forward of Posidon Swim Club will compete in Mount Pearl March 5-9 in the East Coast Championships.