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Swimming Canada Awards Top Clubs

Oct 20, 1999

OTTAWA - Canada's best swimming clubs were recognized this past weekend, and the Newmarket Stingrays Swim Club came out as king of the hill, winning the Maritime Life/Swimming Canada Club of the Year gold medal.

The Stingrays, who are based in Newmarket, Ont., shared the spotlight with the silver medal-winning Cascade Swim Club of Calgary and the Region of Waterloo Swim Club, which took the bronze medal.

The Newmarket club was praised for its community involvement, including work with the York County Hospital's Circle of Hope and donations to its children's foundation. The club was also commended for its swimmer development and active participation in the Sears "I Can Swim" program, teaching the benefits of the sport to young swimmers.

With over 200 members, including 90 competitive swimmers, the Stingrays boast the third largest enrollment in Swim Ontario. It strives to meet a mission statement of pursuing excellence, defining the idea of winning as self-improvement.

This year, the Stingrays competed at nearly 50 swim meets, including a fourth-place finish at the AllSport 1999 Junior Nationals in Nepean, Ont., and 17th place out of 68 clubs at the 1999 Summer Nationals in Montreal.

The Cascade Swim Club was recognized for its superior strength in organizing and planning, as well as its innovation in meets and events, such as fund-raising activities like bingos, coupon books and silent auctions.

Formed in 1973, the club has undergone great transition recently, rising from a national ranking of 28th place in 1996 to a club-high third place last year. With nearly 300 swimmers, the club has five training facilities and is widely regarded as a professional club that meets the needs of swimmers of all ages and abilities.

The Waterloo, Ont.-based ROW club has worked actively to introduce a national training centre to the area. Now, elite Ontario swimmers can remain in the province and gain even better opportunities of national and international calibre at the National Swimming Centre of Kitchener-Waterloo. The ROW club was also commended for its community involvement and work implementing the Sears I Can Swim program, exposing Kitchener youth to a competitive aquatics program.

The awards, handed out at Swimming Canada's annual general meeting this past weekend in Saint John, N.B., recognize the clubs