The Arctech Welding and Machining Youth Athlete of the Month contest is here. Nominations have been collected, and the first winner has been chosen. If your athlete didn’t win this month, keep nominating! The votes carry over, so keep submitting your picks for the Arctech Welding and Machining Youth Athlete of the Month!
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Youth Athlete of the Month for January 2022 is Inconnu Swim Club member, Ryder Modde.
The 12-year-old has been swimming since he was six years old, and he explains where Inconnu gets its name.
“It’s a fish. It originated from when people found it. They didn’t know what it was, so they called it ‘inconnu,’ which is French for unknown,” said Modde, who is in the French Immersion program at school.
Part of being a competitive swimmer is waking up early for practice, but Modde says, there are some added perks to being up early.
“I like morning practices better. As much as my teammates are awesome, sharing a lane is not the best. But it hasn’t been that busy, a lot of times, I’ve still been able to get my own lane.”
Modde says he got his start in the regular swim lessons at the club, and his passion grew from there.
“At first, my old friend who moved, we were in lessons together. Then I think I failed one of the levels, and after that, I just decided I wanted to be a swimmer.”
Now that he’s more than proficient, Modde says he’s at the stage of honing his swimming technique for extra speed. That’s a balancing act between being smooth and exerting maximum effort.
“I keep good technique. In my opinion, I just like to think, if I’m super tired after this race, I did something good. But I try to keep the technique as I’ve been told too many times.”
Getting from one wall to the other isn’t the only thing Modde has to think about.
“All the rules in swimming that you have to deal with, it’s basically impossible without a lot of practice.”
Officials will be on the pool deck at competitions, ensuring athletes use the proper stroke. They can get disqualified if they break the rules, but Modde says he cant remember being DQ’d yet.
“Sometimes I’ll be like, I think I got disqualified, and then at the end of the race, they say nope, you’re fine.”
Modde is on the smaller end for his age category, something that affects him less in the pool than on the hardwood.
“It can be tough because taller kids don’t have to take as many strokes, but it’s still just as fun being short, taking those two or three extra strokes every time. I don’t mind it in swimming and things, but I also like to play basketball, and that’s when it starts to get annoying.”
As the conversation briefly turned to basketball, Modde was able to name an iconic NBA star from well before his time.
“Muggsy Bogues, 5 foot 3. Fun fact, he also played with the tallest player in the NBA, Manute Bol.”
Modde, like all kids his age, is busy with more than just swimming and basketball though.
“I like badminton. I did it with my best friend, but we’re too busy. I’m also doing the play for school.”
While both sports and acting are a kind of performance, Modde says he gets a different thrill before a race than he does before a play.
“For the play, you definitely do [feel the thrill], but for the race, you’re more thinking, I need to go through two minutes of being dead tired, and maybe ill be better after.”
Modde is gearing up for a busy one-day competition with his teammates in Grande Prairie this weekend, then he’s got his sights set on provincials.
“I’m pretty close to making provincials, and there are two more meets that I have a small chance of making it.”
The Inconnu Swim Club has needed to shut down training recently due to maintenance work being done at the pool.
Modde doesn’t mind the break, but he says he pays for it the first day back in the water.
“When it’s happening, it’s fine. But getting back into the pool, especially with a meet coming up, it’s hard. It’s just nice to get into the pool now.”
Ryder is the middle brother, and says all three boys are naturally competitive in their own right.
While older brother, Brandon, plays hockey for the Huskies, Ryder says he’d own him in the pool.
“I’d dust him in the pool. And I’m better than him at hockey, too.”
Congratulations to Ryder Modde for being named the Arctech Welding and Machining Youth Athlete of the Month for January. As the winner, Modde will get a $100 gift card to Ernie’s Sports Experts.
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