FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Inconnu Swim Club is gearing up for its first competition of 2022 in Grande Prairie this Saturday, and it will be the swimmers’ first look at the 50-metre pool instead of the 25-metre lanes.

Inconnu Swim Club head coach, Josh Sorensen, says this single-day event is more about identifying spots to work on in practice.

“It’s a little bit of a check-in on where everyone’s at, and it’s a bit of a preview for what’s to come,” said Sorensen. “For the others that are doing high-level meets, this is their first attempt at long course in a while, so it’s a question of what do I need to work on?”

Sorensen says the shift to a long course means swimmers have to focus more on swimming technique and less on the “skills” like diving, underwater kicking and turns. On the short, 25-metre course, there’s more focus on the auxiliary skills.

“What we kind of talk about is the difference between swimming and skills. Skills are stuff like dives, turns, and things that aren’t specifically swimming techniques, but we do them anyway. Those skills become a little less important on the long course because you’re not doing as many of them. The actual swim stroke becomes that much more important.”

Sorensen says the event will be the right combination of a competition-like atmosphere without the pressure of trying to win.

There will be 31 athletes from the Inconnu club competing in Grande Prairie, finding their long-course rhythm and identifying weak spots in their technique.