WATCH ABOVE: Around 500 swimmers took the plunge at the annual ALPS swimming championships in Pointe-Claire on Saturday. The event has been making a splash for over 50 years.
Pointe-Claire – Over 500 swimmers took to the pool for the Association of Lakeshore Pools (ALPS) swimming finals, at the Lakeshore pool in Pointe-Claire on Saturday.
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For the young swimmers, participating in the last competition of the summer is a big deal. Making it to the finals is the end-result of some grueling work for kids who put in long hours at the pool.
The top six children in each age group made the A finals while the next twelve kids swam in the consolation finals.
One could say you get out of it what you put into it, which is one of the driving forces behind the success of the ALPS, a volunteer organization made up of 22 outdoor community pools mostly located on the West Island.
Beth Hazel, Director of the ALPS competitive swimming program says that the goal of the association is to promote friendly competition among member clubs, not only in swimming, but also in water-polo, synchronized swimming and diving.
“It gives Montreal kids this amazing opportunity to learn about all these different aquatic sports” said Hazel.
According to Hazel, for many kids the summer activities are the beginning of some much bigger dreams.
“A lot of kids got their start in summer swimming and went on to the Olympic Games or the Pan Am Games like we saw in Toronto, so it’s a great organization.”
Over 50 volunteers pitched in on Saturday to make the premiere competition a success.
The Lakeshore pool, one of the four founding members, hosted the end-of-summer meet for the first time since the association was formed in 1958.
Hazel went on to say that the event is so fun that some kids come as from as far away as Vancouver to spend the summer in Montreal just so they can participate in the program.