A mock meet for the Mackenzie Muskrats Swim Club last week was a chance for many of the new swimmers to the club to see what a real meet will be like.
The club’s numbers this year are up from 22 to 31 swimmers, with about 16 of them being new to the Muskrats.
“We weren’t able to take everybody who tried out,” said coach Vince Brown, adding that about half a dozen hopefuls couldn’t make the club this year because of the limited space and swell in interest.
The club has also increased to five days per week of swimming instead of four to accommodate the numbers.
Last weekend, the club held a mock meet to give swimmers the experience of what being at a real meet is like, and to polish some of their skills.
“It’s good for them to practice the things they should already know and use them in a real competition-type atmosphere,” said Brown.
Swimmers competed for their best times at the event, with Brown saying he was excited for how well they all did.
“Everybody beat some of their best times, which is very encouraging, and most importantly our new swimmers got a chance to do a real simulated competition and hopefully work out some of the jitters they would have and put everything to use that we’ve been trying to teach them,” said Brown.
A bingo fundraiser preceded the meet and a team Christmas party at the Mackenzie Hotel followed it.
“It was just really good to see all the kids swimming and all the parents volunteering for the fundraising and help to do the Christmas party and help do the meet,” said Brown.
“It was very nice to see everybody get together and do that. We’ve got a really great group there. A lot of people volunteering their time, a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of really happy kids and families that were involved this weekend.”
The team’s coaches are all volunteers. Despite the busy schedule, Brown said it’s his hobby and what he enjoys doing.
The club might hold another mock meet in January but hasn’t picked a date yet. Otherwise, some of the veteran swimmers who have competed before will be looking to go to territorial championships in the beginning of February in Yellowknife.