Posted on: September 13, 2012
Posted with Permission of Kamloops This Week
By Marty Hastings – Kamloops This Week
Published: September 12, 2012 4:00 PM
Updated: September 13, 2012 12:59 PM
The TRU WolfPack will likely have a varsity swimming program by 2014, says the Kamloops university’s athletic director, Ken Olynyk.
“We’re interested in moving swimming, cross-country and soccer to the Canada West,” Olynyk said.
“That will be presented in February at [Canada West] winter meetings and at the annual general meeting (AGM) in May.”
The Canada West is a member association of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
There is a very slim chance the swimming program — run under the WolfPack name in conjunction with the Kamloops Classic Swimming club — could be a Canada West entity by next September, but that’s unlikely.
“It would require a 100 per cent approval vote [from every member school at the May AGM] in order to start in September,” Olynyk said.
“If one school says ‘No, we want to wait,’ then it’s automatic for the next year.”
Olynyk said it’s uncommon to receive a unanimous vote because program administrators need time to adjust travel budgets and “sort out their financial situations.”
Classics’ head coach Brad Dalke would take the WolfPack’s reins, with help from the local swim team’s new assistant coach, Patrick Waters.
(Read more about Waters in the Tuesday, Sept. 18, edition of KTW.)
“For us, a natural extension of our program is to have this available for all our kids to continue swimming, rather than going from Kamloops to the University of Victoria or Simon Fraser University or the University of Calgary,” Dalke said.
There is plenty of number crunching still to be done, but the Classics and WolfPack will each carry a portion of the financial burden.
“Prior to this, we didn’t want to run [a varsity program] because we’d be pretty much fully funding it,” Dalke said.
“But, [TRU is] coming to the table with enough funding to make it worthwhile.”
Recruiting and travel costs will be among the dearest for the new program, coaches are paid and buying more pool time at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre will be on the to-do list.
The Classics are coming off arguably their most successful season in club history.
Kamloops had 18 swimmers qualify for the Canadian Age Group Championships (for boys 18 and under and girls 17 and under) this summer in Calgary.
Many of those swimmers are already posting Canada West-comparable times — and some of the Classics are recording times that might warrant qualification for the CIS championships.
“We’re really starting to see some exciting stuff happen from this region,” Dalke said.
“It’s like an avalanche.”
Dylana Milobar, 16, of the Classics won rookie of the meet at the national summer swimming championships in Edmonton in July.
Colin Gilbert and Megan Dalke were named this week to the Prospects West team, an elite squad for 13- and 14-year old swimmers.
Dalke said there were about 45 or 50 swimmers from Okanagan and Interior cities at age-group nationals in Calgary.
If the WolfPack can start attracting young River City talent — and elite swimmers from surrounding regions — it might not take long for varsity-level success to arrive in the Tournament Capital.
“That snowball is at the top of the mountain and it’s started rolling and getting bigger and bigger,” Dalke said.