The Wilmot Aquatic Aces Swim Club (WAAC) started as an independent team 24 years ago. The team prides itself on being a family inclusive group with swimmers of all ages and abilities. We have a Masters program for swimmers aged 18 and over who want to stay in shape, work on their swimming skills, continue training for Masters Swim meets or train for triathlons. Our Age-group program has swimmers aged four and up.
In 2012, Michael Heath became our first Paralympian to represent Canada and Wilmot at the Paralympian Games (held in London).
Our Head Coach Joni Maerten –Sanders, has been with our team for 16 years but has been coaching for almost 30 years. Her son Kristopher, who swam for the ACES for ten years while also playing Junior B lacrosse and dancing competitively, is now also coaching with the team. Jackie Buehlow, Heather Bree Davies, Alex Buehlow, Jacob Isaac and Katie Cameron round out our staff.
The ACES (an acronym for A Competitive Edge in Swimming) have had several swimmers attempt to swim one of the Great Lakes. Samantha Whiteside had a successful crossing of Lake Ontario in 2006 missing the world record by 71 seconds. In 2007 she attempted the crossing again and, although unsuccessful, both swims raised a large sum of money for the fight against Juvenile Arthritis. In 2009, a successful relay crossing by Jaime Doucet and Sarah Sine raised money and awareness for the MS Society of Canada. In 2013, after winning a gold medal at the Special Olympic Worlds, Alex Buehlow raised money for the charity Three to Be (for children with neurological disorders). His attempt ended less than five kilometres from the finish when he was pulled from the water for hypothermia.
The ACES have had many medalists at the provincial level as well as national qualifiers. To give back to the community, we run pre-teen dances and a popular triathlon for children. Check out our web pages for more information, www.acesswim.ca.
Submitted by Joni Sanders. Sponsored by GoldenEyes Optometry.