If you're in the market for a recreational vehicle, an Airdrie-based swim club is raffling off a brand new camper on May 15 to help raise funds to keep its athletes active.
To help offset the costs of running the organization, the Airdrie Phoenix Swim Club (APSC) is attempting to raise $100,000 this spring, according to Corey McKeown, a representative with the club. In partnership with Field of RV Dreams in Airdrie, he said the APSC is raffling off a 2021 Dutchmen Aspen Bunkhouse later month, valued at $21,500.
“The funds will go to support our young athletes to stay in the pool, develop their skills, technique and competitiveness,” McKeown said. “When we get out of COVID, the plan is to compete provincially, as we were doing pre-COVID.”
APSC formed in 2019, with the goal of offering competitive and pre-competitive programs for swimmers in Airdrie and area. Most of the club’s swimmers were previously Airdrie-based members of the Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club (CBAC), which operates out of Drumheller. The Airdrie-based members left that club after CBAC decided to amalgamate all of its training in Drumheller.
Like virtually every other youth sports organization, the APSC has been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic, according to McKeown. He said the funds raised through the raffle are “badly needed” and will help lower membership fees, enhance training and offer summer camps for the club’s athletes, once those opportunities are permitted again.
“We have 23 young athletes who are strong competitive swimmers and very dedicated to the sport,” he said.
“We have to be able to pay our coaches and [for our] pool access. All the things associated with swimming, it’s not a cheap sport. When you start looking at the competitive side of swimming, a lot of these things are pricy, and our job is to bring those costs down so kids can stay in the pool and be active.”
While inter-club competitions are on hiatus, according to McKeown, the APSC is still able to offer online dryland training. Before the most recent restrictions were announced in late April, the club’s athletes trained in small groups at Genesis Place Recreation Centre four nights a week, adhering to cohorting rules and health and safety protocols implemented by Alberta Health Services, Swim Alberta and Genesis Place.
As of May 3, the club is on its way to reaching its $100,000 goal, having already raised more than $78,000. To purchase tickets for the raffle, McKeown encourages people to visit apscraffle.com
He said the draw will take place online on May 15.
“We’re pretty excited and we’re getting pretty close,” he said. “We’re hoping we get to our goal. Every little bit helps.”