2024 MSO Provincial Championships

The weekend of the 2024 MSO Provincial Championships (results) started out with a final blast of winter but it didn’t put a chill on a terrific weekend of swimming at the Markham Pan-Am Pool. A total of 252 athletes swam 1225 races over the course of the 3-day event. A total of 94 of those swims were record breaking.
The Alderwood Teddy Bears had nearly 30 members or family of members helping out with the running of the meet. So, the club can be very proud of the efforts that went into this event.

Ted Roach Memorial 2024 Meet: Testimonial

The 2nd Ted Roach Memorial SCY swim meet was held on January 28, 2024 and nearly 100 swimmers from across the province took part. Thank you to everyone who came out to the Alderwood Pool to swim, and to all our hard-working officials.
We look forward to welcoming you back in January 2025.

” There are not enough thank yous for an awesome meet! I felt unprepared and frustrated upon arrival not having my envelope (was given to a teammate I’d never met) or heat sheets….

But that quickly went away with the printed sheets everywhere and with everyone’s willingness to help, from volunteers to fellow swimmers, to other team’s coaches!!! 

We even got to deck enter at the VERY LAST SECOND….a relay race thanks to Gregg’s super fast efficiency!!!!!  And we win it!!!

The food was incredible!! Super impressed with the list of ingredients in all the foods!! Your club truly did an amazing job to make everyone feel welcomed, safe and athletic!! THANK YOU 🙏🏻 THANK YOU 😊 THANK YOU “

Ted Roach Memorial Swim Meet

January 2023 saw the return of what had been the longest-running annual swim meet in Ontario.

Before Covid came along to disrupt just about every aspect of the swimming world, the Alderwood Teddy Bares swim meet had celebrated its 45th anniversary. And while it would have been amazing to reach the 50 year mark, the Covid shut down gave us the opportunity to rebrand our meet in honour of our club’s founder, Ted Roach.
On January 28, 2024 we will host the second annual Ted Roach Memorial swim meet. The meet package is now available on the Masters Swimming Ontario website.
Since the 2024 MSO Provincial Championships are being held in the GTA, at the Markham Pan Am Pool, we hope that lots of masters swimmers from the GTA and the surrounding area will take the opportunity to get a few races under their belts prior to the big event in March.
And, if swimmers are feeling a bit out of practice, or are relatively new to the whole concept of competition, there’s no better place to get over those jitters than at a short course yards meet. After all, Alderwood pool is about 10 percent smaller than a metres pool. And that translates, magically, into every race being 100 percent more fun.

Profile: Linda Berry, ATB’s Longest Continuous Member!

Name: Linda Berry 
First year of ATB membership: 1975 or 1976 
Total years of ATB membership: 48(?) and counting! 
Favorite stroke: backstroke 
Number of family members currently swimming with ATB: 3 – Linda; her daughter, Lesley; and her son-in-law, Paul

Linda (L) and Lesley love a good party.
Photo credits: Lesley Berry

Linda and her youngest grandson get ready for pool
time in Florida.

Linda Berry can’t remember exactly when she first joined the Alderwood Teddy Bares swim club–maybe 1975 or 1976 – certainly before her daughter was born in 1977. Linda was a young mother looking for some fitness and fun, and she’d heard about Ted Roach’s new group at Alderwood, and she wanted to give it a try. She joined up, and she’s been a member ever since.

While some things have changed – we’re not doing 9:45-11:00 p.m. practice times any more! – many things are the same. Most notably how much she’s enjoyed the many people she’s swam with throughout the years.

I sat down with Linda to talk a little bit about her experiences with the club through the years. [This conversation is edited for clarity and length.]

Q: While you’ve continuously been a member since the mid-1970s, did you find over the years that you changed the way you attended at different points in your life?

A: Certainly when I was raising kids it was harder to go at supper time or at times when they were swimming. At one point we had practices from 9:45 to 11:00 at night–that was the only pool time we could get. I would go with a neighbor. And after swimming we would go to Knob Hill Farms, which would be open 24 hours, and do our grocery shopping. There were some times when Lesley would have a practice and I would have a practice, so I would take her to one pool, leave, go and do my practice, and go back and pick her up again.

At one point we needed lifeguards I don’t know if it was to save money or what, but we all took a lifesaving course and we took turns being on deck being as the lifeguard, but eventually our credentials ran out and the requirements became stricter than what we had, so we had to use hired lifeguards.

So over the years has it changed? Yes, how it fits in with my lifestyle. 

What has been distressing has been going from the middle fast lanes to the outer slow lanes over the years! However, it’s to be expected.

Linda’s grandson is making her do all the swimming
at the cottage.

It’s never too early for Linda to start teaching
her grandson to swim!

Q: From your perspective, how has the approach from the coach changed over the years?

A: In terms of stroke correction, I know that Ted Roach – the original “Teddy Bare” – was a believer that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks. You can make them do it for an hour or so in a practice, but will it sink in? Probably not.

Ted was the club’s original coach, but Ted was an in-water coach. He wanted to swim as much as anybody, so he’d give us a workout and then he would get in and do it along with the team, which was very different from what we have now. Now we have somebody who’s not only giving you the workout, but observing how you do it, giving pointers, getting into camerawork, and whatnot. In between we’ve had Kim-style coaching, which I’ve heard described as “fifty 50s on 0:50.” [Said with a smile that implied she didn’t mind it so much!]

Q: Did you know any of the team members before you joined?

A: No. I’d heard about this new thing, masters swimming. I looked it up and found that there was a program here which was really just an offshoot of the age-group swimmers. The parents of the Alderwood age-groupers started the club. 

Q: What are some of your best memories of your time swimming with the team?

A: Probably the out-of-the-water events. 

We used to have great Christmas parties with various Santas.

I loved Sports Day. I made a list of sports days–33 sports days were held at 3 different locations. 

I loved the travel. I went to 1 Worlds, 11 Nationals, and 15 provincials over the years. I got to see lots of the country. From St. John, NB, to Vancouver and lots of places in between. And I did several US nationals. That was fun.

I also helped out with five lake swims for three different swimmers over the years. I was support in the boat while the swimmers were crossing Lake Ontario.

Linda holds her 200m backstroke medal from the 1985 Worlds competition.
Photo Credit: Gregg Thurlbeck

Q: Where was Worlds, and what was that like?

A [laughing]: It was in Etobicoke.

All the winners each day – there was waterpolo and so on; it was an aquatics competition, not just swimming – they all had to go to a ceremony at the Sheraton downtown. So each night they had entertainment for the people who came. I had my young son with me at the time. And the entertainment that night was some belly dancers, and he was sitting there trying not to look… “Mom, what have you brought me to?!”

Q: What are some of your memories about Alderwood pool?

A: I had spent all my youth in Memorial pool on Montgomery Road, so this was a whole new pool coming down here. The pool then…the pool itself looked like it does now, but this end [with the large windows] was outside. The windows were here, but this [where we were sitting in the lobby on the other side of the windows] was outside. Those windows were not very well insulated. When they built the new school, that’s when they added on this lobby.

Q: Did you find it cold with those windows leading directly to the outside?

A: Not that I remember. 

But I do remember seeing how vicious the sky was as I was swimming along doing my backstroke when that tornado struck Barrie. We could see that it was not good weather outside, and when we came out and heard what had happened it was quite a shock.

Q: You have so many memories from over all the years – is there anything that stands out more than the rest?

A: It’s the neat people you meet over the years – you can’t name them all, there are so many of them!

(Left) Linda and the happy couple at Lesley and Paul’s wedding. (Above) Linda and her daughter, Lesley.

How to Play Nice with Others in the Pool

With the new swimming season just underway, it’s time for a few reminders to all our athletes about proper swim and lane etiquette. Here are a few points to remember when attending workouts:
  • Show up to practice on time – I’m sure you have a busy life, but so does your coach and the other swimmers in your lane. Try to be respectful of their time as well as yours. Constantly arriving mid-workout is disruptive to everyone.
  • Stop in the corners at the end of your lane – Unless you’re in distress, it’s bad form to stop in the middle of the lane. Other swimmers may crash into you – after all, when you swim you’re looking straight down or straight up, not ahead. PRO TIP: clear out of the center point on the wall after you finish so others may touch to finish, too.
  • Touch the foot of the swimmer ahead of you to signal you want to pass – The slower swimmer will pull over to the corner at the end of the lane and allow you to overtake them. PRO TIP: if you feel the swimmer behind you touch your foot, subdue your competitive streak and allow the faster swimmer to pass.
  • Swallow your pride, not the pool water – We’re all at practice with the same goals of getting fit and having fun. Your workout is no more important than any other swimmer’s, so let’s all try to work together.
For a deeper dive on how to swim well with others, read more about lane etiquette on our ATB Team page. Lastly, as you start to plan out your swimming goals for the year, why not consider competing in one of MSO’s swim meets? There are several scheduled for this season in Ontario, with two competitions planned in the greater Toronto area:
  1. We’re hosting the Ted Roach Memorial meet in January at Alderwood pool.
  2. You can travel to Markham for the MSO provincials meet in March.
Never competed before? Not to worry! MSO has you covered with their article on Going to a Swim Meet. See you in the pool!

Milton 2019

From left to right: Gregg Thurlbeck, Barrie Malloch, and Margot Wheeler

It was a great day for a swim meet, cold and rainy. The ATB hard cores, consisting of Barrie (Chatty) Malloch, Coach Gregg and Margot travelled to the Milton Sportsplex to compete. After some technical issues the meet got underway. The small contingency of swimmers huddled in the stands together close to the action. After waiting patiently for our longest event (400 metres free) even with the close proximity, Barrie missed her heat. Too busy working the crowd catching up with old friends. Margot, dragged her away from her friends and convinced her to swim the event, Gregg worked his magic and got her a lane in the next heat. After the swim, we had a nice meal (almost as good as ours) and called it a day.

Patty Thompson

Beginning in the 10 and under age group swimming, Patty started setting records and kept it up through each age division. She held more Ontario titles than any other female in the Province. In one year she held 19 Ontario records, showing not only the quality but the diversity of her swimming.

Patty was the finest long distance freestyle swimmer in Canada, holding Canadian records for distances of 220 and 440 yards and 800 and 1500 metres. In 1964, Patty became the first Canadian woman to break the 5-minute barrier for the 400 metre freestyle.

Internationally, Patty represented Canada at the 1962 British Empire & Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia, where she placed second and third in relay events. She also represented Canada at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, where her relay team placed seventh.

To read much more about Patty, click on the links below.

Buffalo March Madness

From left to right: Narda Schmultz, Dave Jackman, Lee Shimano and Margot Wheeler

This Motley Crew, travelled to Buffalo (March 3, 2019) and attended March Madness, run by Buffalo State College.

Lee “Machine” Shimano swam a record 8 events. Narda literally “kicked ass” in the 25 tomb stone kick race, then swam a 1000 and Dave chauffeured the gaggle of geese around. Margot set a new Ontario record in the 500 yard free event!

Small event, beer and wings by 12:30pm. Everyone, was exceptionally friendly and 3 people have swum at our meet and raved on what a show “the bares” put on.

Good times, had by all.