FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Inconnu Swim Club is in need of a new coach as Josh Sorensen will soon be leaving Fort St. John.
The current swim club coach is off to Halifax to coach a different club, and according to Jessica Baccante, whose son Ryder Modde swims on the team, a replacement has been difficult to come by.
“It’s hard to recruit somebody in a niche sport up here,” said Baccante. “We constantly have a waitlist to get into swim club and we’d love to bring more people in.”
Ryder Modde has been swimming since grade one and recently competed in the BC Summer games. The 12-year-old is dedicated to the sport and hopes to one day obtain a scholarship from swimming.
“I wanna try and use swimming to get into a good college, to actually get a good degree or something from somewhere that could get me into a nice job,” said Modde.
If the swim club can’t find a new coach, swimmers like Modde won’t get the intensive training they need to advance at the same pace they would with instruction from a head coach.
Current head coach of the Inconnu swim club, Sorensen, said the shortage of swimming coaches is a recurring problem across the country.
“Fort McMurray is looking for a head coach. Terrace is looking for a head coach. Victoria’s looking for a head coach, so it’s not just a local kind of problem it’s across the country,” said Sorensen.
Consistent teaching and formatting are crucial to a swimmer’s development, and if the swim club is unable to find his replacement, the team will have to swim in a maintenance program until a new coach steps in. The maintenance program entails “keeping the kids in the water” and sharpening skills they have already developed.
The Inconnu swim club can be reached on their Facebook page, or on their website: