Faith Knelson at the Frank Jameson Community Centre pool

Faith Knelson at the Frank Jameson Community Centre pool

Faith Knelson’s moving on to a bigger pool

She’s as ready as she can be for the new level of competition.

There’s no up-hill  end to swimming pool, but for newly minted Junior National athlete Faith Knelson the laps to success just got a lot steeper, and she’s as ready as she can be for the new level of competition.

Making the National Team “was definitely a turning point in my swimming career,” she said recently, back at her home pool in Ladysmith, where she’s worked with Orcas Swim Club Coach Dusan Toth-Szabo for six years, after a trip to Bermuda with the Junior National squad.

“It definitely all comes down to mindset,” she said of prepping for meets at the elite Junior level. “There’s three major things: who wants it more, nutrition and who’s working harder, basically.”

‘Natural talent’ might keep you ahead of the pack until your 11 or 12 years old,” Knelson added. But when you get to the Junior National level, you have to add discipline and unflagging determination to the mix.

“There’s some girl across the country or across the world who’s working hard,” she said. “And if I’m not working hard, she’s going to be better than me. So that’s what’s really pushing me.”

It’s all ‘in the noggin’ she said. And the positive thinking that gets you first to the touch pad at the winning end of the pool starts the moment you wake up.

“It’s a whole mindset,” she explained. “I find that if I wake up with a positive attitude, I’m going to have a positive attitude at school, I’m going to have a positive mindset to eat something healthy at lunch, I’m going to have positive motivation going into practice, and I’m going to have a positive mindset coming out of practice, knowing I worked hard.”

Focus is another attribute Knelson knows she needs. “Everything revolves around school and swimming for me now, and I’m more than happy to work my life around that.”

Knelson is thinking ahead to the Junior Pan Pacific championships this summer, where she’s hoping for a best time and to make a final round at the games. A podium showing would be a ‘long shot.’  “I’m competing against some of the best teenage and young swimmers in the world,” Knelson said.

Her best shot at making the finals would be in the hundred metre breast stroke.

Knelson said nobody’s pushing her harder than she’s pushing herself. “My coach is obviously there to help me work hard, and definitely pushes me,” she said. “But nobody’s pushing me beyond the point that I want. I’m pushing myself so I can be a better swimmer.”

Knelson will be moving to Victoria to train next year, which will mean switching from Toth-Szabo, who has got her to where she is. That transition comes with mixed feelings. “My relationship to my coach is as good as it gets,” Knelson said. “He’s like family to me.

“He’s got me this far, and I wouldn’t be the person or the swimmer I am without my coach,” she said.


Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read