Two Brant swimming siblings are gearing up to compete against some of the best aquatics athletes in the province this weekend.
Alex and Sebastian Paulins of Brantford will be participating in the Ontario Summer Games at the University of Toronto from Aug. 17 until Aug. 19.
“It’s the result of 11 years of work,” said 16-year-old Alex. “Everything I’ve done so far has got me to where I am today.”
Alex, a member of the Brantford Aquatic Club since he was five years old, spends about 18 hours in the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre pool each week, practicing the strokes and distances he needs to master to achieve victory during the competition.
Sebastian, 14, practices about the same amount of time each week.
“When I’m in the pool, I’m working on my stroke technique, endurance and speed,” Alex said. “I also need to work on turns and dives – all the little things that can help you win.
“I like the competition and I love winning.”
Alex will compete for the second time in the Ontario Summer Games as part of a co-ed a swim team consisting of 24 athletes.
“Two years ago our region won the swimming events at the Ontario Summer Games,” Alex said. “I’m excited because we’re hoping to go for the repeat.
“The next step for me is to make a junior national team for Team Canada.”
In addition to swimming, Alex will serve as the swimming events ambassador during the competition.
This will be Sebastian’s first time competing at the Ontario Summer Games.
“I’m a little bit nervous,” Sebastian said. “I have never been to a multi-sporting event. It’s a good stepping stone to bigger things like the Pan Am Games or the Olympics. The next step for me is to make provincial teams with Swim Ontario.”
Alex and Sebastian will both compete in several swimming events during the Ontario Summer Games.
Alex will participate in the 100, 200, 400 and 1,500-metre freestyle races, the 100 and 200-metre butterfly events and the 400-metre individual medley.
Sebastian will compete in the 100, 200 and 400-metre freestyle events, the 100 and 200-metre butterfly races and the 200 and 400-metre individual medleys.