The Elk Valley Dolphin’s own Angie Abdou in Quebec. (Photo by Andy Sinclair)

The Elk Valley Dolphin’s own Angie Abdou in Quebec. (Photo by Andy Sinclair)

Masters swimmers shine in competition


Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club

The Elk Valley Dolphins swim club is primarily a training group with a focus on fun and fitness. Recently, though, the club’s swimmers have put their training to the test.

Angie Abdou, a master swimmer and coach for EVDSC, attended Masters Swimming Canadian National Championships in Quebec City. She swam seven events in the 50-54 age group and came home with three golds, three silvers, and a fourth.

“I haven’t been to a swim meet since before I had kids,” said Abdou. “Over fifteen years! It was so fun. I felt like I was home – swimming is what I love to do.”

Abdou was inspired by the more senior swimmers at the meet. “A 90-year-old woman broke the world record for her age group in the 200 fly. Imagine being able to do 8 lengths butterfly at that age! I met a woman who used to race against my mom in university, still tearing up the pool. I’d love to still be racing in my 70s and beyond.”

Of her races, Abdou was most pleased with her 200 fly. “I don’t think I’ve ever raced that event before, even as a kid. It’s a tough one. Now that I’ve got one under my belt, I’d like to try it again – and go faster.”

Abdou said competitive goals make fitness fun. “I was also really pleased with my 100 free time. I like that I can still race with the teen boys on our team.”

Abdou credited Coach Aidan Chudleigh with her newfound enthusiasm for racing. “He’s such an excellent motivator. He knows how to push people to go that little bit harder. Also, I’ve never had a coach as good with technique and strategy. I learn so much from Aidan every session.”

Abdou said that swimmers don’t have to be interested in competing at nationals to be part of the Elk Valley Dolphins Masters Swim Club. “The great thing about our group is its range. We have competitive swimmers. We have triathletes. We have people looking to improve their strokes. We have people doing it because their kids do it, and they want swimming to be a family sport. We have people who view swimming as one small part of their fitness regime. Everyone is welcome in this group.”

While Abdou was off in Quebec at swimming nationals, other Fernie masters were putting their swimming to the test in triathlon events. Emily Coates and Laura Rankin did the Half-Ironman in Victoria, while Megan Walker and Kerri Wall did the Invermere Aquathon.

“It is great to see our club thriving through all the age groups from pups to masters,” said Chudleigh. “To quote my greatest coaching mentor, Forbes Carlile ‘To swim well, is an asset for life.’”

READ MORE: Dolphins break record turnout
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