National Paralympic swim team member Jonathan Dieleman started his journey in the Bulkley Valley Pool and so far it has taken him to international finals and medals. He is currently ranked third in the world in the 50 meter breaststroke.

Top swimmers home for the holidays

Paralympian and university star swimmers back and practising in the Smithers pool.

The Bulkley Valley Pool and Recreation Centre may not be the largest, most modern aquatic facility in the province but that does not matter. It somehow continues to produce top quality swimmers who go on to become excellent lifeguards and instructors.

And competitive swimmers.

Right now it’s home for the holidays for three of the area’s top swimmers.

Jonathan Dieleman started off as a rodeo enthusiast and then turned to swimming as a sport after a broken back left him in a wheelchair. He is currently at his highest ranking internationally with a third place in his top event, the 50-metre breaststroke.

While he generally trains with Richmond Rapids coach Rob Pettifer, he likes to spend time at his farm in Quick and while there continues to train at local facilities.

“I’ve got some pretty big goals. I’d like to be on the podium at the next Olympics,” he said.

He is joined by university twins Tanner and Bailey Espersen who have progressed to be among the top swimmers at their schools.

Tanner, who transferred to the University of South Dakota from his original school in Tennessee, said that his new coach has him racing the backstroke and medley swims and was looking forward to the conference championships coming up in the new year.

His transfer was necessitated by the original school’s dropping of his academic course of study. When this occurs, the athlete may transfer to another school which offers that study and can maintain any scholarship funding.

Bailey is currently ranked sixth in the 200-metre breaststroke. He has also qualified for Canadian University nationals in the 50 and 100-metre breaststroke races and is approaching school records in each breaststroke event. He feels that a spot on the podium will be a tough shot but that it is in the realm of possibility. He is also looking at the FISU (International University Sports Federation) games team as a longer term goal.

Both university swimmers will head out for school break training camps after Christmas.

sport@interior-news.com

Just Posted

Australian firefighters join Telegraph Creek efforts

Regional district extends State of Emergency another week to Aug. 17

Eliyah Brawdy finishes first in Babine mountain race

Hah Nic Na’ Aah trail run had 55 northwestern B.C. runners climb more than 1,000 metres

Bramslevens try to turn personal tragedy into hope for others

Joe and Tammy Bramsleven’s son, Kelel, passed away in their arms from a rare disorder.

UPDATE: 5 injured in plane crash following Abbotsford International Airshow

One in critical condition in incident involving vintage plane

Wildfires 5 km from northwest B.C. fibre-optic cable

CityWest said fire unlikely to affect northwest B.C. internet service

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Get involved in the Great Canadian Bumble Bee Count

Environmental organization develops app to help with the nationwide count

Pesticides linked to bee deaths will be phased out in Canada, sources say

Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are a class of pesticides used by farmers and hobby gardeners alike

Most Read