A special kind of team

Fun times at the Ravensong pool show what kind of a team Campbell runs for the Breakers

RAC Breakers’ head coach John Campbell and graduating swimmer Alex Rocheleau share a moment away from the pool.

That the Breakers continue to put the area on the speed swimming map has a lot to do with the man at the helm, and a local mom wants people to know it.

RAC Breakers’ head coach John Campbell, 58, just wrapped up his 11th season with the local club.

“I don’t think people realize the kind of coach he is,” an emotional team mum Susan Hirmer told The News on Sunday. “It’s just more than coaching — he really cares for the kids, and what a difference it makes in their lives.”

Susan has logged a lot of miles overt the past six years driving her daughter Alex and being part of the Breakers’ support crew.

“When some of the team went bungy jumping he went to watch. He went to Alex’s three hour commencement ceremony, and he went to another girl’s prom parade. He just goes of his way to be part of their lives, and not just the swimming.

“When Alex was doing her 400, her last swim of her life in the pool (as a Breaker), she was giving it her all but she was in last place, and John was cheering her on. He was okay that she wasn’t first, second, third or fourth, and he was giving her the A OK sign. I was there, and that really got me,” said Sue, adding, “as much as he’s whistling and cheering her on, he was so just so proud of her for being in that race. It wasn’t just about winning, it was about being a coach that has compassion and admiration, and that’s huge.”

“I’m probably one of the more animated coaches in the country,” Campbell conceded when asked about his coaching style. “I think it’s a very exciting sport and I love to watch kids excel, and you know when you look at our bench, we always seem to be having the most fun, too.”

Further to our story on the Breakers’ results from the BC Long Course and Open Water Championships, Susan explained how Alex “swam her butt off,” to catch up to teammate Lindsey Romkes during the 5K open water swim, and the two friends and teammates swam the final lap side by side, with Lindsey easing off the gas at the finish line so that her teammate could cap off her career with a bronze medal.

“And that right there speaks volumes about what kind of team (the Breakers) are,” said Sue.


Just Posted

Qualicum Beach charity hosts fundraiser for Guatemalan students

Aldea Maya has been working in the Central American country since 2012

Parksville Lawn Bowling Club on a roll for artificial turf

Project to cost over $500,000 but will save club money

More Parksville pop-up water parks planned

Fire department says Sunday, Aug. 18 next one on the agenda

Hi Neighbour Day celebrates 50th year in Errington

Pancake breakfast, parade, zucchini race and more planned for this years’ festivities

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Most Read