The Prince Albert Sharks closed out their season with yet another successful meet in Moose Jaw over the weekend.
Competing in a rare outdoor meet, several Sharks achieved personal best times while Tristan Anderson mined a silver medal in the 14-15 age division.
Although the meet in Moose Jaw was hampered by several thunderstorm delays, Sharks coach Roger Boucher thought it was a fitting way to close out a great season of swimming.
âIt was a very successful season,â said Boucher, who wrapped up his first season as head coach over the weekend. âThere was a lot of growth with the swimmers, they really grew as a team this year.â
With their home turf being the indoor Frank J. Dunn Pool facility in Prince Albert, Boucher explained that the Sharks are not used to swimming outdoors.
Competing in an outdoor pool presented the Sharks with a series of unique challenges as they battled weather delays and shifts in temperature.
âWe donât swim outside, ever,â Boucher explained. âThey are used to the Frank Dunn where there are lines on the roof, they follow the line so they go straight, (outdoors) clouds move in the sky so they look at them and tend to get pinballish off the lane ropes.â
Battling the unfamiliar terrain and inclement weather, the Sharks swam to a second-straight small club point triumph as Carley Stack competing in her first out-of-town meet.
Looking forward to next season, Boucher and the Sharks are aiming to compete in some higher-calibre meets while putting an emphasis on mental training.
âOur sport is a very cerebral thing,â Boucher explained. âWe are going to focus more on the mental aspect of the sport. Iâm looking forward to seeing some really positive changes and continuing on with what we are doing.â
One of the changes Boucher would like to see in the Sharks future is a new venue.
The Frank Dunn pool is close to 40 years of age and Boucher thinks it makes more sense to replace it with a brand new facility, rather than renovate.
Boucher has developed a committee aimed at securing a new facility as he works with users groups throughout the city who would benefit from a new pool.
Boucher envisions a year-round indoor facility with a south-sided glass wall, to create an outdoor water-park atmosphere, which would benefit not only his club, but the city as a whole.
âPeople would benefit from an indoor water park all year round,â he said. âIt would bring people to the city, the city could run lessons, thereâs tons of potential for the city to benefit.â
With the Sharks 2014 season wrapped up, the club will hold its annual awards banquet in September, when registration for next season will open up.
A swimmer for more than 28 years, Boucher hopes to bring in new recruits and share his passion for what he says is not only a great sport, but also a great life skill.
âItâs a lifelong sport,â he said. âItâs a great skill to have, to be able to swim, we have so many lakes around and itâs a great opportunity.â
Prospective Sharks are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled on the teamâs website at pasharks.ca for registration and other information about the club.