Pool Sharks wrap up season with Provincials

The 2023 Chatham Pool Sharks. (Submitted photo)

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

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 the 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. With a focus of rebuilding – encouraging kids in our community to be active again. That was our vision,” said Club President Aline Middleton.

The Sharks remained strong after a year and a half off due to COVID closures.

The club waived all initial registration fees this season, hoping to re-introduce kids to sports. Swimming is not only an individual sport but a team sport, which promotes physical, emotional and social health.

“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.”

The 10 and under age group 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 10 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 10 in seven events in all four strokes and received a third-place medal in the 100 free.

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

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

“We have a diverse group of swimmers who enjoy competing at meets on different levels. Attending meets for every level of swimmer, from beginners on up. The whole team is doing wonderfully” said Yee. “Our coaching team is growing, more assistance on deck is inspiring. We continue to acquire and build officials and volunteers.”

The Chatham Pool Sharks is a 50-year competitive club that swims out of the Chatham YMCA, working with swimmers ages six and up.

Swim assessments and future tryouts dates will be posted around town in August.

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