The Grande Prairie Piranhas will receive the grand prize of a celebrity swimmer Zoom meeting, presented by the Chicken Farmers of Canada, as Swimming Canada celebrates the successful completion of the #SwimAgain Challenge.
The Piranhas were among 129 clubs that took part in the six-week national challenge, which featured representation across nine provinces and one territory. All participating swimmers from the club will also receive gift certificates from participating restaurants that serve fresh Canadian chicken.
Beginning in September, some of Swimming Canada’s top national team athletes and coaches challenged all Canadian swimmers to re-engage and reconnect with the sport through fun weekly activities. The response to this celebration of the return to sport was overwhelming, as Swimming Canada received more than 18,000 entries into the challenge.
“The #SwimAgain Challenge provided a great opportunity for swimmers, coaches and clubs to re-engage with swimming during their training sessions and the objective was certainly achieved,” said High Performance Director and National Coach John Atkinson. “Well done to all the swimmers who participated, along with their coaches for getting organized on this.”
Swimmers of all ages and abilities were welcome to take part in the challenge, which included 159 Masters swimmers and 50 Para swimmers.
“We had so much great feedback from our provinces and coaches throughout the #SwimAgain Challenge,” said Senior Manager, Sport Development Jocelyn Jay, who managed the project. “Many coaches commented on the excitement within their clubs and enjoyed watching their swimmers come together on a common goal.”
Swimming Canada continues to look for ways to keep the safe return to sport going, including creative ways to resume competition. The organization expects to announce further details of a #SwimAgain Racing Challenge in the coming weeks to stoke the competitive fires. Swimming Canada recently published Version 3 of its Return to Swimming Resource Document, and all activations will be done in line with the most current health and safety protocols and risk mitigation plans.
“We recognize access remains a barrier as some locations are dealing with a second wave of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to see all swimmers back in the water as our sport returns to full capacity, but this can only happen when the time is right, and with everyone in the swimming community following the appropriate risk mitigating protocols,” said CEO Ahmed El-Awadi.