Nova Scotia artistic swimming coach Faye Evans is paying it forward to swimmers she inspired eight years ago at the Canada Winter Games.
Evans competed at the 2011 Games in her hometown of Halifax then took up coaching synchronized swimming a year later. Many of the young athletes who signed up at the Atlantis Synchro Club had been in the stands watching Evans compete a year earlier. And now they make up the bulk of today’s Team Nova Scotia.
“My goal was to coach a Canada Games team after living the experience as an athlete and I wanted to go back one day,” says Evans, 24. “As an athlete you are hyper focused on your personal experience and you are all in on competition. Being a coach you are thinking about so many other moving targets, logistics and managing 10 people instead of just yourself. Certainly a lot more thought that goes into coaching and it’s equally as tiring.”
There are 10 swimmers on the Nova Scotia roster with team, duet and individual programs to swim. Sarah Regan, 15, is one of those young swimmers who watched Evans compete in Halifax. “We had tickets to the Canada Games and my mom took me to see synchro. I wanted to try it out and joined right away.”
Eight years later, the Grade 10 student at Citadel High School is one of the leaders on the swim team competing this week in Calgary. Team Nova does a reptile inspired routine to a techno song called Creatures by Jackdaw Factory. Their pre-routine chant involves snake-like hissing.
“Canada Games has been really fun. We’re meeting a lot of athletes from different sports,” she says. “It’s a lot different than other nationals we have gone to.”
Here’s the roster for the Nova Scotia artistic swim team:
- Imogen Brander-McMullen
- Kate Cordeau
- Nicole Dion
- Alexandra MC Hernandez
- Callie Macdonald
- Libby MacLeod
- April Anne Ozere
- Kaia Noni Regan
- Sarah Regan
- Victoria Katherine Smith