Chatham Pool Sharks compete at the provincial level

(Photo courtesy of the Chatham Pool Sharks)

Malakai Walters (age 10) of the Chatham Pool Sharks competed at the Junior Provincial Festival swim meet in Etobicoke last weekend.

Malakai achieved four personal best times in his qualified events — 2.68 seconds off 50 freestyle, -1.22s off 100 backstroke, -7.23s off 200 backstroke and -3.19s off 50 butterfly).

The Chatham Pool Sharks finished a strong season proudly while celebrating their 50th anniversary as a club.

“The Sharks were resilient. Determined. We have passionate volunteers – coaches, board members, parents, officials and families. This enabled our club to survive,” said Club President Aline Middleton. “With a focus of rebuilding – encouraging kids in our community to be active again. That was our vision.”

The Sharks remained strong, after an enforced year and a half off with COVID closures.

This season, the club waived all initial registration fees, with the hope of re-introducing kids and sports. Swimming is not only an individual sport but a team sport. Kids involved in sports is physically, emotionally and socially healthy.

“Last year was important, many new swimmers joined and many returned, requiring technical corrections and a rebuilding of stamina,” said head coach Colleen Yee. “This year we attended the Spring and Summer Western Ontario Swim Association (WOSA), doubling our number of qualified swimmers for the summer event.”

In the age group 10 and under we had four swimmers — Francis Cooper(8) placed top ten in 200 back, Declan Walters(8) top ten in 200 free, Emily Brewer(10) top ten in 100 and 200 back, Malakai Walters(10) top ten in 100 and 200 free, 200IM and 50 back.

Jake Leigh (11) placed top ten in 50, 100 and 200 breast.

Leah Burke (12) placed top ten in seven events in all four strokes and received a third place medal in 100 free.

Caleb Van Dooren (14) received a 3rd place medal for 100m and 200m Breast.

Malakai Walters was our first swimmer of this group to qualify to attend festivals and he did in both the short and long course meets this season.

Next season, the club looks forward to embracing new swimmers and their families in September.

The Chatham Pool Sharks is a 50-year competitive swim club that swims out of the Chatham YMCA, working with swimmers ages six and up. Swim assessments and tryouts dates will be posted around town in August.

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