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Salmon Kings host island swimmers on 60th anniversary

Around 220 swimmers and their families are in Campbell River this weekend for the Salmon Kings invitational swim meet.

Participants take to the lanes at the Centennial Outdoor Pool for the first time since 2018 due to pool repairs and COVID postponements. The club held a scaled-down event in 2019 at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex and then COVID nixed the event in 2020 and 2021.

Club President Cathy Revoy says they’re thrilled to be back in Centennial Park for their 60th anniversary.

In addition to the island-popular speed swimming competition, Revoy says unique activities go beyond the pool with a concession and city approved on-site camping.

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“The thing that is the most highly anticipated for the whole weekend is actually the Air Band competition at night on Saturday. It’s for a coveted Elvis trophy that’s been around for a long time. So that’s something the kids really look forward to and practice throughout the years,” Revoy told Vista Radio.

She says visiting clubs will get to see the many city improvements.

“The whole pool itself, the actual tiling and whatnot, is all new as well as the decking. They’ve improved the slide facility and the actual working pool itself is way better and looks like it will last another 55 years (which) would be fantastic!” Revoy said.

Clubs from the island as well as Powell River have been invited to compete.

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“It’s pretty good with everything that’s going on in the world people wanted to travel. There was a Vancouver team that wanted to come but they couldn’t quite make accommodations work so maybe next year.”

Revoy says they may hold an alumni event later this year to mark their 60th. The tentative date is Aug. 23.

She also wanted to thank people who live in the area around 4th Avenue for putting up with a little more noise than usual this weekend during an event that showcases the region.

The weekend is capped with a fun 200 meter freestyle relay where even the older groups dress up and use pool toys and make it light hearted to “celebrate the whole weekend…and show the younger kids that they can splash around and have fun, it’s not all serious all the time.”

“Also, (we want) to thank all the volunteers, parents, swimmers themselves and the officials that are on deck all day, every day, just making it happen.”

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