Cianna Dunn and Ali Beck, who swim for the Killer Whales and coach, are aiming to move up to university competition in the future. Photo by Mike Chouinard/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Killer Whale swimmers eyeing future plans

Dunn, Beck heading off to practice with University of Lethbridge

Two local swimmers are hoping to head up to swim at the university level next fall.

Cianna Dunn and Ali Beck are both members of the Campbell River Killer Whales swim club. Dunn started with the Killer Whales when she was very young, probably about five or six, she says.

“I started in the I Can Swim program,” she says. “I just kind of worked my way up.”

She now coaches the program twice a week, something she has done since she was 15.

Her colleague Beck has spent the last half dozen years with the Killer Whales after first getting involved with competitive swimming with the local summer program.

As younger swimmers, they would have taken part in all categories during meets because swimmers don’t usually specialize until their mid-teens.

“You don’t really need to specialize until you’re older,” says Dunn, who now focuses on back stroke.

Beck, meanwhile, has put her efforts into distance freestyle.

The two like to use swimming as a means to compete against other high-level swimmers. For Dunn, one of her biggest highlights took place at an event in Quebec at the nationals in 2015.

“It was a relay we did, and we got third,” she says. “That was kind of my highlight.”

For Beck, she travelled to Winnipeg in the spring and qualified for western finals swimming a 1500-metre freestyle.

Both are now in Grade 12 and looking toward their futures, which hopefully includes becoming student-athletes at the post-secondary level.

RELATED STORY: Campbell River Killer Whales compete on national stage

Currently, they are busy with school, along with competing in the pool and coaching other swimmers.

“I teach younger swimmers what I’ve learned throughout the years,” Dunn said.

She works with the young competitive swimmers, most about 10, on basic strokes like butterfly, back stroke, breast stroke and freestyle, as well as how to do dives and turns, and she enjoys a being a role model to them.

“It’s nice to teach young swimmers,” she says.

Beck has also been working as a coach with the local Special Olympics program, usually helping out a couple of times a week.

She has done this for three years and works with swimmers 13 years and up along with swimmers with more advanced swimming abilities, such as Paul Aubuchon.

“Last year, one of my swimmers went to nationals,” she says. “I teach them all the strokes just like you would for any competitive [swimming].”

RELATED STORY: Campbell River send five to Nova Scotia for Special Olympics nationals

As far as balancing coaching with competitions and school, they admit it’s hard and requires a lot of a dedication to the sport, which means making schedule adjustments such as using time from free blocks at school to come to the pool.

“We stay committed to it,” Beck says.

Both swimmers are hoping to get a scholarship, in some cases, by reaching out to the schools.

Schools themselves, too, keep track of swimmers’ times at meets and often reach out to the students about coming to join their programs. For now, their hope is to land an opportunity to practise with the university programs.

Beck and Dunn will be heading off to the University of Lethbridge at the beginning of the December to do just that for training over an extended weekend.

“They reached out to our coach,” Beck says. “We’re going down to train with them.”

The two are also looking at other schools to keep their opportunities open.

Beyond competing at the university level, Beck wants to go into nursing, while Dunn is looking at first-year sciences before deciding where to specialize

“There’s so many things you can do,” she says.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First fall storm approaching Campbell River

The area is under a special weather statement for expected wind and rain

RCMP investigation underway under Tamarac Street

Campbell River RCMP is conducting an investigation under Tamarac Street in Campbell… Continue reading

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

Babchuk nominated as NDP candidate

Seeks to replace outgoing MLA Claire Trevena

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Most Read