Charlotte Junker trains in preparation for a summer of competitive swimming with the Peninsula’s Piranhas club.

Charlotte Junker trains in preparation for a summer of competitive swimming with the Peninsula’s Piranhas club.

Swimmers set for Piranhas summer

As season’s change, so does the schedule for the Saanich Peninsula Piranhas summer swim club.

The Piranhas is a competitive swim team that includes swimmers from the age of six to 16. Currently, in the winter maintenance program, there are approximately 80 swimmers, with skills varying from beginner to provincial level competitors. Their swim year is divided into three programs: the fall/winter session, winter/spring session and spring/summer session.

A summer swimmer since she was eight-years-old, coach Nicole Hautala remembers loving every minute of it.

“It is because of those summer experiences and memories that I am still involved with summer swimming now, almost 20 years later,” she said. “I have seen some incredible improvements in the couple of months I have been with the team … I anticipate this summer to be just as exciting as those from my past, with many personal best times and records being broken, along with new relationships being made.”

Swimming teaches leadership values: how to work independently, and as a team. The season starts in May, with both wet and dry practices during the week along with swim meets across the Island some weekends. There are also club get togethers, and swimmer outings until the season comes to a close mid-August.

“The swimmers we have been working with during the winter maintenance program are a fantasic group of kids. They are bright, cheerful, diligent, and hard working,” said coach Jeritt Brink. “They are making improvements in their swimming ability and learning to control the water well. I am very eager to see them in race mode this upcoming summer as I feel these kids have a competitive side we have not yet seen.”

The coaches aim to direct and teach each swimmer to reach his or her full potential, while having the most fun possible this summer.

“I am most looking forward to seeing everyone have a great summer and keeping a smile from the start of the summer season to the end, all while improving swimming strokes and their knowledge of swimming,” said coach Scott Dagnall.