Thursday, October 14, 2010

1st Annual Blue Fin Banquet

Thank you all that attended last night's diner and awards banquet. This was a new idea for HHBF. Many other clubs have them, but we have always incorperated awards into our year end party. The problem is that we are now a lot better than we used to be! Not a bad problem to have, am I right!!??

Last season, our year end party was held on Monday June 14th... however, we had 5 meets that our athletes competed at after our awards/year end party. It is a very positive thing that our athletes are qualifying and competing at these meets later in the season and I felt that the right thing to do is to publicly recognize their achievements.

Winners of our new awards were as follows:

Record Breakers (people who broke a club record and held it at the end of the season). The list of records broken last season is so long that I will only mention their names. For the complete record board, please visit The winners are:
Elizabeth Skuriat
Emma Fender
Keri-lyn Copeland
Tessa Cieplucha
Sam Ceci
Kaitlyn Daley
Kyle Haas
Terevor Burwell
Matt Fox
Karl Massey
Bjoern-Ole Schrader
Mitchell Krafczek

The fact that this many records were broken speaks volumes about what our club is doing. Congratulations everyone!

Other awards were given out by achievement. Qualifying and participating in Central Region Championships, Ontario Junior Provincial Championships, Ontario Senior Provincial Championships, Canadian Age Group Championships, Eastern Canadian Championships and Canadian Senior National Championships. The winners of those awards are:
Brautigam, Aaron
Burwell, Samantha
Burwell, Trevor
Ceci, Samantha
Cieplucha, Tessa
Copeland, Keri-Lyn
Daley, Kaitlyn
Fender, Emma
Fong, Veronica
Fox, Matt
Gergely, Kristen
Haas, Kyle
Haas, Nolan
Harris, Clancy
Jaggard, Quinn
Jans, Michael
Krafczek, Mitchell
LeBlanc, Corey
Leckie, Aysia
Loder, Kaitlyn
Lubja, Alicia
Massey, Karl
O'Brien-Egesborg, Loren
Olmstead, Paige
Schrader, Bjoern-Ole
Smith, Kelly
Smith, Ryan
Tarczy, A.J.

HHBF has consistently produced a more and more athletes that are qualifying for more and more things. Anecdotally, when I took over as head coach in 2008, we lost 4 of the 8 provincial qualifiers that we had. By the end of that season we were back to 8 qualifiers. Last season, we lost 1 of those athletes and 2 of them suffered injuries preventing them from competing at the provincial championships. By the end of the season, after losing 3 athletes, we had 10 Blue Fins representing at the LC Provincial Championships in Ottawa. I cannot say enough about the ability of our athletes when they give themselves a good chance to succeed.

Last season also marked the highest number of athletes we have qualified for the Central Region Championships with a total of 28 athletes (previous high was 14). This season, our focus is for MORE athletes to get qualified and to next focus on having the most ever athletes OVER QUALIFIED for the meet.

The 2010-2011 season will also mark the first time that HHBF will be represented at Canada Cup in November, since 2007 when Tasha Truscott competed with an HHBF cap. Kyle Haas will be the first man from HHBF to ever compete in this event and will hopefully do us all proud.

My old coach and Provincial Mentor Coach, Dean Boles, was our guest speaker last night and he said a lot of very meaningful things about our club, swimming and coaching in general. The most poignant thing that I believe he refered to was "Individual Achievement By Teamwork". No one in our club does anything by themselves. It takes the support of team mates, parents, coaches, the executive committee, the Town and just about everyone in it to be as successful as we are. As we celebrate individual acheiement, it is actually the group colaberation that we are celebrating and I do not want that to get lost in the event.

I want to thank Dean for volunteering his time to come share with us. It means a lot to get that type of recognition from Swim Ontario who has become increasingly interested in us in the past 2 seasons. Thanks from all of us, Dean!

Dean said that one of the most important moments in his swimming career was in 1984 when Victor Davis called him from the Los Angeles Olympics to say "Thank You," for helping him (as a team mate) get good enough to win a medal. I think that was a statment about Victor and his personallity, but lets not forget how important everyone around you is to how you make out at the end.

Mike Thompson
Head Coach

*This video has absoluetly nothing to do with what I was just talking about, but still important.