Brent Hayden

Brent Hayden

Swimmers dive into camp with Olympic medalist Brent Hayden

Brent Hayden, Canadian Olympic medalist, taught swimmers from Castlegar, Nelson and Trail during a swim camp over the weekend.

Kids in the West Kootenay had the chance to swim with an Olympian over the weekend.

Brent Hayden, who won a bronze medal for Canada at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and a gold at the World Aquatic Championships in 2007, was in Castlegar over the weekend, holding a Brent Hayden Swim Camp (BHSC) hosted by the Kootenay Swim Club. Participating swimmers were not only from the Kootenay Swim Club, but also the Castlegar Aquanauts, the Nelson Neptunes and Trail. The juniors spent two hours with Hayden in the pool each day, while the seniors spent three hours in the pool on both Saturday and Sunday. Both groups also spent some time in the classroom with Hayden, learning about nutrition and the mental aspect of sport.

During the classroom portion, Hayden shared his journey from being a young, unfocused swimmer who failed swimming lessons to standing on the Olympic podium in London.

“Not everyone has to be born with an obvious talent,” said Hayden. Talent can be developed through hard work and dedication and perseverance. Just because you weren’t necessarily born with the gifts of a certain task, maybe you were born with the ability to push through obstacles that other people wouldn’t have been able to face.”

Hayden held a similar camp in Castlegar last year, and many of the kids seemed familiar with him and even to idolize him a little bit. When Hayden told the kids that he’d brought hats from his new clothing line, the kids were aware of the line and were excited about getting a hat. Many of them also wore BHSC t-shirts.

“It’s great because we get to build on what we were able to teach them last year and then be able to throw in some new stuff on top of that,” Hayden said of his returning students.

The Kootenay Swim Club’s goal in holding the camp was to help promote swimming as a sport and bolster its own membership.

“Our philosophy as a club is to promote the mental aspect of sport and the sport of swimming. With the amount of choices that families have between soccer and hockey and lacrosse and mountain biking and skiing, there’s a lot of pulls on the purse string,” said David McCullough, president of the Kootenay Swim Club. “We’ve noticed that with the Stingrays and TRAX (Trail Regional Aquatic Excellence) as a competitive club in Trail, Nelson with the Neptunes, Aquanauts in Castlegar, there’s a lot of different components. So we’re trying not to protect our membership, but bolster our membership and promote swimming as a sport. That’s a hard thing to do when you have two different associations and five different clubs. Everyone is fighting for membership.”

The Kootenay Swim Club and TRAX are affiliated with Swim BC, Swimming Canada and the Fédération International de Natation (FINA), whereas the Aquanauts, Neptunes and Trail Stingrays are associated with the BC Summer Swim Association.

McCullough hopes that having Hayden put on one of his camps will show kids that they can go far in the sport.

“Swimming isn’t hockey, but it is an essential piece of sport and having an Olympian come to our community to share the goals are achievable if you put your mind to it, so that it’s not just a picture on the TV screen,” said McCullough. “Here’s an individual that’s live and in person and can tell them what he did to get there, and how he accomplished it; it motivates them to continue in the sport and gives them the proper technique to develop in the sport.”

“I would love for them to stick in swimming. Canada has a history of a lot of talented swimmers coming from small towns,” said Hayden, who grew up in Mission, BC.

 

Just Posted

File photo
Paramedic training returning to Castlegar

Emergency Medical Responder and Primary Care Paramedic training to take place in Castlegar

Emerson Potter, a Grade 3 student at Blewett Elementary, advocated for changes to help him use his wheelchair on the school grounds. He’s seen here with his parents Lindsay Thompson and Keith Potter, and Blewett principal Tim Mushumanski (right). Photo: Tyler Harper
‘Pretty awesome’: Nelson-area student advocates for school to improve outdoor accessibility

Emerson Potter, who lives with cerebral palsy, had trouble moving around Blewett Elementary’s grounds

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

People will be strapping on the inline skates in Castlegar this summer. Photo: Jennifer Small
Castlegar Skating Club offers new summer inline program

New program will let ice skaters continue their training through the summer

Portions of the Skattebo Reach Trail are being improved. Photo: Betsy Kline
Skattebo Reach Trail near Castlegar to become cycle friendly

Trail improvements geared towards cyclists being done in 2021

From the left: Laura Greaves, Kyle Whyte and Steve Bigelow rescued a poisoned eagle Sunday, May 9. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
West Kootenay residents, Conservation Service Officer save poisoned eagle

CSO Kyle Bueckert released the eagle into the wild Thursday, May 13

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardner finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Most Read