‘We want each one of these young people to be successful in life'
By Lyle Carter
What an enjoyment talking with members of the Truro Centurions swim club earlier this week. Besides being successful in the pool, club members are refreshingly humble and polite.
"I started doing the 1500m freestyle when I was six," Cali Bruce told me. "I used to be slow but this year things came together. I began holding my pace much better. By the third time I competed in the 1500m freestyle I set a record."
Bruce, 12, moved to Truro about a year ago with her family after having previously swam for the Barrie Trojans in Ontario.
She set both short and long course club records in Truro this season, and received the Centurions' top overall performance award.
Sarah Smith, 13, of Lower Onslow, recently set a new 50m breaststroke club record.
"I just tried my hardest," Smith said. "When (coach Miranda Bates) told me later about setting a new record, I was really excited. I never ever thought that I'd be able to beat the old standing record. I‘m very pleased."
Kelsey Taylor, 15, of Truro, was named this season's female athlete of the year.
"I was both surprised and excited," said Taylor. "I worked really hard this year. Receiving this award is so rewarding for me. If I can swim the qualifying time in early July in Halifax I'd love to make nationals and get to go out west."
Cassidy Langley, 17, of Belmont, was presented with the leader, attitude and commitment award.
"I wasn't expecting the award but I was certainly happy," Langley said. "It added a lot to my year. I believe in trying to motivate everyone. I guess it paid off."
Bates has coached the Centurions for the past year and was beaming when they won the Nova Scotia junior small team title at the provincial championships in Wolfville.
But there are still plenty of important dates on the calendar.
"Although our regular season has concluded for the bulk of our swimmers we have 11 of our swimmers ready to compete in the east coast championships," said Bates, who swam competitively with the club from 1988 through 1998. "This competition begins in Halifax July 5 and if any of our swimmers are successful in qualifying they will get to represent Nova Scotia at the nationals in Calgary July 25."
Barry Mingo, the third-year president of the Centurions, is also pleased with the year to date.
"We had 55 swimmers with the club this year," said Mingo, who lives in Truro. "The last couple years have been growing years both in the increase in number of swimmers and in community recognition. It's good that we're becoming known again."
Mingo is excited about the club's move to the new civic centre later this year and he also stressed another important club goal.
"The Centurions are a competitive swim club and want to be successful in the water," he said. "But there is more. We want each one of these young people to be successful in life. The swim club teaches commitment and an active lifestyle which are important both for students and for these young people when they enter their careers."
Mingo's wife, Carla, is the swim club registrar and the couple have three swimmers with the club, Emilyanne, 14, Katie, 12 and Benjiman, 9.
The Centurions swim club was formed in 1977 and has produced a long list of outstanding swimmers. Watch for that trend to continue.
Lyle Carter's sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.