For those interested in the Richmond BC Kigoos Summer Swim Club

Some Final Thoughts from Coach Ava

August 24th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Some Final Thoughts from Coach Ava)

That’s a wrap! I am so extremely proud of how all of you swam throughout the season. All of you improved tremendously as athletes both physically and mentally, which was wonderful to watch!

Regionals was a fantastic meet for us (we won!), so congratulations to all of you who participated that weekend. I would also like to send out a big congratulations to all of our Provincial Qualifiers, and to those who actually swam this past weekend at the provincial meet. Provincials are always exciting, but this year I saw some of the best swimming I’ve seen yet- way to go, guys! We had 5 of our relays medal on Friday, and 5 again on Saturday, with 6 of those medals being gold! There were records broken, outside snipes, and some major TSN turning points!

As you guys know, this was my last season with the Kigoos and what a season it was! While I am extremely sad about leaving, I am also bursting with happiness about how this season went, and how my time with the Kigoos has been. As a swimmer, I would look forward to May 1st every year because that is when summer began, when I would get to set foot back on deck at Steveston Pool, find out who my coach would be, and be reunited with all of the people that I would be spending the next four months with, day in and day out. As a coach, I looked forward to May 1st for different reasons; how tall did you all get? Who’s voice dropped? How did my group look? How did the team look? For over a decade my year has been clearly divided into summer (May 1st to the end of Provincials) and all those other seasons. Thinking forward to next year, I think that I will probably have some sort of crisis on May 1st when I realize that it’s not in fact summer yet, that I’m not allowed to swim at outdoor pools yet, and most importantly that I won’t get to see all of you! From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank each and every one of you from Tater Tots up to Senior for being such a hugely important part of my life. You have all had your little impacts on the way that I think, the way that I look at the world, and the way that I approach situations (and the way that I dance), and for that I cannot thank you enough!

I hope that you all have an amazing school year, and that you keep swimming for the rest of your lives! Kigoos is one of the best things that will ever happen to you regardless of how fast or slow you are, I promise. Now, there is no way that I will be able to stay fully out of the loop, so I will definitely be popping in from time to time, and you bet that I’ll be wanting to know “what’s new and cool”. Until then I will miss you all dearly! Thank you for such a great run!

Head Coach Update from Coach Ava – Getting Ready for Regionals!

August 4th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Head Coach Update from Coach Ava – Getting Ready for Regionals!)

Hello Kigoos! Can you believe that Regionals is this weekend?! I have some extremely important information that I want to share with you all:

  • Your nutrition and rest are very important elements when it comes to the outcome of your races. Make sure that throughout this week and during the meet you are hydrating with water, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and getting lots of sleep!

  • Relays will be posted at the pool on Wednesday. Please make sure that you check the relays and arrange to be at the meet to swim it. Being on a relay at Regionals is a huge privilege and should be taken seriously. The relays have been created based on times, and have been reviewed thoroughly in order to ensure the best possible combinations.
    • Please note that relays at Regionals go straight to finals, unless there is more than one heat in prelims. In other words, if you are on a relay, you must stick around until after finals to swim. 
    • If you have been placed on a relay for Regionals, you must swim this relay. No absences will be tolerated.

  • Do not “dog” heats. All swimmers should swim their best during both heats and then again in finals. You never know who could bump you out of a spot for finals and you do not want to be left wishing you would have put more effort in.

  • Let’s all wear our tie-dyed t-shirts for Saturday at Regionals. Our team spirit needs to be top notch for this meet! Get ready to cheer loud, and to support your teammates! Finals at Regionals are especially exciting. Even if you do not qualify for finals, stick around the pool deck so that you do not miss the excitement!

  • Please wear your Kigoos swim caps during your races. This helps coaches find you in the pool, and also represents the team! Think of your Kigoos cap as the equivalent of a team jersey- you wouldn’t play a game without it.

  • If you know that you will not be attending Provincials in Victoria, but you think that you will be a qualifier, please notify Coach Ava immediately.

  • We have 140 swimmers entered in close to 600 events this weekend, this is HUGE! Get pumped up!!!!!!!! Give every single race your 100%.

“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”  -Dan Gable


Update from Head Coach Ava

June 27th, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Update from Head Coach Ava)
Hello Kigoos!
Since the Ice Breaker, you have all continued to swim impressive races and show dedication and increased strength in practices… Keep up the good work!
I have noticed both some positive and not-so-great club-wide trends in the past few weeks. As you read through these trends, I would like you to think about how they apply to you and your swimming. If you are thinking to yourself “That’s not about me!”… Think again, these apply toall of you!
  1. Fast underwater fly kick off the walls, in a tight streamline! This applies to all freestyle, backstroke, and butterfly races, and is not optional! Swimmers from JD all the way up to Senior are forgetting to do their underwater kick, and are getting beat off the blocks and off the walls.
  2. Underwater pullouts! These have been all over the place. Just like underwater fly kick in free, back, and fly, underwater pullouts are not optional for your breast stroke races! Here is a video of Rebecca Soni breaking a world record (start the video at 3:20)  <>… Watch her underwater pullouts!
  3. Breathing. Especially in 50m races, breathing is not entirely necessary! Many of you are breathing every 3 strokes, or every 4 strokes in a 50m freestyle. I would everyone to work on breathing 1-2 or 3 times on the first 25m (depending if you are a JD, Junior, Intermediate, or Senior), and 2-3 or 4 times on the way back.
Positive Trends:
  1. Positive attitude at both meets and practices
  2. Consistent improvement of swimming technique and speed
  3. Sportsmanship
Let’s work to improve the not-so-great things, and keep up the positive club-wide trends!
A Note About Relays:
Beginning at the North Shore Winter Club swim meet on July 4 & 5, relay teams will be selected based on speed. For the Ice Breaker, Boundary Bay, and the Super 7 I have created as many relay teams as possible in the aim of including everyone on at least one relay. From now on, all swimmers attending a meet should not take for granted that they will be put on a relay team.
I hope that you all have a great weekend off! Get lots of rest and stay hydrated so that when Monday rolls around you are ready to go!
A Friendly Reminder for All Parents:
If your swimmer is signed up for a swim meet you must attend this swim meet or else you will be fined for each individual race that they miss.
It is extremely important that you notify me (Coach Ava) immediately if your child is unable to swim on a relay. Ideally, you will indicate this in the “comments” section of the meet sign up. It is too late to tell me on Saturday morning of the swim meet as I will have already created the relays for both days of the meet.


Club Wide Update from Head Coach Ava

June 3rd, 2015 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Club Wide Update from Head Coach Ava)
Can you guys believe that the Ice Breaker is this weekend?! I am so excited to see how you guys perform at our first meet of the season.
May was a productive month spent working on endurance and technique. The coaches have seen lots of progress in all of your strokes… But we still have a lot of work to do!!! Throughout June our focus as a club will shift towards speed, still with lots of emphasis on technique and race endurance.
As we are now into meets season, I have a few friendly reminders for all swimmers and parents:
  • If you sign-up for a swim meet and the entry deadline has passed, you are not permitted to withdraw from the meet. The penalty for scratching (missing the meet) is the meet fees of the total number of races that you would be missing.
  • If you are not able to stay for relays for either day of a swim meet, please indicate this in the “comments” section. This way, I will know not to put you on a relay.
  • Please do not use the “comments” section on the meet-sign up sheet to request specific events.
  • When you arrive at the swim meet in the morning, the first thing that you should do is check in with your coach and get ready for warm-ups. After warm-ups, you should check the relays sheet, which will be posted somewhere on the pool deck.
  • It is very important that you tell me (Coach Ava) immediately if you cannot attend the relay that you are scheduled to swim. To avoid this problem, please indicate that you are unable to swim relays in the “comments” section when you sign up for the meet.
  • I expect all swimmers to participate enthusiastically in cheers. Cheers happen after warm-ups end and take place on the pool deck.
  • Make sure that you are drinking a lot of water throughout the entire meet! This weekend especially is going to be super hot, so you will need to stay hydrated! One very hot summer the girl in the lane next to me at Ice Breaker fainted in the middle of our 200IM.. She hadn’t had any water all day! Hydrate!!!!!

Kigoos Announce New Head Coach!

December 9th, 2014 | Posted by kigooswm in Coaches Corner - (Comments Off on Kigoos Announce New Head Coach!)
We are pleased that we have been able to fill the head coach position with someone very familiar with the Kigoos Programs – Ava Koonar.  Ava is a recent graduate of McGill University and is currently working in Italy.  She will return to Richmond at the end of March and assume the Head Coach Position for the Summer 2015 Season.  Ava is a former Kigoos swimmer and has coached from Tater-tots to senior with the club over the last 3 seasons.  Ava is highly regarded by swimmers and parents and will continue to foster the wonderful traditions of the club.
We are thrilled that Ava will be leading our coaching staff for the 2015 summer swim season.
Ava - Head Coach