In a rare occasion, swimmers from both of Ponoka swim clubs competed in the Alberta Summer Games zone trials Sunday June 1, in Sylvan Lake. Four members of the year-long swim club, Ponoka Pool Sharks, competed in the zone trials along with two members of the local summer swim club, the Ponoka Gators. McKenna Christensen, Lanny Wildcat, Nesha Soosay and Shannon Bendera represented the Sharks while Emily David and Paisley Wilson swam for the Gators.
The zone trials hosted summer and winter clubs from all over Central Alberta. The top three swimmers from each age category and gender qualifying to compete in the five-day long competition in Airdrie at the end of July. Christensen and Wildcat finished all three of their races with first places ensuring qualification for the two athletes. Bendera and Soosay are still awaiting results after excellent performances in their swims. Wilson and David, after only being in the water for a few weeks prior, pulled off some promising results and dropped time in all of their swims.
Together, the Sharks and the Gators represent a growing sport in Ponoka. The combined total of swimmers now reaches 120 participants between the two clubs and represents a large portion of the pool space at the Aquaplex. The Pool Sharks train September to June each year and have a number of provincially and nationally ranked swimmers. The team has experienced steady growth under the direction of Head Coach Bobbie-Jo Christensen. The Ponoka Gators train May 1 until the middle of August and has a strong representation at both regional and provincial meets. The club has also experienced a terrific growth in the past few years.
Both clubs accept new registrants at the beginning of their respective seasons.