2016 Great Bear Swimmer
I have been a swimmer since the age of 14, a somewhat late-starter for many in the sport of competitive swimming. The 27 years that have followed since my first practice with the high-school swim team have prominently featured swimming in one capacity or another, and still does today as I continue to compete in both pool and open water events as a Masters swimmer. I have also spent 7 years coaching youth swimmers, and nearly 20 years coaching adult athletes, currently spending a few hours a month on deck with the Victoria Masters Swim Club (add link?).
My interest in this swim is born out of a re-awaking of a deep passion for environmental issues. Having initially sought a degree in biochemistry and an academic career in the life sciences, I have in the last couple years changed course and returned to school to begin a Masters program in Environmental Practice at Royal Roads University, and started work as a project manager for an environmental services company in Sidney, BC. I also find myself diving into the political and policy world as of late by volunteering with the BC Green Party.
I believe that swimming the Great Bear Sea will be an intimate and unique way to connect with the natural world around me, quite literally immersing myself in it. I’m doing this swim to promote a message that we, as a human race, really need to start figuring out how live in concert and harmony with the natural world, rather than seeing it as an object in need of exploitation in the name of wealth creation. Simply put, we need to start respecting Mother Earth, the only giver of life we will ever have. And we need not go far to find the knowledge and wisdom that will allow us to do so. The First Nations people have a much better record than almost any level of Western government when it comes to environmental understanding and respect, and we have this extraordinary opportunity right in front of us to engage the First Nations in respectful and equality-driven conversation in order to learn about living in a truly sustainable way.