Chatham-Kent’s Brendan Van Herk, Making CK Proud

Brendan Van Herk

Chatham-Kent sends athletes across Ontario, Canada, and the globe each year to compete athletically.

Sponsored by baCK to Chatham-Kent, we’ll be featuring local athletes who have left Chatham-Kent, and are proudly representing our community. We hope many of these athletic ambassadors for our community someday come baCK to call Chatham-Kent home.

This week, we feature Cedar Springs’ Brendan Van Herk, who is a member of the University of Regina’s men’s varsity swimming team. Brendan grew up swimming for the Blenheim Blast before advancing to the USports level.

Here are Brendan’s responses to our baCK to Chatham-Kent athletes interview:

1. Can you describe what support you’ve felt from your hometown/ Chatham-Kent while you’ve been away?

My biggest support has been from my family, friends and my extended Blenheim Blast family. I keep in touch with my family and friends over FaceTime and hear some words of encouragement through them from members of the Blenheim Blast. I especially felt supported through this pandemic. I travelled home for a little bit while everything was shut down and members of the Blast family reached to my father, offering their backyard pools for me to swim at. I am super grateful to have so much support!

2. What do you enjoy about coming home to visit?

Coming home is always really nice. It always allows me to slow down and reset mentally. I’ve always enjoyed living in a small town in Chatham-Kent because of how comfortable and welcomed I always feel. Regina can feel crowded and busy sometimes, so it’s really nice to be able to slow down. Of course, I can’t forget about coming home to see family and friends. That’s always a good time!

3. Would you consider making Chatham-Kent home again some day?

I would definitely consider laying roots down in Chatham-Kent. Growing up in Chatham-Kent and seeing what it has to offer has definitely left a good impression on me. My friends and family do have a hand in my thoughts of moving back home, but so does the Municipality.

4. What advice would you give to young athletes baCK home in Chatham-Kent?

For the athletes back home, I’d just like to encourage them to keep working hard, even during these unprecedented times, because though they may not see improvements now, they will come! As my mom always says “patience is a virtue.” Above all else, I want to encourage them to keep playing the sports they love and always have fun. Learning to love your sport and have fun brings out the best in everyone involved, and I think that’s very important as an athlete, teammate, and competitor.

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