They listen intently, flip their goggles into position and then slip into the water, as coach Taylor Olson keeps an eye on their progress.
Olson, 18, coach with the Quesnel Sea Lions swim club and close to 50 young swimmers are taking part in rookie week.
Rookie week, Olson explained, is a week for local swimmers to head to the pool and, for a nominal fee, practice with the team for a week to see if they would enjoy being part of the Sea Lions swim team.
The Sea Lions, unlike the Waveriders, the other swim team in Quesnel, are more about improving technique and having fun, Olson said.
“Our goal is for the kids to come out and have fun for
the summer and at the same time gain some physical fitness,” Olson, a level I National Coaching Certification Program coach, said.
“Just have fun and improving their technique.”
In fact, although there is a competitive apsect to the Sea Lions swim club, the emphasis for Olson and Kyle Chanin another coach with the Sea Lions is on making sure the swimmers, aged four – 17 have fun.
“There’s a huge social aspect,” Olson said.
“The kids swim and they make tons of friends.”
The Sea Lions swim club meets Monday to Friday, from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre pool.
The practice sessions, which run throughout the summer, are divided by age group, Olson explained.
The juniors, aged 6 – 7, swim from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
The intermediate swimmers, aged 8 – 11 swim from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
The seniors, aged 12 – 17, swim from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
The younger set, the pups, aged 4 – 6 years old, swim three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Within each age group, swimmers vary in their skill and ability, Olson acknolwedged.
To better serve the children, swimmers in each age category are grouped by ability, allowing the coaches can better focus on the needs of the swimmers.
The first meet for the Sea Lions is a weekend affair in Mackenzie, Mayl 20 – 21.