Fundraiser gives Orca Swim Club a boost

The Orca Swim Club hosted its annual Swim-a-thon event over the weekend.

The Orca Swim Club hosted its annual Swim-a-thon event over the weekend, with  swimmers trying to complete 200 lengths in less than two hours.

With the club membership sitting at close to 100 swimmers, the fundraiser helps to keep costs affordable for Summerland families, and helps to pay for equipment, pool rental and coaching expenses.

“Orca’s annual swim-a-thon is an important fundraiser but it is more than that – it’s a showcase of the dedicated and talented swimmers in our vibrant club,” said Orca club president Melissa Berrisford. “The parents watched proudly as all the swimmers swam with heart and determination to a combined distance of an amazing 148+ kilometres.”

The event was divided into two sessions with the first wave of development swimmers, aged five to 10, kicking off the event by swimming as many lengths as they could in 30 minutes.

The second session saw the older swimmers, aged nine to 16, trying to complete the 200 length (five kilometre) distance in a two-hour time frame.

“This year, there were even more swimmers that reached the 200 length goal, which shows improvement in fitness and technique,” said head coach Delano Ducheck.  “It was inspiring for all of us who were cheering on deck.”

Senior swimmer Haley Berrisford, 12, who heads to Victoria in a week for B.C. AAA Provincial Championships, was first out of the water,  in 1:17.

Over the next 43 minutes more than 20 swimmers completed the five-kilometre distance, including two sprint finishes by Hannah Wagner, 10 and Taylor Smith, 10, who both completed their 200th length as the bell rang to mark the cut off of the two-hour event.

“I’ve coached in many different cities across the country, and the support this community gives its athletes is amazing,” Ducheck said.