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Competitive swimming was slow to evolve in Saskatchewan. Swimming was confined to natural bodies of water until pools were built in Regina in 1909, Moose Jaw in 1910, and Saskatoon in 1913. The province's first accomplished swimmers were those of the University of Saskatchewan team of the 1920s and 1930s. Phyllis Dewar of Moose Jaw achieved national renown in 1934 when she won four gold medals at the British Empire Games in London, England. Organization withered during World War II, but was fully re-established by the early 1950s and augmented by the addition of synchronized swimming through the leadership and instruction of Betty Lou Dean of Regina. An important milestone was a clinic conducted in 1963 by James “Doc” Counsilman, head swimming coach at Indiana University and for the United States Olympic team. Most of Saskatchewan's coaches attended the clinic and imparted new training techniques to their swimmers. Provincial records tumbled in every discipline and age group, and Saskatchewan became genuinely competitive at the national level; several swimmers have represented Canada at Olympic Games in each decade since the 1970s. Swim Saskatchewan is the regulatory body for the sport in the province. There are ten “winter” clubs that compete year-round: Battlefords Kinsmen, Manta Ray (Meadow Lake), Moose Jaw Kinsmen Flying Fins, Prince Albert Sharks, Regina Optimist Dolphins, Regina's Y's Men's Marlins, Saskatoon Goldfins, Saskatoon Lasers, Swift Current Monarchs, and Yorkton Optimist. Summer clubs are maintained in Assiniboia, Biggar, Estevan, Humboldt, Kindersley, Melfort, Melville, Moosomin, Nipawin, Oxbow, Regina, Rosetown, Swift Current, Watrous, and Weyburn.

John Chaput

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Further Reading

Conrad, P.C. 1990. In the Winning Lane. Regina: Swim Saskatchewan.
This web site was produced with financial assistance
provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Saskatchewan.
University of Regina Government of Canada Government of Saskatchewan Canadian Plains Research Center
Ce site Web a été conçu grâce à l'aide financière de
Diversification de l'économie de l'Ouest Canada et le gouvernement de la Saskatchewan.