Kelowna Family YMCA gymnasium will be closed to public from Wednesday, Nov 20 at 7:30 pm to Thursday, Nov 21 at 2:00 pm for the Rutland Community Youth Forum. 

The KAJ Fall Classic swim meet will take place at H2O on Nov 23-24. View swim meet schedule for aquatic disruptions during this time. 

Over the past few months we have been following Bonnie Siddon’s journey to learn to swim as she challenges herself to reach her goal of swimming across Okanagan Lake this July. If you haven’t been following along with us, take a moment and read her story to find out why Bonnie chose to face her fear of water and see how far she has come along the way.

With three more days until the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim Bonnie is staying positive, swimming daily and surrounding herself with her loving supporters — her family and friends.

Bonnie remembers the day she chose to register for the Across the Lake Swim and still thinks she is crazy to have gone through with it.

“It feels surreal,” exclaims Bonnie. “Even now, I look at my schedule and see that I’m off on Saturday and sometimes forget that it’s for the swim!”

Bonnie has been diligently practicing her technique while camping the past couple weeks. Her focus has been to become more comfortable in open water which was her swim coach, Torrie’s “homework” for her while she was away.

Bonnie and her family camp at Gallagher Lake each year and absolutely love it. Keeping her kids safe around the water while out camping as a family, was actually one of Bonnie’s motivators for embarking on her own personal challenge to learn to swim.

She explains that during her time camping this year she has swam across the lake twice with her family’s encouragement.

“Rob, Ali, Carter and Ty have been cheering me on,” she says. “It’s getting a bit easier each time.” Though Bonnie says she still gets “bubbles in her stomach” when she steps into the water, she is proud of how far she has come.  

The biggest surprise for Bonnie so far has been the support she has received from others.

“I didn’t expect it,” she explains. “It is encouraging, but also pushes me to practice and not give up.”

Bonnie is ready for this Saturday’s challenge. She has come far since day one of training and will have her coach by her side and her family ready and waiting for her on the sidelines. Having already achieved her goals for this challenge, Bonnie is looking at Saturday’s swim as an item to tick off her bucket list. No matter what happens, she will always be able to say she participated.

Bonnie is one of nearly 1300 swimmers who will plunge into Okanagan Lake this Saturday, July 16 in the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim. Participants will begin this 2.1 kilometre swim (2100 metres) just over the bridge in West Kelowna and will finish at Hot Sands beach in City Park.

Proceeds from the Across the Lake Swim go to the YMCA Okanagan Swims program which equips all grade three students in School District #23 with basic water safety training to keep them safe in and around the water.

Learn more about swim programs at the YMCA of Okanagan. For more details on the Interior Savings Across the Lake Swim visit acrossthelakeswim.com.