Celebraing 30 Years!

Cochrane Masters Swim Club is celebrating 30 years of being in the pool!

It began as an idea at the old Town of Cochrane Pool, between the Pool Manager at the time, RoseAnne MacGregor and the head lifeguard, Suzanne Gaida. They put together a budget, scheduled the lanes, Suzanne agreed to be the Coach and the swimmers dove in! The club was originally called the Cochrane Coelacanths, after the ancient fish once considered to be extinct, but people didn’t know what it was much less how to pronounce it, so the name was eventually changed to the current Cochrane Masters Swim Club. COCO is still the Swim Alberta code for the club at swim meets.

Over the years there have been a multitude of coaches, each bringing their own style and workouts, and countless swimmers that have participated by swimming not only for fitness and comradery but athletes preparing to compete in local and international swim meets. Some of those swimmers have set provincial records and we currently have a club member, Joan Gunn-Allard holding a provincial record in Women’s 100 and 200m Backstroke.

Swimming in the “old pool” was a challenge as the 4 lanes were narrow and the club time could only be scheduled for after 9:00pm. Every coach supplied the club with a challenging workout not only in the pool but sometimes on deck and once a month practise was finished with a rousing game of No Rules Water Polo (nobody drowned!) The small Hot Tub was a gathering spot following practise to unwind. One tradition from the early days that is still held with the current club, is the once a month Social Night, or Pub Night where everybody is welcome to recover with wings and beverages following practice.

The focus of the club has changed throughout the years depending on the coach and the current members. Swimming competitively has always been an option with some members focusing on swim meets while others looked to compete in longer, open water swims. But regardless, the Cochrane Masters Swim Club has always been inclusive with several Special Olympic swimmers in the past to swimmers graduating from the youth swim clubs and moving into Masters swimming to those who have barely been able to swim one length. One thing that always remains the same is everyone’s love of swimming and the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction following a workout.

Who would have thought the vision of a few, the directors over the years, as well as the amazing coaches who have guided us, that the club would still be going and looking forward to many more years of supporting a healthy, lifelong physical and social activity.