By: Larysa Lubka-Lewyckyj
It’s 6:45 in the morning. The majority of us are still dreaming, sleeping off the six assignments we sweated over the night before. A smaller number, however, are hastily downing breakfast, and packing a swimsuit, towel, and other necessities into their knapsack before heading off to swim team practice. But why so early? Most sport practices don’t start until around 7-7:15. There’s a simple answer to that. Most sport practices don’t need what is essential to a swim practice – a pool. Since the new school has no pool, the North Toronto swim team has to practice at the only two available pools in the neighbourhood – Allenby Public School on Avenue Road, and, unfortunately, Northern. But is this a good solution?
Most of the team seem to have adapted well to the change in location. Obviously, nothing will be as good as having a pool right here at N.T, but the team is grateful that it can practice at all. When the hunt to find a pool was going slowly, many North Toronto swimmers feared they wouldn’t be making a splash at all this season. The community pool at the Eglinton Community Center was a hopeful prospect, but full bookings made the coaches of the team look elsewhere. A number of pools were considered before it was determined that Allenby and Northern would be the best bets.
However, it is a bit of a hassle. Allenby and Northern aren’t right by North Toronto, so after practice, the team not only has to shower and change, but has to walk further as well. From Northern, it’s not as big of a deal because those practices are always after school, but to make it from Allenby to North Toronto in the morning can be stressful, considering that the two schools are a good 20 minutes apart. Combine that with showering and changing, and you have yourself a pretty hectic morning – before you even get to school. No wonder practices start so early.
Also, not to mention that the team practices at Northern. After school, these swimmers show their dedication to their team by enduring the hostile stares from Northern kids as they make their way up the school’s steps. However warm their welcome may have been at Allenby, I’m willing to guess the Northern welcome falls a bit short of polite. But you never know – hopefully our practices show Northern that our swim team isn’t joking around this season, and let them know that this season, all that Northern swimmers will see of us are our wakes.