World records expected at 2017 BC Masters Swimming Championships

Kelowna, BC, April 2, 2017 – Kelowna’s Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC) is expected to host around 200 swimmers on April 21-23 during the Masters Swimming Association of BC’s (MSABC) Provincial Swimming Championships at H2O Adventure & Fitness Centre.

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Karlyn Pipes and Christopher Hromek

The beautiful Okanagan, together with one of the most advanced aquatic facilities in Canada, provides an unmatched opportunity to attract swimmers from around the province and beyond.  Multiple world record holder Karlyn Pipes, a Hawaiian based masters swimmer who broke six new FINA Masters world and five USMS records for the 55-59 age group this January, has confirmed her participation. Having just moved into a new age group and with H2O’s reputation as a ‘fast pool’ Pipes is focused on breaking a few more world records at the meet. She recently tied the knot with Kelowna resident Christopher Hromek.

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Brenda Balderson, Treasurer of OMSC, at the 2016 MSABC Provincial Championships in Vancouver

OMSC president Sharon  Spring says,” Masters swimming is however for swimmers of all abilities and this is reflected in our participants. There is always strong competition for the MSABC Champions Trophy, presented to the team that scores the most points.  OMSC hopes that the placement of a ‘lucky Ogopogo’  in similar fashion to the ‘lucky loonie’ in major international hockey competitions, will provide a home-base advantage.”

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Rod Craig (L) of Canadian Dolphin Masters and Glenn Carlsen (R) of KISU after challenging each other in the 1500 Free

Spring adds, “We have an enthusiastic working team of experienced volunteers under guidance of meet manager Norma Lachance, contributing hundreds of hours to make the 2017 Provincials an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone.  We encourage masters swimmers to enter online well ahead of the April 16 deadline.”  Volunteers are still needed for time-keeping and other tasks so please sign up here. No experience is required. Long-time volunteer Sam Hoover, both encourages and draws inspiration from competitors aged 18 to 90 and above, and has supported local masters competitions for several years.

Current gold sponsors are Gorman Brothers, John Antle Mortgage Alliance, Kelowna Cycle, Orchard Chiropractic and Physiotherapy, Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx, the Patterson Group RE/MAX Kelowna, Pushor Mitchell and Work in Progress. Team Aquatic Supplies, Save on Foods and Wilson Beck Insurance Services are silver sponsors.

MSABC recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions to the improvement of Masters swimming in British Columbia and will announce this year’s winners at an awards ceremony on April 22. Nominations can still be made on the MSABC website.   Information on participating and volunteering  at the 2017 MSABC Provincial Swimming Championships is available here: http://okmasters.com/2017-provincials/

MSABC has approximately 1700 registered members including some at age 90 and over. Masters swimming provides excellent opportunities for improved health and quality of life through regular low-impact exercise, improved cardio-vascular function and the general well-being that comes from exercise, heaps of camaraderie and even a little competition.  If you’re over the age of 18, you’re old enough to join.

Other major swimming attractions in the Okanagan include the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim on July 15 and the Rattlesnake Island Swim on August 5 . President of ATLS and member of OMSC, Phred Martin encourages those interested to enter early as they normally sell out.

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