By Adam Williams
Kamloops This Week
Kamloops is set to become the first city outside of Victoria and the Lower Mainland to host the B.C. High School Swimming Championships later this year.
The Kamloops Classic Swim Club has been granted hosting privileges for the event following a submission to B.C. High School Sports.
Kamloops will be the home of the 1,100-athlete meet on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14, 2015, and on Nov. 18 and Nov. 19, 2016.
“I think, first of all, it’s a nice vote of confidence from the province, just sort of noting the level of competitions we are hosting,” said Classics head coach Brad Dalke.
He added the province approached the Classics about hosting the event, which he called a “feather in the hat” of the club.
“Basically, what it does for the region and the local, it just promotes swimming at a far higher level than what we have currently,” Dalke said.
The meet will include two tiers of swimming — Summer Club Swimming of the B.C. Summer Swimming Association and Winter Club Swimming of Swim BC and Swimming Canada.
The sheer size of the meet will be a new challenge for the Classics and Dalke.
At 1,100 swimmers, the B.C. High School Swimming Championships will be one of the largest meets ever hosted in the Tournament Capital.
Dalke is expecting it will take the club and the City of Kamloops some time to prepare.
The groups are arranging for more bleachers to be added to the mezzanine at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre and hope to use the Tournament Capital Centre’s other facilities as hosting areas.
But, on the competition side, the championships won’t be much different than the average Kamloops meet. Because the events are open, swimmers won’t be separated by age, reducing the number of events and the time required to hold them.
The meet will only include sprint events, with the 200-metre individual medley the longest distance.