Karen Hatt (left) and Catherine Schwichtenberg (right), representing two of the three dairy farming families who have donated diving blocks to the AHA Swim Club. A third block was donated by the Hoogendorn family (not pictured).
It hasn’t been an easy year for sports clubs or teams anywhere in BC, but three dairy farming families in Agassiz are doing what they can to help a local swim club keep its head above water.
Restrictions necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic have made it difficult for groups like the Agassiz-Harrison Aquanauts (AHA Swim Club) to connect as a community and offer young people important activities. A summer club for both competitive and non-competitive swimmers, the AHA Swim Club has been bringing youth and families together for team competition and fun in Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool since 1978.
“Exercise is important, but it’s the ability to get together and connect with friends and teammates that’s at the heart of our club. It’s what happens after the practices and swim meets. Not being able to do that has been a real loss for this community.” says Kate Wouda, President of AHA Swim Club.
With the vaccination rollout underway and the hope of a more-normal season on the horizon, the group has been bolstered by contributions from the local community to upgrade their home pool facility with brand new diving blocks. Club President Kate Wouda is delighted by the generosity of the community. “We have needed this upgrade for a while now, but with a steep price tag of $6,000 per installed block, we reached out for some support. It was a big ask, so we are really grateful for how the dairy community stepped up.”
Of the six new diving blocks, three were sponsored by local dairy farming families, while a local dairy supply company was a major supporter of a fourth block.
Six new diving blocks were unveiled on May 1st, 2021 at the Ferny Coombe Outdoor Pool in Agassiz, BC
Catherine Schwichtenberg, past president of the AHA Swim Club and member of one of the dairy farming families donating funds for a block, explains. “As dairy farmers, community involvement and contribution is something that we really value. We believe in the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and we know that community connection is a critical aspect of that. We’re all really proud to contribute to the Diving Block Project, because we know the positive impact that recreational facilities can have on the overall health and well-being of our community.”
Catherine Schwichtenberg. Master of Ceremonies at May 1st unveiling of the diving blocks
The new diving blocks were unveiled this past Saturday, May 1st, at a socially distanced ceremony. The blocks were immediately put to good use by the members of the AHA Swim Club in a series of races.
AHA Swim Club member diving off the new blocks for the first time during a race at Ferny Coombe Pool on May 1st