Members of Summerland’s Orca Swim Club are raising money to compete at an international meet in late June.
Joanne Malar, coach of the swim club, said this year for the first time swimmers from the club will compete at the 33rd annual Firecracker Classic in Missoula, Montana.
The event is held June 26 to 29.
The meet will be held at an eight-lane long-course outdoor pool complex and is the highlight of the year for the older swimmers in the club.
Malar said the experience for the swimmers at an outdoor competition will be different from indoor meets, since temperature and weather conditions can change.
The swimmers have started a bottle drive to offset their travel and accommodation expenses.
Bottles can be dropped off at the depot on Victoria Road South.
Alternately, those stopping at the depot to return bottles can ask that a portion of their refund money will go to an account set up for the swimmers.
The account will stay open into June.
Malar said participation in the swim club is higher than ever this year.
A total of 106 swimmers are members of Orca.
So far, eight swimmers have qualified for the B.C. AA Championships — twice the number who qualified last year.
Malar said swimmers in the club are setting goals to compete at the provincial level.
“They’re really serious,” she said. “They’re aware and striving to reach that provincial elite level.”