The RAC Breakers are back in business and their long-time head coach is looking for a few good swimmers.
It’s been barely a month since their season ended, and the Qualicum-based speed swimming club is getting ready for its return to training on Sept. 12.
“Last year just devastated us financially and member wise,” Breakers’ skipper John Campbell told The News this week, explaining the little club that could lost just over half it’s membership when Ravensong Aquatic Centre closed down for its big refit last year, “and by the time we started up again a lot of kids had already committed themselves to other sports, to other activities.”
Before the pool closed last September the club had 63 swimmers registered, and when they got back into Ravensong in December they were down to 27.
The kids that were still with them made the commute to Nanaimo to train for three months.
“Yet despite that we had a spectacular year in terms of performance,” said Campbell.
Highlights for the Breakers’ last season included the two championship meets. Collectively, the Breakers garnered 20 medals at the provincials and touched the wall for two silver medals in Montreal at the age group Nationals.
Those performances ranks the Breakers in the top 30 out of the 400 plus teams nationally.
“We’ve been there before but it’s significant with so few members,” said Campbell, who is heading into his 12th season at the helm of the local high performance club.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked if such results resonate around the pool when the swimmers return. “It gives everyone confidence… it gives me confidence what we’re doing works in terms of getting kids from a novice level to a national level. It’s very satisfying.”
The RAC Breakers will be holding new-swimmer registration and evaluation at Ravensong Aquatic Centre Sept. 12 any time between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. The 12th also marks the first day of training so the returning Breakers will be in the pool.
“Were looking for kids that know how to swim… we’ve had kids on the team as young as six we’re really targeting the elementary and middle school range of kids,” said Campbell, adding he’d like to extend an open invitation to any young swimmers (and their parents) who enjoy swimming “to come out and see what we’re all about.”
The Breakers’ Olympic Way novice group program practices three times a week all the way up to the provincials and national level swimmers who train eight times a week. The season runs through to beginning of June for the younger kids and to the end of July for the older ones.