Summerside - Young Swimmers take their places on the boards and wait for the whistle to blow during the eighth annual Elf Extravaganza at the Credit Union Place swimming pool in Summerside Saturday afternoon.
Summerside Dolphin Swim Club meet manager, D.J. Welton, said this swim is a fun and enjoyable event for the youth to test their competitive strokes.
“It’s the four strokes that include freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke. In the pool right now they are doing a 200 individual medley, which is ‘fly, back’, breast’ and free’, so they do all four shows at 50 metres for each stroke,” he said.
At the end of the session, swimmers can ride the waves of success in a mixed competitive freestyle relay in teams of four.
Newer swimmers tackled 25 metre laps for the first time.
“We do that purposely for them to get the feel, and there’s lots of swimmers here today for the first time. It’s a great environment for them to see everything and get their feet wet, so to speak,” said Welton.
“We have around 115 to 120 swimmers here aged seven to 18. We are quite pleased with the turnout because around 21 of our older swimmers are in Quebec City this weekend,” he added.
Advanced swimmers, along with two chaperones and two coaches, left Wednesday for Moncton, and caught an overnight train to Quebec City.
“On Thursday they did some sightseeing and tours, and then Friday the meet started, so it’s a six session meet, and I think there are over 800 swimmers. It’s a big event, but its great exposure for those older swimmers,” Welton said. “It’s good practice to get them going fast.”
Warm-ups at the Elf Extravaganza kicked off at 3.30 p.m., and wrapped up after 5 p.m.
Swimmers came from the Summerside Dolphins, Charlottetown Bluephins Aquatic Club and Club de Natation Bleu (CNBO) in Moncton to make a big splash at the Elf Meet.
The next swim meet will be held at the Credit Union Place swimming pool on Friday, Jan. 12-14.
“Were hoping that there will be close to 200 swimmers at the Garden of the Gulf Provincial Championships,” said Welton.
He thanked all the volunteers, as well as the support from parents, at the event.
“Without them we cannot run a meet and the kids don’t get there time,” he concluded.