The swim team is a recent addition to the recreation offerings in Perth East, but the response has been good enough that the township was able to hold its first-ever swim meet on Saturday in Milverton.
The Perth Piranhas swim team was started just four years ago by Perth East pool supervisor Sydney McCourt. At the time of its inception, it had just five swimmers. That number has gradually grown to 20 members, an achievement that inspired McCourt to take the plunge into hosting meets at the facility.
“I wanted to showcase the sport around the community. It’s a fantastic sport – all the kids that try it absolutely love it. They build great teamwork skills and sportsmanship skills, and their swimming improves greatly over the season very quickly,” said McCourt.
Swim teams from all across Wellington, Bruce and Perth counties came out to attend, including the Listowel Lightning, Atwood Athletics, Minto Minnows, Mildmay Bluefins, Mount Forest Marlins, Gorrie Gators and the Piranhas. The groups met up at the Perth East Recreation Complex Pool (PERC) on Temperance Street in Milverton, just a 20-minute drive from Wellesley Township.
“It went really well, overall,” said McCourt. “I’m very proud of all my swimmers for how hard they swam over the weekend, and I’m very grateful to everyone who volunteered.”
The meet aimed to raise awareness of this swim team and encourage new members to come out and try it for themselves. There was a barbecue and silent auction to raise money for the Perth East Piranhas swim team, to fund further meets and experiences for the swimmers.
The Piranhas practice three days a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. They attend five annual meets throughout the year, including ones in the municipalities that came out to Saturday’s competition: Listowel, Atwood, Gorrie, Minto, Mount Forest, and Mildmay. Those interested in joining are welcome to attend a practice for free.
“We’re getting to the point in our season where if they want to come out and try it they’ll have to do it soon just because we’re getting into the season. But I encourage everyone who loves swimming to come out and try it; it’s a lot of fun.”
Anyone interested in joining the team can call the Perth East Recreation Complex pool at 519-595-8297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.