August 19, 2021


Welcome to the seventy-sixth issue of The Bear Facts:
A source for all things Keyano!


1. Schedule Information
2. For Parents and Swimmers
3. Group Report
4. Bingos/Fundraisers Information
6. Bear Birthdays!

Note: The newsletters are posted in the News section on the homepage, should you ever need to revisit them or see a record of our communications!

Thank you for reading. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Keyano office. 

Hi all

It's been awhile since I've managed to address the membership and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and patience over the last few months. It has certainly been one of the most challenging times I've experienced professionally in the sport. I do feel extremely happy that we have started the journey now towards getting all the kids back into the pools and I know the swimmers are also feeling a sense of relief that they can once again practice the sport they love so dearly.

I think it is a good time to remind membership of what the difficulties we face at the moment in providing enough pool time now that youth sport is able to practice again.
The current regulations create the following requirements:
  1. We must have 1 coach for every 9 athletes working as a distinct and separate group
  2. Current pools available to us are only the Kinsmen, YMCA and University of Alberta
  3. Swimmers must train 3m socially distanced at all times - we are using double wide lanes

We now have over 210 swimmers back in the pool and the challenge is to provide adequate training opportunities for all groups. I use the word adequate as there is no way we can find the 'optimal' allocation whilst the current restrictions are in place. We are very aware that each group should be having more training both in terms of number of sessions and duration of session but for now we are making the best out of a tough situation. We are a Performance Club and this is a core tenant of our mission statement. At this stage of the return to training model we have prioritized firstly that ALL swimmers get access to training times and then there is an allocation or prioritization based on performance. 

I have spent a lot of time over the last few weeks talking with colleagues in other Provinces and within Alberta. Everyone is doing it tough. There are very, very few programs in the country working optimally. The reality is that the pool space and water time that we have been able to provide to members is on the 'better than average' to 'good' side of the sliding scale relative to other programs. The FOMO effect is real and it is very easy to jump to conclusions that 'all these other Club's in the country are unaffected' - this is NOT true. Outside of HPC's and a very small handful of provincial training bases - all Club's are making tough decisions on training allocation times and pool space.

Whilst we can't ever be certain what the timeline will be for easing of restrictions we can all sense that over the next  months there is likely to be some quite substantive changes. The end truly is in sight we just have to hang on a bit longer and honestly to be thankful that we have as much as we have at this stage. For now we can only wait for the next series of announcements in 2 weeks time. The main threats to maintaining or increasing current space and times will be if the Provincial orders allow the general public back into swim without amending the physical distancing requirements for youth sport. Continuation of the 3m rule will be a challenge for us to operate any differently than the current structure. We can only hope that soon it will be deemed safe for cohorts to return.  If the public returns we will also need access to our satellite pools - these will take some time to be prepared for a reopening.

The simple equation is that for the next few weeks there may be some more changes to what and how we offer training times. I do not see this to be a persistent problem. We can all feel the tide is turning. We just have to be a little more patient for the last few months of this crazy journey!



March 8-21 Program Update

YMCA Reopening to Patrons (weekdays)
Beginning Friday, March 12, the Don Wheaton YMCA will be opening to its regular patrons for scheduled sessions only. This is restricted to dry areas of the building, and Keyano will remain the sole user of the swimming pool every weekday afternoon and all day on weekends. 

In order to minimize interaction with any YMCA patrons, the following changes will be in effect starting Friday, March 12:
 - Front door will be open during business hours; parents are still asked to drop their children off with the check-in coach regardless of the unlocked doors. 
 - Winter gear drop off area will move to a large secure room (and out of the previously unused lobby); the check-in coach will supervise this area and only Keyano swimmers will be allowed in.
 - The Family Changeroom will now be the entry and exit pathway from the pool (no more exit through gender changerooms); coaches and check-in coach will help swimmers get on and off the pool deck while maintaining physical distance.

Please note that the YMCA remains closed to non-scheduled adult patrons. Parents are not allowed in the facility at this time and should drop off and pick up their swimmers at the front door near the parkade as usual.

YMCA Parkade Changes - Fobs for all Keyano members
Next week the YMCA will begin issuing key fobs to all Keyano members. Fobs are an electronic key that will open the parkade doors; this will replace pulling a ticket and using validation tickets (these will still be available to anyone who forgets or does not have a fob). Each member will receive a fob with 2 equally effective fob pieces. 

It will take a week to prepare the 150+ new fob accounts - the goal is to hand out new fobs to parents next weekend (Mar 20-21). 

Next Schedules - March 22 & beyond
Both the YMCA and City of Edmonton are waiting for any news next week about further steps towards Alberta Health restrictions. It is possible that the province will move further towards Step 3, the earliest date at which that is possible is Monday, March 22. Both facilities are holding off on rental schedules until next week, so Keyano will remain in close contact with both and issue practice schedules as soon as possible. This will likely come late next week.


For more details on group scheduling for the new season 2020/21 please click here:

The University of Alberta Varsity Swimming Alumni association will be hosting an Online Trivia Night and Social this Saturday March 20th at 6:30pm. We would love to see as many past and present UofA Alumni come along for the evening. Past Alumni should have already received an email about the event. If you have not received this email you may not be on the Alumni list. Please email and we can provide you more information on the evening!!
Photographs and Images

We are always on the hunt for great swim photos of our swimmers in action and on the deck. We have a large number of promotional materials in the making and we would love if members might forward any photos they may have of their kids in action from past years.  Please forward your images to 

Over the next few weeks coaches will be working with their swimmers on goal setting. We will be following the SMART goal concept which is summarized here. I was ask for all swimmers to read the following to acquaint themselves with the concepts.


Goals play a huge part in your everyday life as they provide a sense of direction, motivation and focus
Setting goals can be fun and challenging at the same time if the goal is reasonable and SMART.
Properly worded goals should cover all of these criteria and eventually help you focus on your end result and increase the chances of achieving it. 

What are smart goals?
SMART goals are one of the most famous goal setting techniques where behind every letter is a keyword to help you set a goal that is clear, realistic, and measurable. 

Goals meet SMART criteria if they are:

 Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Why do I need to set smart goals in swimming?
Setting goals in sports can be difficult as sometimes you set your goals too high (it’ll be impossible to achieve them) and sometimes you set them too low (it’ll be way too easy to achieve them) and you won’t feel as motivated. 

Perfectly formulated goals are reachable and motivating and will keep you on your toes. Well structured goals will provide a PROCESS to achieving an end result which keeps you motivated on the small steps to the end result.


Make sure your goals are detailed and visual
For example, you can set your goal to qualify for Junior Nationals but is this specific? What event/s do you want to qualify in? Where will you qualify? etc

Specific goals have a higher chance of being achievable. 
To make a goal specific, here are some questions that might help you:
  • What exactly do I want to achieve?
  • Where?
  • How?
  • When?
  • With whom?
  • What are the conditions and limitations?
  • Why do I want to reach this goal?


The aim is to break your goal down into measurable components. For swimming some of the measurements will be related to training. For example if your Specific goal was to qualify for Junior Nationals in the 800 Freestyle what would be some of the indicators of progress to this goal?
Assessing progress helps you to stay focused, be prepared for the upcoming competition in time, and feel the excitement of getting closer to achieving your goal. Work closely with your coach on this.
To have a measurable goal, it should answer the following questions:
  • How much?
  • How will I know if I have reached my goal?
  • What is my indicator of progress?

A smart goal has to be achievable and attainable. Don’t make the same mistake as a lot of people do by making their goals unreachable. 
Your goal should keep you on your toes, but still, make you feel like your goal is doable.
 You can help yourself by asking these two questions:
  • Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
  • How have others done it successfully before?


The main question is who am I doing this for? Me or someone else? Being successful for yourself is more important than doing enough for someone else. 
Personal goals will help achieve more than motivation for someone else. Self-motivation leads to smart training and helps you achieve your goals. 
Make sure your goals are important to YOU!


A smart goal should always have a start and finish date. If there isn’t any specific timeframe to your goal it won’t be as motivating to fulfill it. 
Try asking yourself:
  • Does my goal have a deadline?
  • By when do I want to achieve this goal?


Remember that your goal has to be specific, meaning you can use these questions we mentioned earlier to shape your goal and make it more understandable. 
Be sure to break your goal into measurable pieces so that it’ll be easier to track your progress and stay motivated. 
The aim is to keep you on your toes but still make you feel like your goal is achievable. Do it because you want to, not for anyone else. 
Make sure you have a start and finish date added to your goal.
There will be a worksheet given to swimmers from which they will be working on their goal setting.
Jasper Place Development 

The JP swimmers have been swimming great this past month after their long break out of the water! We’ve been working on going back to the basics for each strokes and really reinforcing great technique. We’ve been doing lots of kicking and drills to ease the swimmers back into the water. The Bronze swimmers have especially been having a lot of fun in their own pool, doing lots of butterfly, flip turns and “square swim!” 

Coach Emma

Swim Alberta Health and Wellness Initiative
For more information on this please follow the link:
Bingo Update
Please Contact Christine Reeves at if you have any questions about signing up for your bingos. 
We would just like to remind members that information on equipment required for each group is located on the Keyano page of the Team Aquatics Website please click here.

Mary Davis
Omar Bushiha
Maya Slee
Sophia Arndt
Alice Martin
Jasmine Lawal
Ailish MacKenzie
Bevan Bagshaw
Pearl Lillico