Eye on the Prize

May 17, 2017 by Diane Thuna

At 11, Keira knows exactly what she wants – in the water anyway.  “My Dad finished his lifeguard training when he was 14,” she explains, “so I want to complete all the requirements while I’m still 13.”  She’s on track to do it, even with a recent knee injury she sustained while skiing.

“She was diagnosed with a strained collateral ligament and meniscus tear but Keira was determined not to be held back by it,” explains mom Sheryl.  “And we felt that if she was responsible about it and respected her limits, she could be allowed to continue.”  That proved to be the right decision as Keira demonstrated when she recently completed the highest level of the Canadian Swim Patrol program on her first try.  “My knee made a few kicks difficult,” says Kiera, “but I’m proud of myself that I did it.”

“She’s been taking lessons at Trico since she was 5 years old and in Preschool 1,” says Sheryl.  “What I love most is that since her very first class she’s always been excited and motivated to go.”

A water baby from the start, Sheryl remembers what a blast Keira had in that very first class.  “She just loved all the splashing and songs and movement through the water.  And she longed for a mermaid tail for the longest time.”   Keira may have grown out of that desire but her love of the water has never wavered, something Sheryl credits greatly to the quality of instruction she’s received over the years.

Keira agrees.  “I like all the instructors at Trico”, she says.  “They’ve always encouraged me.  But Emily is my favourite.  She has a really good sense of humour and makes it so fun.  She’s really creative when creating her rescue scenarios.”

Whether in lessons or hanging out at the pool with friends, Keira has also always felt that Trico is a safe place to be.  “Staff and members are always there to watch over you if they think you are lost or sad or having problems, but not in an overbearing way.  You have lots of freedom,” she explains.  And she finds that, just like Emily, lots of staff at Trico have that ability to put a fun twist on things.  “It’s kind of a happy place to be!” concludes Keira.

Keira plans to complete the rest of her lifeguarding requirements and then volunteer at Trico’s pool (and work when she’s old enough), eager to give back to the facility that gave her a flying start.


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