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11-year-old Oakville swimmer shatters three provincial records

Sherry Xu
Sherry Xu

On Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Markham Aquatic Club, 11-year-old male swimmer Lucas Bi from Oakville achieved a significant milestone by setting provincial freestyle records.

His three new records are for the best time in the 100m, 200m, and 400m short course categories. Notably, the previous records were created in the 2019-2020 period.

Bi has emerged as the latest record-setter, claiming the titles for the three records less than three weeks after breaking the provincial record in the 50m backstroke short course on Oct. 29, 2023. 

Within a remarkable three-week span, Lucas now holds all three provincial records for these events, solidifying his standing as an accomplished young swimmer.

Lucas Bi holds four top rankings for 11-year-olds | Swimming Canada
Lucas Bi holds four top rankings for 11-year-olds | Swimming Canada

                                            (From Swimming Canada)

Lucas has ranked #1 in 11 of 18 events on Swimming Canada's mens 11yrs old (short course) this year, including the:

  • 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle
  • 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke
  • 100m and 200m breaststroke
  • 200m and 400m individual medley

Within these new personal best times this fall in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, Lucas' efforts are the new provincial records posed on the Swim Ontario website:

From Swim Ontario
From Swim Ontario

Residing in Oakville, Lucas is currently a Grade 7 student at St. Andrew Catholic Elementary school and he is an essential member of the New Stars Swimming Club (NSSC).

NSSC says, "His remarkable achievements have brought pride and inspiration to the entire team, including swimmers and their parents, acknowledging the significance of having a role model like Lucas within their ranks."

From the website of NSSC
From the website of NSSC

NSSC is a bilingual (Chinese and English) swim club in Oakville, providing primarily competitive and novice youth training. Allowing the children to speak in the language they feel most comfortable with ensures that children from diverse backgrounds feel welcomed as they pursue their swimming goals.

Erin Russell, the senior age group head coach, and Lucas's coach shared insights into Lucas's impressive journey, "Lucas was able to achieve the 50m backstroke Provincial record at the first meet but was just shy of the 100m backstroke record."

"Together, we determined the potential was there for Lucas' next competition two weeks later. Lucas worked hard, and though Lucas is a conscientious and hard-working athlete most of the time, Lucas had a noticeable hunger to achieve more during the two weeks we had to prepare."

"It all came down to the finish, which Lucas executed marvellously. We all turned to look at the time board, a bit surprised but relieved, then elated. All our hard work has proved fruitful. Lucas deserves his achievements through his hard work, determination, and desire, to be the best," Erin said. 

Leo Bi, the club's experienced age group coach and Lucas’s father, shared that, "Lucas has a genuine passion for swimming. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, with no access to swimming pools, Lucas diligently engaged in daily land training with me."

Leo continues, "Reflecting on my swimming journey, I began at the age of 11 and achieved a provincial record in six years. In contrast, Lucas, merely 11 years old, has already established provincial records, underscoring his extraordinary talent from a young age."

Given the growing number of newcomers in the area, there is a notable demand for a smaller-scale bilingual swim club. The NSSC addresses this need by offering its services to swimmers and their new immigrant families, facilitating their integration into the local community. 

The NSSC provides flexible training hours and respects the individual goals of swimmers and their families. Coaches at NSSC uphold a robust commitment to academic and athletic excellence, serving as role models for young athletes.

The club fosters positive communication and offers academic advice and assistance to support both swimmers as well as their families.

In its third year registered with Swim Ontario, NSSC has experienced steady growth and a strong emphasis on swimmers' performance.

Currently, 15 age group qualifiers have met the fest standards, positioning them to compete in the provincial festival championship scheduled for February 2024. This accomplishment underscores the club's dedication to nurturing talent and achieving excellence.

A heartfelt appreciation extends to the training locations in town that graciously host NSSC swimmers. Special thanks go to the YMCA of Oakville, Appleby College, as well as the Queen Elizabeth Community Center and White Oaks Pool for providing a positive environment with their friendly staff for our Oakville swimmers to train and excel.