The Prince Albert Sharks are going to have a little company in the pool this weekend.
The local swim club is hosting up to a dozen other clubs from around the province in the Sask "A" Provincials Championship and Junior Cup. The event starts Friday at the Frank Dunn Pool and runs until Sunday.
Admission is free to the public.
Sharks coach Hazem Hussein says there will be a big turnout from his club from as young as age seven.
“We have 30 swimmers and I think this is the largest number that we’ve had competing in one competition,” he said. “We are the second largest club competing.”
Overall, about 190 swimmers will be in action in 18 events for each boys and girls. It’s 106 heats overall.
It promises to be hectic.
“The parents are going to volunteer in order to cover all these things,” he said with a chuckle.
Hussein, who began coaching the team in November, says this is an annual event that had to be cancelled last year during the city’s problems with the water system.
While it’s a chance to show off their facility, it’s also a chance to kick their way to all-important qualifying times in their home pool.
Hussein says his swimmers did a special training camp to prepare for the event.
It’s been a good season.
Earlier this month, the club went to a meet in North Battleford and 14 swimmers came home with 60 medals. Club members also set six AA provincial qualifying times.
“They’re doing really good,” he said. “I’m expecting in this meet more AA times so that we can place more swimmers in the Man-Sask.”
Swimmers have to qualify for the interprovincial event, which will be held in Regina from March 14-17.
This is their last chance to post a quick enough time.
The first heat hits the water at 6:05 p.m. on Friday and 8:35 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The club that earns the most points overall will be awarded the Junior Cup.