FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – There will be one swim club in Fort St. John running all year round after the Stingrays merged with Inconnu Swim club.
Club president Alexa Rogers says this will give swimmers more opportunities to train and compete.
Stingrays were a part of the British Columbia Summer Swim Association, which only offered a season from May to August. Competitions were limited to British Columbia, and swimmers were limited to what they could do in the offseason.
In the winter, BCSSA swimmers are only allowed to do maintenance practices, at a maximum of 2 hours per week. During their competitive season, swimmers could train a regular program, and each club would hold its own meet.
Inconnu Swim Club is a part of BC Swim and Swim Canada, which has year-round programming. Higher-level swimmers at Inconnu train between 10 to 14 hours per week. The season starts in September and runs through August.
Swim BC has regional, divisional, and provincial championships that are held twice a year. Additionally, competitions for Western and National Championships are held once per year.
These two associations have different rules, time standards, and age categories, requiring two separate swim clubs. That means two separate executives and two sets of coaches. In months where both club’s seasons overlapped, they struggled to manage pool availability.
While both clubs have been beneficial to the community, Rogers says the benefits of having one year-round club will allow for swimmers, parents, volunteers, and officials to commit their time to Inconnu, instead of trying to juggle both.
Even though Stingrays is no longer operating, Inconnu Swim Club is committed to offering a very similar summer swim experience for its new and returning members.
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