WOLFVILLE - Fifteen-year-old Scotia Broome is in heavy training.
The Wolfville resident is aiming to finish The Big Swim this summer. In aid of Brigadoon Village, the challenge is scheduled for Aug. 12, when 50 athletes will swim from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island.
She is busy training and working to fundraise the required $1,500 to participate in the event. Her coach with the Wolfville Tritons thinks she is the first team member to attempt the swim.
Scotia, who moved to Nova Scotia last fall, has been swimming in squads for four or five years in Perth, Australia. Last September, she was part of a relay team that swam across the English Channel.
Scotia called that adventure a “great personal challenge” as well as one for the girls’ squad she’d been competing with for several years.
She did coldwater training without a wet suit to prepare and Scotia says she feels lucky she got to take her 60-minute turn in the channel.
The squad initially faced poor weather during their three-week stint. Strict rules meant they had to wait until conditions improved, so they did coastal swims along the White Cliffs of Dover.
“The rules were really strict,” said Scotia. “But we had so much fun. We were dancing on the boat.”
Scotia’s uncle, Tom Shreve, will be accompanying her across the Northumberland Strait in his kayak. That will allow for the two families to carry out the challenge together, says her mom Elaine.
Scotia isn’t particularly worried about encountering jellyfish, but as a red head, she will be conscious of the sun. The swimmer says she’s staying positive and hoping for sun because poor weather has cancelled the swim for the last two years.
“Brigadoon still gets the donations,” she added.
Group lake training sessions are planned in June in the Halifax area, as well as at Aylesford Lake. Technique for open swims requires preparation for breathing with waves and dealing with currents.
Right now, Scotia is swimming six days a week with the Tritons as they train for meets. Two of the nine weekly practices are on dry land. She can also count on her mom as a training partner – in 2013, Elaine swam over 19 kilometres around Rottnest Island near Perth.
Elaine was a member of the Tritons for five years while growing up in Wolfville and met her husband, Steve, while they both worked for the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service.
After marrying, the Broomes worked in Texas, where Scotia and her older brother Eoin were born.
The family is organizing several fundraisers, including a raffle basket and a bake sale, to help Scotia raise the required funds to participate in The Big Swim. Anyone who wishes to donate can directly through Scotia’s fundraising page: givetolive.ca or contact her mom. (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss sponsorship. All funds go directly to Brigadoon Village.
Did you know?
Brigadoon Village was created in 2010 as a unique non-profit facility aimed at addressing the varied needs of the pediatric illness community.
Staff are expecting over 650 children from across Atlantic Canada to take part in a 13-camp program over a nine-week period this summer. Each has a name, everything from Camp Carpe Diem to Camp Guts and Glory.