Parksville’s Richelle Bruyckere has moved from Ravensong Aquatic Centre to the pool at Claremont in Victoria and after high school, she’ll swim the lanes at South Dakota State.
Bruyckere, 17, was offered a scholarship last month and after a trip to the campus, decided it was the right place to continue swimming.
“I’m really excited,” Bruyckere said. “I had a few offers to choose from but once I went down there to South Dakota State, I had a real good feeling about it. I was really impressed with everything there and I just basically decided on that trip that this was going to be where I wanted to go next year.”
At the age of eight, Bruyckere started as a member of the Ravensong Breakers, but without a training partner, Bruyckere found a home in Victoria at Claremont Secondary School, where she’s currently enrolled in the schools swim academy and excels in the 50 metre freestyle and the 200 metre butterfly.
“I would have loved to stay at Ravensong,” Bruyckere said. “I just ran out of training partners so I moved down to Victoria where I have lots of training partners. Being down at Claremont is nice though, I’ve got all grades where they need to be and being in the swimming academy, it’s nice to be in the pool and have that count towards my grades.”
Looking ahead to her post-secondary education, Bruyckere has a few ideas.
“I have a few things in mind,” Bruyckere said. “I have my eyes on being a chiropractor, maybe something to do with physical therapy or even something along the lines of business or marketing. I don’t really have a clear idea of what I want to do but I’ve got a few in mind so I feel good about that.”
The younger sister of Generals’ defenseman Chandler Bryuckere, Richelle jokes that it’s nice to be in the spotlight for a change.
“Yeah, it’s nice,” Bruyckere joked. “It changes it up now, he gets a lot of the attention being on the local hockey team and all, so it’s nice to kind of push him aside and enjoy a bit of that spotlight.”
With time between graduation and university, she will take part in a couple of meets before high school is finished. She’s headed to Edmonton at the beginning of May and then she’ll return for the Island Championships in June.
“I’m excited about the meet in Edmonton,” Bruyckere said. “I’m going to be in a lot of sprint events, which I don’t usually race in so it’ll be a lot of fun to do that. I’m just hoping it’s going to help with my times when the Island Championships roll around in June.”