Lindsay Lightningbolts Swim Club welcomes new swimmers
By Amanda Tayles
Swimming is often seen as a life skill, but for past and present members of the Lindsay Lightningbolts Swim Club (LLSC) it’s so much more than that – it’s an opportunity to be part of a welcoming, supportive and active community.
COVID put a damper on sports, in particular team or facility-based sports like swimming. Some have rebounded faster than others, as despite close to three million Canadians participating in swimming lessons annually prior to COVID, lockdowns significantly impacted access to pools and lessons. Lifeguard shortages was just one of many implications. LLSC has seen their numbers drop and are now looking to grow their club back to previous levels of participation and beyond.
Swimming provides a fun physical activity for youth that’s been proven to support mental well-being, reducing stress and anxiety. LLSC President Jodie Collins sees the sport providing more than just physical health and wellness, but also discipline and goal orientation. Swimmers “are constantly working towards goals that they learn to set for themselves. Even without outside competitions, they work hard to set small goals in practice and within their team.” Though it’s traditionally an individual sport, the camaraderie in and out of the pool supports swimmers in achieving their goals. Though there are competitive and non-competitive options at various levels, Collins finds “it doesn’t interfere with how they support one another, which is awesome.”
Demonstrating what a family the club truly is, Collins herself is not only an alumna, but comes from a Lightningbolt family tree. Her father was a coach and her mother served as a past president.
With the summer Olympics in Paris coming up in 2024, this is a great opportunity to be part of a sport that has been in the Olympics since 1896. Club member Teagan McDonald is an example of what commitment and dedication can bring as a Special Olympics athlete who has been swimming with the club for decades, as well as LLSC alumni Matthew Rose who swam for Canada in the 2004 Olympic Games.
Registration for new swimmers opens Aug. 28 at www.lindsaylightningbolts.com.
Pickleball sees explosive growth in Kawartha Lakes
Pickleball is the sport everyone seems to be talking about – and it’s thriving in Kawartha Lakes. In less than a year, Pickleball Canada saw its membership increase by 43 per cent, to over 40,000 members from 2021 to 2022. The Kawartha Lakes Pickleball Association (KLPA) established in August 2022 has seen similar growth, moving from 138 members to over 450 in less than a year.
Created in 1965, pickleball was conceptualized by three fathers in Washington state seeking to quell the inevitable and incessant summer boredom of their children. Tales abound on the origin of the name, one being the wife of an originator likened the compilation of badminton, ping pong and tennis to the concept of a “pickle boat” in rowing, where a crew is thrown together from the leftovers of other boats. The game is often treated as a social opportunity, a form of friendly competition with physical benefits. Matches, played indoors on gym floors or outside on tennis courts, are facilitated through online apps such as Team Reach. On it, the KLPA shares the locations and times for games across Kawartha Lakes, allowing anyone from the area or visiting to partake in a match at one of the various indoor or outdoor courts. The Lindsay Exhibition grounds (LEX) is the largest, accommodating 10 indoor courts, with others at Memorial Park, as well as Bobcaygeon, Omemee, Fenelon Falls, Coboconk and Burnt River. As the popularity of the sport increases, consideration will have to be given to how future development in Kawartha Lakes will accommodate its growth. Often seen as a sport of seniors, Pickleball Canada reports the largest growth in the 18-34 age range.
What makes it so popular? For Peter Lindsay, a board member of the KLPA, it’s a welcoming sport for beginners and those looking for a challenge. As a past executive director of tennis in the area, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see how Lindsay’s interest would perk up at another racquet sport, but it was pickleball’s ability to accommodate him following an injury 15 years ago that drew him in. Playing for the first time this past January, he’s found a love of the game. “It’s such a social game, with humour and friendly competition, that is easy to pick up and works on great hand-eye coordination” says Lindsay.
Major League Pickleball now encompasses 24 teams with ownership from celebrities such as LeBron James and Tom Brady. Renowned tennis stars like John McEnroe have gotten into the mix playing at grand slam titles, finding it to be “something I’ve been enjoying with friends because it’s sort of an equalizer. You can learn and pick it up and be reasonably good at it.” The KLPA hopes the public does just that by joining them for free lessons Tuesday evenings at the LEX.