Masters swim club presents annual awards

Christy Kirk named swimmer of the year by the Okanagan Masters Swim Club

The Okanagan Masters Swim Club honoured its top swimmers this month

The Okanagan Masters Swim Club (OMSC) recognized several of its members for their achievements and demonstration of the spirit of masters swimming at its 2016 AGM.

Christy Kirk walked away with the ‘OMSC Swimmer of the Year’ floating trophy after only getting back into competitive swimming in 2015.

Competing in the age group 45-49, Kirk achieved several first places during the  Masters Swimming Association of B.C. Championships earlier this year.

The ‘OMSC Most Inspirational Swimmer’ trophy was awarded to Cailla Patterson, who placed 17th in the age group 40-44 at the recent Ironman World Championships in Kona, improving her 3.86km swim by seven minutes.  Known for the strong-arm tactics used by some Ironman competitors, Patterson said that she worked very hard with Kirk during the summer to improve her open water swimming in preparation for this race.

The award for the ‘OMSC Most Improved Male Swimmer’ and ‘OMSC Most Improved Female Swimmer’ went to Robert Mallach and Leah Perrier, respectively.

The  ‘Elena Dimitrov Award for Courage and Determination’ went to 84-year-old Conny Stamhuis who will also be inducted into the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in November.

Carol Taylor was recognized as ‘OMSC Volunteer of the Year’, Rob Epp as ‘OMSC Community Volunteer of the Year’ and the ‘OMSC Hammer Award’ for consistent hard effort went to Danita Schreiber.

“Our goal at OMSC , in collaboration with H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre,  is to provide quality swimming in a supportive and safe environment.” said OMSC president Sharon Spring. “Our professional coaches offer  six sessions a week for swimmers 18 years and older of all abilities. Many of our members are triathletes and/or competitive swimmers, but the majority swim mainly for fitness and wellbeing.  Happily, we have also had a significant increase in younger members recently, giving us a strong profile across all ages.”

OMSC also elected its new board for 2017/2018: Sharon Spring (President), Carmelle Guidi-Swan (Vice President), Laura Fleming (Secretary), Brenda Balderson (Treasurer), Norma Lachance (Meet Manager), Greg Harris (Registrar),  Gordon Sparrey (Communications), Cailla Patterson (At Large) and Carol Taylor (At Large).  Stepping down after eight years on the Board, Jennifer Leach-Trask received a special service award.

The philosophy of Masters Swimming is to promote fun, fitness, health, fellowship and participation amongst adult swimmers. OMSC welcomes new swimmers and anyone wanting to try it out can contact the Registrar, Greg Harris at


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