Jade Tomio swims lengths during the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club’s annual Swim-A-Thon on March 28 at Ladysmith's Frank Jameson Community Centre.

Jade Tomio swims lengths during the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club’s annual Swim-A-Thon on March 28 at Ladysmith's Frank Jameson Community Centre.

Orcas’ Swim-A-Thon is most successful yet

The Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club raised $5,800 to help keep fees affordable for local swimmers.

For the past 15 years or so, the Ladysmith-Chemainus Orcas Swim Club has been holding a Swim-A-Thon to raise money for the club while having fun in the pool.

And last week, the club held its most successful Swim-A-Thon yet. The club had a goal of raising $4,000 this year, and the swimmers brought in about $5,800 during their event March 28 at the Frank Jameson Community Centre.

“Essentially, we’re raising money so we can continue to keep our swimmers swimming in Ladysmith in a community environment at very affordable rates for families,” explained swim club president Shelley Anderson. “The funds we raise here go to offset all the expenses and pool fee costs so we can continue to keep it a very affordable sport and keep our kids active and healthy.”

During the Swim-A-Thon, each swimmer swims as many laps as they can, up to 200 — so they could be swimming as much as five kilometres.

Anderson says this year’s Swim-A-Thon is the best one so far, noting one family raised more than $1,000.

The club thanks Safeway for being so generous with oranges for the swimmers, as well as Roberts Street Pizza, for providing pizza.

This year, there are 63 swimmers in the club, and about 20 of those athletes are quite competitive.

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The Swim-A-Thon is not the only recent success for the Orcas.

A couple of weeks ago, the younger Orcas aged six and older participated in the Spring Meet in Duncan, where many swimmers competed for the first time.

“We had tons and tons of them; it was an awesome turnout,” said Level 1 coach Aisha Alsop, noting they brought more than 15 swimmers to Duncan. “They all got to do new things, and we had lots of new kids swim who had never swum in a meet. They loved it.”

Alsop, who coaches the younger swimmers with Level 2 coach Aria MacColl, says Duncan has a great pool to host a meet,  and the swimmers had a really fun time.

“It was awesome,” she said. “We had the biggest numbers we’ve had for that swim meet for a while.”