Summer swimmers come together for North Delta Sunfish’s annual meet

Over 500 swimmers from all over B.C. came for North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club’s annual swim meet.

North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club swimmers anxiously await their official finish times at Sungod Recreation Centre on July 31 during the club’s annual swim meet.

Over 500 young swimmers made a splash at the Sungod Recreation Centre last weekend for the North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club’s annual swim meet.

With the BC Summer Swimming Association’s Fraser South regional and provincial championships looming, the Sunfish came together with the Ladner Stingrays, Surrey Sea Lions, Richmond Kigoos and clubs as far away as Nanaimo, Oak Bay, Saanich, Revelstoke and Chilliwack for some friendly competition.

“A lot of it is about beating your own [time] and trying to get your best,” said Sunfish meet coordinator Caroline Roschat. “The kids are really working hard to get those best times.”

Sunfish President David Jones said this meet in particular is especially popular because it’s the last one before regionals.

“At this point here – the last event of the season – all the clubs are coming from other regions as well to try their best,” Jones said.

Now in its forty-fifth year, the parent-run swim club has distinctly North Deltan roots. It was formed in 1971 at the North Delta Outdoor Pool and was initially comprised of swimmers from the immediate area. In the early days, ac- cording to the club’s website, all its equipment was donated by local merchants, including lane ropes and wooden floats provided by Annieville fishermen.

Natalie Bayley, a proud Sunfish parent at this weekend’s meet, was reminded of her own days with the club.

“I swam from age seven to 19 with the Sunfish,” Bayley said. “This was what summer was all about. I was at the pool for the whole month and I had my school friends and then I had my summer swim club friends.”

Sunfish alumna Natalie Bayley and her daughter/current Sunfish Eden at Sungod Recreation Centre on July 31 for the North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club’s annual swim meet.

Sunfish alumna Natalie Bayley and her daughter/current Sunfish Eden at Sungod Recreation Centre on July 31 for the North Delta Sunfish Aquatics Club’s annual swim meet.During last weekend’s meet, swimmers had the opportunity to compete in team relays as well as in individual events. Kathryn Wu photo

Head coach Bernard Grempel said the meet was a success for the Sunfish.

“We had a lot of standout swims [and] we had two meet records,” said Grempel. “It’s always a lot of fun when we get to run a swim meet here and have 500 swimmers come down to Delta.”

Sunfish Joselyn Jones and Katie Scarth broke meet re- cords – Jones in the 50-metre breaststroke with a time of 42.00, and Scarth in the 100-metre freestyle with a time of 1:20.27. The previous records for those races were 42.44 and 1:22.88, respectively.

The Fraser South regional for speed swimming will take place Aug. 5 to 7 at Watermania in Richmond. The top three swimmers in each event and age group will then move on to compete in the provincial championships at Coquitlam’s City Centre Aquatic Complex and Spani Pool. Held from Aug. 15 to 21, the championships also include diving, synchronized swimming and water polo competitions.