This past weekend, over 300 youth competed in the Ontario Pool Juniors. This culminating event brings together Lifesaving Clubs from all over Ontario to show off their skills in Lifesaving Sport events. The Brampton Union St. YMCA was represented by our very own Lifesaving Club: the Brampton Barracudas, which now ranks second of its kind in Ontario. Having moved from fourth to second place in just one year, the team’s feeling proud of their hard work and dedication!
More than 50 of our Barracudas took part in events designed to test their individual skills — including throwing accuracy, towing, and overcoming obstacles — as well as two team relays. Several earned medals, including our group of boys age 9 and under, who did a clean sweep in almost all of their individual events! Others had unprecedented times, including 8-year-old Jack, who broke four provincial records, and 11-year-old Taetum, who set a new record in the Manikin Tow with Fins event.
Meet some of our star competitors, and learn why they love being members of the Barracudas team:
Selena (age 10)
Selena has been a Barracuda for the past year. She says her favourite things about being on the team are getting to swim, meeting new people, and taking part in competitions like the one she participated in this past weekend. “I’ve learned so much,” she says, “but mostly, I’ve learned about friendship, commitment, teamwork — and that if you work hard enough, you can achieve anything!”
Gabe (age 15)
Gabe has been a Barracuda for over three years. “My favourite part of the club is how the coaches are always supporting and pushing me to get better,” he says. “I like that it’s competitive, which makes me try my hardest, but it’s still about having fun and helping the team.” Gabe competed in all of the events this past weekend, and says: “I’ve definitely become more confident since starting with the Barracudas, and I’ve made tons of new friends!”
Isabel (age 15)
After two years as a member of the Junior Lifeguard Club, Isabel joined the Barracudas, which she’s been part of for the past three years. “I’m constantly being challenged to put my best foot forward,” Isabel says. “Beyond my growth as an athlete, I have learned how to push my boundaries and limits. I have grown tremendously as a person, and learned how to time manage, prioritize, stay committed, encourage others, be proud of myself, and be open. But most importantly, I have learned how to be a leader!”
Sophia (age 11)
After one and a half years with the Barracudas, Sophia competed in every single event this past weekend! “My favourite part about being in the club is making new friends and the new places I get to see with the competitions,” she says. “From being with the Barracudas, I have learned to be a good sport and be kind to everyone — including my competition.”
Macrae (age 7)
Having just joined the Barracudas a few months ago, Macrae was eager to participate in as many events as he could. He says he’s enjoyed the practical side of the club: how to provide assistance to people in need. “It’s always good to try something that helps you help others,” he says. “When I wear my Barracuda gear, I feel very important because I’m part of a bigger team!”
Learn more about our Lifesaving Clubs and other advanced aquatics programs that help youth undertake new challenges, hone their leadership and teamwork skills, and build a foundation for physical fitness that will last a lifetime. You can also watch the Barracudas compete and learn more about the Ontario Pool Juniors!