RiverMonster swim club members smile for the camera after winning medals in the 2019 Provincial tournament. (Submitted)

RiverMonster swim club members smile for the camera after winning medals in the 2019 Provincial tournament. (Submitted)

RiverMonsters spotted nearby

Local swim club competes regionally after previous season cancelled due to COVID

After COVID had them sitting on the river banks last summer, the RiverMonsters Swim Club dove back into the water this past weekend, and swam away from the 2021 Regionals swim competition with 23 medals.

“We had 18 swimmers attending,” explained Catherine Freimark, president of the RiverMonsters Swim Club. “We took home … six gold, 12 silver, and five bronze.

“Violette Freimark broke the regional record for 100-metre freestyle, (while six-and-under) swimmer Lucas Reist came first in all his events. And Matthis Giles took home silver in his first season,” Freimark recalled.

Hope was the third quality team in the region, which means the placings per number of swimmers in attendance puts the RiverMonsters in third place.

But beyond the swim caps and medals is all the hard work and dedication it took to make this year’s meet a reality.

“It is a true achievement that despite all the obstacles over the last two seasons, the team has continued to thrive,” Freimark explained. “From the volunteer parents . . to the swimmers training hard and getting creative to stay competitive; and (for) the new swimmers, (they’ve had to learn) new skills, (which) has been a challenge, (but one) they successfully navigated.”

Overall, there were more than 300 swimmers—age four and up—in attendance on Saturday, Aug. 14, and Sunday, Aug. 15, and seven out of the eight Fraser Valley regional teams participated, which is impressive considering it was all fairly last minute.

“The meet was put together (quickly) when the District of Kent quickly processed a last minute application when the province moved to Stage 3,” Freimark said.

And although the province continues its reopening plan, BC Summer Swim has still cancelled its in-person provincial championships for this year; instead, they’re being held virtually. Teams from all over the province can swim at a meet, during practice, or use previous times to input into the provincial unofficial standings.

“Because not all clubs can get pool time, have qualified officials to operate a meet, (or) cannot all swim together, (this year’s) results are unofficial,” said Freimark.

That said, this weekend will see the Mission Marlins hosting a “Mission Impossible Provincials” swim event at their local pool.


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