Phantoms swim team struck gold at Ontario Special Olympics

Three young women; eight medals.

Three of the Fer­gus Phantoms swim team recently won medals at the Ontario Special Olympics in Oshawa.

That event is a qualifier for the national championship that are held on alternate years with the Ontario events. Next year, the national event will be held in Prince Edward Island.

Topping the medal winning was Katrina Joubert, 17, of Fer­gus, who won four golds in various events.

Amy Noble, 17, of Harris­ton, won a gold and a silver med­al, and Jenny Haines, 16, of Fergus, won a gold and a bronze.

The girls are coached by Cyn­thia Scott-Dupree, who said the team has done an ex­cellent job in performing so well, particularly since their club is going into only its third season.

The special Olympics swim team started when the Fergus pool opened. Scott-Dupree said a local facility was the impetus to get the club off the ground. The only other place that offers such a team is in Guelph. Until the Fergus pool was built, swimmers like Joubert and Haines had nowhere else to go.

Scott-Dupree said moving the club to Fergus attracted swimmers like Noble, who lives in Harriston, but who might otherwise find the travel to Guelph too onerous.

The team will begin opera­tion again in September, and it practices every Tuesday night from 7 to 8pm. There are cur­rently 26 swimmers who take part in those sessions, and she said some of those are just learn­ing, while the rest are itching to be in competitive meets.

“To achieve what they did, they had to attend a number of swim meets – and have the best times.”

She noted that this year, Guelph did not compete at all at the provincial event. “So, there were three from Fergus; none from Guelph.”

Doing well at the provincials and other meets, allows top com­petitors to quality for the national event. Winners there compete in the Olympics and World Cham­pionships. Anyone in­ter­ested in join­ing the team can contact Scott-Dupree at 519-843-5187, or Ron Heipel, at 519-822-3192.