Western Canada Sum­mer Games test event proves in­valu­able

The Southwest Booster - - FRONT PAGE - STEVEN MAH SOUTHWEST BOOSTER

Both swim­mers and event or­ga­niz­ers alike came away from the South Saskatchewan Open Wa­ter Clas­sic with some lessons learned on Sun­day. The test event for the 2019 Western Canada Sum­mer Games was held at the Saskatchewan Land­ing Pro­vin­cial Park Main Beach, the first open wa­ter event of its kind in Saskatchewan in over 25 years.

“The wind was more than we wanted,” said Ken Dun­calfe, event co­or­di­na­tor for the Swift Cur­rent Bar­racu­das Swim Club. “But I got think­ing about it and I would rather have the wind to­day and we learned how to deal with it. We learned for next year. If it was calm to­day and ev­ery­thing went sim­ple we wouldn’t have learned as much right. With these con­di­tions we were able to learn a lot. We are go­ing to be able to take this in­for­ma­tion af­ter we’re done and be able to sit down and [dis­cuss] what worked and what didn’t. That’s ex­actly what we wanted. This is the rea­son we’re hav­ing this event the year be­fore the Games so we can work out these kinks. That’s why we wanted to it.”

The ath­letes adapted early in the event af­ter the male swim­mers en­coun­tered strong winds and veered off course in the first leg of the open­ing race. The fe­male swim­mers made the ad­just­ment from the start­ing line in the en­su­ing race.

“You have to keep in mind that the ma­jor­ity of these swim­mers are be­tween the age of 12-14 and none of them have ever done open wa­ter be­fore, never,” noted Dun­calfe. “This is their first time do­ing it. An event like this hasn’t hap­pened in their life­times, so this is all new to them. I seen a lot of kids com­ing in, they were smil­ing. I love that. This was a huge suc­cess in my eyes. We’re not done yet, but this has been a huge suc­cess.”

Sun­day’s event fea­tured rac­ing in youth and adult di­vi­sions with 1,500 me­tre and 3,000 me­tre races for male and fe­male swim­mers. A to­tal of 30 swim­mers from clubs across the prov­ince en­tered the wa­ter.

Swift Cur­rent’s Grif­fin Dun­calfe, 14, placed first the 1,500 Me­tres in his age group and was sec­ond over­all amongst male swim­mers.

“The last 500 was tough be­cause the waves kept go­ing over top of me,” he ex­plained. “But the sec­ond 500, it was al­right be­cause the waves were push­ing me down, but I couldn’t re­ally see the buoy. So that was tough, I didn’t re­ally know where I was Com­mu­nity Bap­tist Church. Info: Vi 306-773-6156 or Faye 306-773-8603.

OVEREATERS ANONY­MOUS, noon, First United Church (Library). Info: 306778-3765.

ALANON, noon, Gull Lake Se­niors Cen­ter. Info: www.skalanon.ca.

TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SEN­SI­BLY), 6:30 p.m., Mount Cal­vary Lutheran Church. Info: Cathy 306-773-5028.

JULY 23 – 26

FAM­I­LIES IN THE PARK, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Kins­men Park (Bell St. and 15th Ave. N.E.). For fam­i­lies with chil­dren un­der five years of age. Info: 306-778-2787.

JULY 24

AL-ANON MEET­ING, Young Adults Hope for a Bet­ter To­mor­row, noon, The Cen­tre. Info: www.skalanon.ca.

SCRAB­BLE, 1 p.m., Swift Cur­rent Library. BRIDGE

AND WHIST go­ing. The first one, I just went loose, felt good I guess.”

The veteran Bar­racu­das swim­mer was at­tempt­ing his first open wa­ter com­pe­ti­tion, but was keep­ing an open mind head­ing into the event.

“I just wanted to have fun I guess. I wanted to fin­ish, so I went loose the first kilo­me­ter and then I gave it ev­ery­thing I had my last 500.”

“It was fun, I liked it,” added GROUP, 1 p.m., Swift Cur­rent Library.

NICO­TINE ANONY­MOUS, meet­ing 6 p.m., 155 3rd Ave. N.E. (down­stairs, side door). All you need is the de­sire to quit smok­ing.

STITCH AND CHAT, 7 p.m., Swift Cur­rent Library.

JULY 25

MAHJONG, 10 a.m., Swift Cur­rent Library.

AL-ANON MEET­ING, Courage To Change Group, noon to 1 p.m., The

Cen­tre. Info: www.skalanon.ca.

AL-ANON MEET­ING, Be Good To Your­self Group, 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., First United Church. Info: www.skalanon.ca. Grif­fin Dun­calfe, who said that he would like to con­tinue swim­ming open wa­ter events.

“Yeah I would like to. Prob­a­bly not like 3K’s, be­cause that’s tough. 1,500s I like, they’re fun.”

The event was an enor­mous vol­un­teer un­der­tak­ing, in­clud­ing WCSG per­son­nel, boats and staff from the RCMP, Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cers and Saskatchewan En­vi­ron­ment, and the City of Swift Cur­rent Fire Depart­ment. BINGO, 7:30 p.m., Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Branch #56.

JULY 26

CRIB­BAGE, 1:30 p.m., Swift Cur­rent Library.

TD SUM­MER READ­ING AND MAKER KIDS, 2 p.m., Swift Cur­rent Library.

JULY 27

AL-ANON FAM­ILY GROUP, From A Par­ent’s Heart, noon, First United Church. Info: www.sk-alanon.ca.

STEVEN MAH/SOUTHWEST BOOSTER

Swift Cur­rent’s Grif­fin Dun­calfe won his age group in the 1,500 Me­tres at the South Saskatchewan Open Wa­ter Clas­sic on July 15.

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