It is a way to recognize someone who has done something extra special or great, whether is be conquering their fear of diving, opening their eyes in the water or just always giving 110%. We feel that all of our swimmers are amazing and this is a way to share with everyone an achievement no matter how big or small. We celebrate success every week in our classes and we just wanted to broaden the success of some of our students because we believe that they are truly amazing!
Jacob - March 2013
Jacob joined Aqua Essence in the fall of 2012. Prior to joining Aqua Essence, Jacob had many unsuccessful attempts at Sea Turtle and was very apprehensive in the water. Jacob now loves being in the water and his comfort level and skills have increased dramatically! His instructor Roman has really helped challenge, support and encourage Jacob throughout his lessons. Roman is very proud of his tremendous progress!
Here is what Roman had to say about Jacob:
Jacob has improved so much since we started swimming together in January. At first, Jacob was scared to go on his back in the water and was insecure when putting his face in the water. A few months later, Jacob can do kicks on his back by himself and loves doing great bobs in the water!
Jacob is also able to do front and back floats with little assistance. Jacob has improved so much , in a short period of time. He started off in a Sea Turtle class and is now in Salamander! That is why I am nominating Jacob for swimmer of the month for April! Way to go!
Vanessa Matsubra - February 2013
Prior to taking lessons with Aqua Essence Vanessa had taken a few group swimming lessons, but found the experience crowded and didn't get much one-on-one attention. She was not a strong swimmer before joining Aqua Essence and really didn't even want to learn how to swim.
Vanessa joined Aqua Essence in the winter of 2009 first at Cindy Klassen and for the past three years she's been at the Pan Am Pool. Yael has been her instructor for two years and Vanessa really appreciates and enjoys her direction.
Here is what Yael had to say about Vanessa:
Vanessa is a very strong swimmer, she loves to improve her strokes and gives 110% in every class. Lately she has been working very hard on her breast stroke and improving her endurance. She is determined to master these skills and works extra hard on them each class. Vanessa always comes to swimming with a smile, she never complains of being too tired and when given the option of which stroke she wants to do she always asks which one she needs the most work on, so that she can improve. Vanessa's determination to perfect her swims makes me excited every week to teach her class!! It has been amazing to see how much Vanessa has progressed. I am so proud of how hard Vanessa works and all she has accomplished this year!
Sophia Faurschou - January 2013
Sophia joined Aqua Essence in Spring 2011. When Sophia began her lessons, she was a beginner swimmier and was "doggy paddling" with a lifejacket on . She wasn't even comfortable putting her face in the water. Sophia started off her lessons in a sea turtle class and has now progressed all the way to Crocodile! Sophia is now doing kneeling dives in the deep end and treading water for 30 seconds! Sophia enjoys swimming at Boni-Vital Pool with her instructor Sami. Way to go Sophia!
Here is what Sami had to say about Sophia:
Sophia is a very determined swimmer. Any challenge I have given her she has been, not only able to meet, but also surpass my expectations. I have never heard Sophia say that she couldn't do something. She is always willing to try new things and always tries her best. Recently Sophia learned back crawl and after the first class, it was already looking amazing. Sophia has gone from swimming in the shallow end to doing full laps on her back in the deep end. Sophia's dedication and attitude are incredible, and it is for these reasons that I nominated Sophia for swimmer of the month for January!
Enrique Cruz - December 2012
Enrique joined Aqua Essence in October 2012. When Enrique began his lessons, he was petrified of the water and nervous about the idea of lessons. Stephen has really helped in giving Enrique a new confidence in the water. Enrique started off this fall in Level 1 and has now progressed to Level 2! Enrique enjoys swimming at Transcona Centennial Pool. His instructor Stephen is very proud of his tremendous progress! Way to go Enrique!
Here is what Stephen had to say about Enrique:
Enrique began this past session not wanting to enter the water. By the end of December, Enrique was able to go across the span of the pool back and forth multiple times on his back. Enrique loves doing side glides, and can hold a star fish float for over 30 seconds! Enrique has worked super hard to advance his skills, and the confidence that beams from his smile when he accomplishes something new is a joy to behold. Enrique has made tremendous progress and I am so proud of all his hard work! That is why I am nominating Enrique Cruz for swimmer of the month for December!
Tracy Ackerman - November 2012
Tracy is a new adult swimmer who started lessons with Aqua Essence in October of this year . Tracy swims at St. James Civic Centre. It has always been Tracy's goal to learn how to swim and she is looking forward to her trip to the South Pacific with her husband. She can't wait to enjoy the water there! Tracy looks forward to her lessons each week and enjoys taking on new challenges and achieving her goals. She looks forward to continuing her lessons not only for the winter session, but also hopes to continue in the future and continue to grow as new swimmer.
Erin Ward has nominated Tracy Ackerman for swimmer of the month. Here is what she had to say:
For my swimmer of the month I am nominating Tracy Ackerman. She is an adult and just started swimming with me in October. Tracy has challenged herself to learn how to swim and is making great strides each week. We started with the very basics and now Tracy is comfortable putting her entire face in the water, can swim across the pool by herself on her back and tries something new every single week. I am so proud of Tracy and the outstanding effort she puts in each week. This is why Tracy is nominated for swimmer of the month for November 2012!
Austin - October 2012
Austin joined Aqua Essence in January 2011. He started his lessons off with Tracey Fingas, he then had Piper Riley Thompson as an instructor for his first full session and now has Alex Mielke as a teacher. When Austin first began his lessons, Tracey helped him over-come his fear of the water and made him feel very comfortable. Austin started off in Level 1 and in a short period of time has now progressed to level 4. Austin has always swam at Cindy Klassen Recreation Centre. His instructor Alex has spoken very highly of Austin's hard work and determination.
We congratulate Austin!
Here is what Alex had to say about Austin:
Austin is in level 4 and has been working very hard to improve his front crawl. A couple of lessons ago he showed me how determined he was to perfect his stroke. He practiced repeatedly to improve his front crawl. By the end of the class he was able to complete 8 consecutive laps in the shallow end. Austin has shown that he is ready and willing to confront any new challenge thrown at him. I am so proud of Austin's hard work and dedication! This is why Austin is nominated for swimmer of the month for October 2012!
Madison Rach - September 2012
Madison Rach joined Aqua Essence in September 2011 when she was not quite 2 years old. She joined a parent and child class but it became quite evident that Madison was extraordinarily independent for this age and it was suggested after the first class that Madison try a class without her parents. It took between 3-6 classes for Madison to get comfortable with the idea of being in a class setting. Today, one year later, Madison can swim the width of Cindy Klassen pool on her own on both her front and back, she can do 20 bobs, jump from the diving board, go off the slide and is currently learning the coordination of front crawl. Madison is the perfect fit for Aqua Essence as anywhere else she would have had to continue with a parent a child class and would not be challenged or taught the skills that she is able to more than adequately do.
Aqua Essence congratulates Madison on this well deserved recognition at such a young age.
Here is what Rishona had to say about Madison:
Madison is a fiercely independent 3 year old who loves the water. She is extremely comfortable for such a young child. She has excellent breathing control and an amazing relationship with water that is so rare for a young child. Madison is so much fun to teach. Madison amazes all the other public swimmers whenever she is at the pool because it is not every day that you see a little 3 year old doing front crawl or kicking across the pool on her back. It is for this reason why I am nominating Madison as swimmer of the Month for September 2012.
Maddox Anthony - May 2012
Maddox is brand new to Aqua Essence and started in April 2012 for Spring Session. In just a short 9 weeks Maddox made a terrific impression on his teacher Alex Mielke. Maddox started as a non-swimmer and has progressed to swimming 3 meters by himself in just 9 weeks. Maddox is a great student and a great role model for other new swimmers. Together, Alex and Maddox worked as a team and had success.
Congratulations Maddox - we are super proud of you!
Here is what Alex Mielke had to say about Maddox:
Maddox Anthony is 6 years old and in level 1. Maddox just started swimming with Aqua Essence this past spring. The first couple classes were a bit tough for him as he wasn't 100% comfortable being in the water. He had a hard time doing proper bobs and would drink the whole pool. By the end of the first class, I had him doing 30 bobs!. As the lessons continued on Maddox got comfortable being under water and learned how to blow bubbles out of his nose with his eyes open! I'm amazed at how much he has improved. Maddox continues to grow and push himself to the limit every class. Maddox now can hold 5 second floats front and back. Maddox's newest challenge is pencil swimming 3 meters all by himself.
Keep up the hard work Maddox!
Gunnar Asmundson - April 2012
Gunnar Asmundson is April's swimmer of the month. Gunnar started swimming with Aqua Essence in September 2011 after moving here from Toronto. Gunnar started at Pan-am Pool and part way through the year made a switch to Cindy Klassen Pool where he connected with his teacher Jevian Haywood. Gunnar is just six years old and is working hard on his front crawl and dives. We are so happy that Gunnar and now his two younger brothers have joined the Aqua Essence Family.
Here is what Jevian had to say about Gunnar.
Gunnar is a newer student for me but I am quickly getting a glimpse of his great swimming and fun personality! Gunnar is a young swimmer but has a ton of fun trying challenging things like heading to the very deep end of Cindy Klassen pool or diving of the low diving board. Gunnar always has a smile on his face and has no problem practicing things over and over again until he "figures it out". Keep up your energy and love for improving your swimming skills Gunnar!
Joey Weighell - January 2012
Joey started swimming with Aqua Essence in April of 2011. Joey is just three years old and has grown to love the water! He swims with Rachel Ward on Thursday afternoons, and has made so many great improvements since last spring. When Joey first started, he was a bit apprehensive about getting in the water, and swimming. Now Joey is ready to go as soon as Rachel is ready every week! He never hesitates to hop in the water and do his very best every lesson. His confidence has grown so much in the water, and it really shows through his amazing skills. Joey loves it when his whole family comes to watch him swim.
Here is what Rachel Ward has to say about Joey's swimming.
Joey has made some huge advancements over the past few weeks! He swam all the way across the pool, kicking on his back, completely on his own! This is so impressive, especially because Joey is only three years old! He is so much fun to teach and always puts so much effort into his lessons, the half hour feels like only a few minutes. He has recently started practicing sitting dives also. I am so proud of Joey, keep up the good work!
Congratulations to Joey and his family on his hard work and success in the water!
Colson Hack - January 2012
Colson Hack started swimming with Aqua Essence in the fall of 2011. He, another swimmer and Rishona would meet every Monday at 9:30 am and Colson reluctantly got in the water. Each week he cried but participated and observed the other little fish in his class. Today, Colson is a confident, content swimmer. He is even jumping off the diving board, going down the deep-end slide and doing 1-3 meter swims on his own.
Everyone at Cindy Klassen pool, from the other public to the lifeguards share in the excitement and joy of Colson's success! Colson's parents add “we can't believe Colson's transformation. Last summer he would sit on the edge of the pool and would only enter on occasion. Now he is asking to go swimming all the time and absolutely loves the water”!
We are proud to have chosen Colson Hack as January's Swimmer of the Month.
Here is what Rishona had to say about Colson...
Colson Hack is 3 years old and just started swimming with Aqua Essence. Colson cried every class from October - December except 3. He did every skill asked of him and would cry a little more when it was his turn and a little less when it wasn't. Through his calls to mom he still progressed to face in bubbles and swims to the wall on his own. Since returning from the break, Colson has cried once! He is even chatting more. Colson, is swimming 1-2 meters on his own with fabulous bubbles. He is working so hard and I am so proud of him!
Sydney Curtis - December 2011
Sydney starting swimming with Aqua Essence in 2008. Sydney was just five years old then. Sydney has always been taught by Tracey Fingas on Sunday mornings at Bonivital and over the last four years, she has really flourished and become a swimmer. When Sydney first started they always swam in the warm pool/kid pool at Bonivital but Sydney has graduated to the lap pool. Over the past four years Syndey has learned front crawl, back crawl, whip kick and now elementary backstroke. During this time, she has become successful at treading water and diving. We are so proud of Sydney's accomplishments and her excellent attitude towards learning to swim.
Here is what Tracey Fingas had to say about Syndey when she nominated her for our December swimmer of the month.
Sydney is in swim kids 6 and has had a great few months of swimming. She has improved greatly over the last couple of months which is impressive but her attitude in the pool is equally impressive. Sydney never complains or gives up when challenged in the pool but continues giving it her best. Over the past two months Sydney has worked really hard on improving her front crawl and elementary back stroke. Sydney has been able to improve the endurance and technique of her front crawl tremendously. Sydney has also gone from doing whip kick with a life jacket to doing elementary back stroke with a life jacket to now doing lengths of elementary back stroke. Additionally she has improved her dives tremendously and has gone from doing kneeling dives to standing dives in a relatively short period. Sydney has been swimming with me for four years!
Destiny and Dylan Tomchak - November 2011
Destiny and Dylan are brand new to Aqua Essence and just started lessons in September 2011. They started at level 1 with Josh Goldstein and Lanette Griffith. Destiny and Dylan were only signed up to swim until December. Once their mom, Destiny and Dylan realized the success that they were having and making with Josh and Lanette, they have continued on. Destiny and Dylan are true examples of the Aqua Essence program, that with small classes, more individualized attention and a connection with the instructor - success is possible and attainable! Congratulations to Destiny, Dylan and their family on a job well done. Keep up the fabulous swimming!
Here is what Josh had to say when he nominated them:
Teaching these two swimmers, really shows me why I love being a swimming teacher. This was the third time the siblings were in level one, and they wanted their level more than ever....they didn't get their level one badge, because they got their level two badge! I've never seen such improvements as I saw with these two kids. Dylan and Destiny are in level 3 now and they can pretty much do front crawl AND back crawl, they truly make me so proud each lesson. Dylan from day one always gave 110% and there was never a doubt in my mind that he would be stuck in level one again! Destiny has learned to love swimming so much over the course of the few months, now she listens to everything she's told and she always surprises me when she can do something that I never taught her (like back crawl). Great job guys, you have made me so proud and I hope you always keep on trying to do better and better!
Ashleigh and Tristian Kemp - October 2011
Ashleigh and Tristian started swimming with us September of 2010 at which time they did not swim at all. It was very evident that our model of keeping the class small and the consistency of the same teacher helped these two kids flourish! Their first teacher was Amber Sucharov-Benarroch. Ashleigh and Tristain were so trusting of Amber that they didn't want a helper. Week after week you could see their trust in Amber build and their comfort in the water build. Their comfort level became so great that this fall they started with Piper Riley Thompson.
Here is what Piper had to say about this duo...
Every week Tristian and Ashleigh come to class ready to learn and willing to try new things. Tristian worked very hard on keeping his eyes open under water. Now, Tristian flies through the water with his eyes wide open! Ashleigh is working really hard on her arm circles on her back. She comes to class so excited to polish up her technique and her energy is contagious. They are both incredibly safe while swimming and are very polite while waiting their turn. Tristian and Ashleigh have come so far in their swimming and really deserve this wonderful recognition!
Max White - September 2011
Max White has been selected as swimmer of the month for September. Max started swimming with Aqua Essence when he was about 4 years old. Rishona Hyman has been his primary instructor with Aqua Essence. Max loves the water and was always very comfortable in the water. Max was diving and jumping off high diving boards at a very young age, 4-6 years old. Max, like many swimmers, starting playing hockey and struggling with whip kick, as a result of scheduling, Max took a break from swimming. He has since returned to swim with Aqua Essence and has very specific goals. Max still absolutely loves diving, diving boards and playing in the water. Max has completed level 5 and 6 and is about to receive his level 7 badge! He is well on his way to completing level 10 by March. We are so proud of Max and congratulate him on his success in the water.
Here is what Rishona has to say about Max White.
Max took a break from swimming for a year and is now back and determined to conquer his whip kick, pass level 5 (officially) and complete level 10 by March. In a short time back together Max is swimming 12 laps of front crawl (300 meters) without stopping and has a tremendous amount of power. Max is also focusing extremely hard on his whip kick. I nominated Max as I admire his determination of returning to the pool at the age of 12 to complete his goals. He wants to be a lifeguard and teach swimming. Keep up the fantastic swimming.
Brooke Atnikov - August 2011
Brooke started swimming with Aqua Essence when she was four years old. She has swam with Rishona every since. Brooke has worked really hard to build up her strength and stamina in the water. Her front crawl is now fast and efficient. She spent the summer, working with Sami on her whip kick and is now soaring. Brooke swims on Mondays at Pan-am in a high achieving class where the warm up is 10 laps of front crawl! We are all so proud of Brooke's determination in the water and her personal success. We hope one day she will continue with on in her swimming by maybe dabbling in a competitive swim team or trying out synchronized swimming.
Here is what Sami had to say about Brooke Atnikov:
Brooke's swimming skills have improved so much! Brooke always tries her best and never complains. When giving Brooke feedback on her strokes, she would apply what I told her right away, and she would try it again. In just two weeks, Brooke was able to learn whip kick on her front. Brooke's back crawl has improved so much too; it truly looks amazing from all of the hard work she has put in both inside and outside of class. Brooke completed level 7 this month.
Aidan St. Godard - July 2011
Aidan has been a dedicated swimmer with Aqua Essence for over 3 years now. Aidan enjoys swimming so much that this past year he swam twice a week. Aidan, you hard work has paid off. Aidan has worked with a couple of teachers but his primary instructors have been Lexi van Dyck and Erin Ward.
Erin nominated Aidan as her swimmer of the month for the month of June and had to say this about Aidan…
Aidan has been working very hard this spring and has been concentrating on his front crawl. He can now swim 25m without stopping. Aidan has also been working on his back and is now doing arm circles on his back. Finally, Aidan has improved on his dives and he's moved on from belly flops.
Great work Aidan!
Amira Kowalson - May 2011
Amira Kowalson is 8 years and started swimming with Aqua Essence just two years ago. Amira swims at Bnivital pool and her teacher is Mikaela Garfinkel. Mikaela has always spoken very highly of Amira's hard work and determination. Amira is now starting level 5 and we are really proud of her accomplishments.
Here is what Mikaela had to say about Amira…
She is a very hard worker and has progressed so much this year. Amira started the year in level 1 and now she is in level 5 and doing fantastic.
Well done Amira!
Julia D'Agui - March 2011
Julia is 5 years old and has been swimming with Aqua Essence for just over two years. Julia's first teacher was Lexi van Dyck who helped cement Julia's love for the water and this past year Julia was taught by Yael Berkowitz on Saturday mornings at St. James Civic Centre.
Here is what Yael had to say about Julia...
Julia has come so far this month, she has gained a new confidence in swimming and is trying so hard to do all her swims and floats independently! She is swimming independently from the rope to the wall and loving it! She got her Salamander badge this month and is still working hard! Julia is no longer scared to try new swims, or to swim in the deep end. She is working hard on learning new skills, and practicing the ones she already knows!
Well done Julia! We are all very proud of your hard work and love of the water!
Greer Shenkarow - February 2011
Greer has been swimming with Aqua Essence Swim Academy for three years and she just turned 4. Greer was initially taught by Tracey Fingas and then the last two years by Rachael Floom.
Here is what Rachael Floom had to say about Greer...
Greer has been swimming so well this month and picking up new skills so quickly! She's just begun arm circles, kneeling dives and dolphin swims and within a time span of two weeks she's doing the skills like she's been practicing them for months. Her dolphin swim is almost better than my own! Greer has a clear love of the water and it shows in her lessons because she's always eager to dive for rings and prove to me she is capable of doing the skills that I ask of her.
We congratulate Greer on her excellent achievements and super hard work!
Brady Klapman - January 2011
Congratulations to Brady - we are super proud of you!
Brady started swimming with Aqua Essence approximately 5 years ago. Brady has had a few teachers over the course of her time with Aqua Essence; primarily Rishona Hyman and currently Alex Mielke. Brady has worked very hard over the years to perfect her front crawl and whip kick. Brady has always enjoyed her swimming lessons and is one of those kids that makes teaching fun! Thank you Brady for being such a great student. Keep up the great swimming as we know you have aspirations of lifeguarding and teaching in the future.
What Alex Mielke had to say...
Every swimming practice Brady puts 110% effort and it makes my teaching a lot more enjoyable. She has recently swam a 300 meter time swim (12 laps). It was great to see because not too long ago 300 meters was something we just talked about in practice. After her big swim she had the biggest smile I had seen after swimming that amount of meters, and not even mentioning that her arms were super sore. Over the past few months Brady was working on her endurance and most of all her efficiency in the water. She has also been perfecting her Breast Stroke from even learning it a few months ago. It looks really good! I'm very proud to be teaching Brady.
Indi Halldorson - December 2010
Congratulations to Indi and her family (no one does it alone)!
Indi started swimming with Aqua Essence last Fall with Rishona in Sea Turtle. They worked all year on Indi's comfort level in the water and by spring she was able to swim 5 meters on her front and was beginning to swim on her back without assistance. She started going in the deep end and doing jumps. During the Spring she worked with Tali Floom where she continued to gain her confidence. Since starting with Rachael Floom, Indi is now doing lengths in the pool. Indi just completed her Whale level in the middle of December.
What Rachael had to say...
Indi tries her very best every class and I can see the effort she's putting into her swimming. Indi listens to everything I say and never complains. She went from swimming small lengths of the shallow end to full lengths of the deep end and her arm circles have come full circle into what's almost front crawl. She loves to swim and has awesome dives. She also tried her best to conquer her fear of the diving board and although she didn't end up jumping she really tried to and still compromised by jumping off the wall beside the diving board. She's a great student!
A couple weeks ago Indi tried out for the Mini Marlins Swim Team and made it! We are so proud of Indi and her swimming accomplishments. We wish her luck swimming with the Marlins!