The Fernie Fox Invitational was a raging success for the Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club in Fernie over the weekend (Friday April 22 to Sunday April 24). (Image courtesy of Red Flannel Photography)

The Fernie Fox Invitational was a raging success for the Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club in Fernie over the weekend (Friday April 22 to Sunday April 24). (Image courtesy of Red Flannel Photography)

Swim meet draws 242 swimmers to Fernie

The Fernie Fox Invitational was the first spring swim meet hosted locally since 2019

Well over 200 swimmers from around the region and as far away as Calgary descended on Fernie this weekend for the Fernie Fox Invitational at the Fernie Aquatic Centre.

Hosted by the Elk Valley Dolphins Swim Club, 242 swimmers from six clubs accounted for 1,307 individual swims (and 63 relays) – or, a lot of time keeping for volunteers.

“Huge success! It was amazing to see all of the swimmers back on deck, and everybody was just so happy to be back in the water,” said meet manager Aysha Haines.

The swim meet was the first spring swim meet hosted by the EVDSC since 2019.

“There were lots of swimmers cheering. Its a lot of people to be in our small facility, and we absolutely can’t do it without the support of the Fernie Aquatic Centre staff, who really focus on safety and make sure we can have all this fun in the most safe environment possible.”

The three-day event featured a coaches relay, and a ‘skins race’ where the top swimmer from each of the six teams went head-t0-head in back-to-back elimination races to win a $200 voucher to a local business (Big Bang Bagels or Elk Valley Pizza Shoppe). With six winners across the divisions (boys and girls in three age groups), Haines said it was a hit.

“It was loud and fun and we’ve never seen so many swimmers yelling and screaming, and all the coaches yelling and screaming ad it was just amazing. We will definitely do it again.”

The swim meet goes down at the best-attended local swim meet for the EVDSC, with 64 swimmers in the club turning up. The meet also drew in over 180 families to the area in what’s otherwise a quiet time of year.

The next locally hosted meet will be the Fernie Halloween Howler in October, but the EVDSC will be heading off to to Lethbridge in two weeks for another meet.

READ MORE: Competitive swimming thriving in the Kootenays



scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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