“A new initiative to provide ongoing support to top athletes ”

TORONTO – On Friday November 27th, Swimming Canada unveiled its 2009-10 Senior National Swim Team moments before the opening night of the Canada Cup of swimming at the Etobicoke Olympium.

A first for Canadian swimming, the 30 member Senior national team includes the best swimmers ranked in the country in each Olympic event.

Eleven members of Canada’s 2009-10 Senior National Team have set a World Record this past season.

“We’re truly excited about this announcement,” said Swimming Canada CEO and National Coach, Pierre Lafontaine. “In swimming, it’s uncommon to see a standing national team. We wanted to break the mold and give our best athletes the ongoing recognition of being the best in their event. It creates a sense of pride within the athlete.”

According to Lafontaine, being on the Senior National Team allows athletes to feel part of a national program throughout the year. Specialty camps, monitoring, as well as select opportunities will be exclusive to the members of the National Team. “Bringing the best together to train as a National team will only make us stronger and better as a nation,” added Lafontaine.

Members of the 2009-10 Senior National Swim Team will still need to qualify for International Teams for major competition such as the up coming Pan Pacific Championships and Commonwealth Games in 2010. Every swimmer will have to adhere to the International team’s selection criteria.

Swimming Canada’s 2009-10 Senior National Team includes:

MEN (Name; Residence; Coach): Brent HAYDEN (Vancouver, BC / Tom Johnson); Colin RUSSELL (Oshawa, ON / Erin Russell); Ryan COCHRANE (Victoria, BC / Randy Bennett); Pascal WOLLACH (Calgary, AB / NCAA); Matt HAWES (Ottawa, ON / Derrick Schoof); Scott DICKENS (Vancouver, BC / Tom Johnson); Mathieu BOIS (Saint-Hubert, QC / Benoit Lebrun); Joe BARTOCH (London, ON / Paul Midgley); Stefan HIRNIAK (Victoria, BC / Randy Bennett); Keith BEAVERS (Vancouver, BC / Dean Boles); Jordan HARTNEY (Vancouver, BC / Tom Johnson); Joel GREENSHIELDS (Tucson, AZ / NCAA); Richard HORTNESS (Medicine Hat, AB / Peter Schori); Blake WORSLEY (Victoria, BC / Randy Bennett); Ray BETUZZI (Calgary, AB / N/A)

WOMEN: Victoria POON (Lasalle, QC / Benoit Lebrun); Genevieve SAUMUR (Montreal, QC / Benoit Lebrun); Kevyn PETERSON (Calgary, AB / Jan Bidrman); Savannah KING (Vancouver, BC / Tom Johnson); Katelyn MURDOCH (Calgary, AB / Jan Bidrman); Lauren LAVIGNA (Vancouver, BC / N/A); Annamay PIERSE (Vancouver, BC / Jozsef Nagy); Audrey LACROIX (Montreal, QC / Claude St-Jean); Julia WILKINSON (College Station, Texas / N/A); Tanya HUNKS (Vancouver, BC / Tom Johnson); Heather MACLEAN (Etobicoke, ON / Kevin Thorburn); Jennifer BECKBERGER (Ajax, ON / N/A); Alexandra GABOR (Whitehorse, YK / Marek Poplawski); Erica MORNINGSTAR (Calgary, AB / Jan Bidrman); Martha MCCABE (Vancouver, BC / Jozsef Nagy)