SwimSquad Ambassador Team

Introducing the 2024 Across the Lake SwimSquad Ambassador Team!

These outstanding individuals are the essence of our open water swimming community, personifying the passion, dedication, and spirit that make our Across the Lake SwimSquad team truly extraordinary.
 
Each ambassador has a unique story to share – from overcoming personal obstacles to accomplishing impressive feats in the water. As leaders and mentors, they’re here to motivate and guide you in your own open water journey, demonstrating that anything is achievable with determination and a love for the sport.

James Addington

Kelowna, BC Canada

Bio coming soon!

james-addington

Sandra Arthur

West Kelowna, BC Canada

I became a swim addict at the age of 9 when I joined a summer swim club and then later a winter club. You will find me in the summer in Lake Okanagan. Favourite beach is Gyro Beach where the outdoor swim clinics are held. See you out there!

sandra arthur

Aerin Bowers

Kelowna & Rossland, BC Canada

Aerin swam out of the womb, pretty much, discovering the joy of open water 11 years ago. She’s travelled the world swimming in places like Zurich, London, Stockholm and San Francisco, to name a few! Aerin is training for an English Channel crossing this September to celebrate her first half-century. She’s participated in most of the ATLS events enough times to have replaced all her towels, and has learned to speak fluent Ogo Pogo.

Sommer Cunningham

North Vancouver, BC Canada

With a name like Sommer, I am bound to be a water baby! Though the water has always been a draw for me, I am an adult-learned swimmer. Find me in the mighty Pacific year round or in the waters of Sasamat and Cultus Lakes and I’ll likely be training for a triathlon or an Across The Lake Swim event! See you out there!

sommer cunningham

Laurie de Grace

Edmonton, AB Canada

My love of open water swimming began with my participation in triathlons. As long as there were no attacking sea creatures, I much preferred open water to pool swims.

In 2023 I turned 70 and set a couple of goals to mark the occasion. One was to complete a 160km Gran Fondo in July and the second more challenging goal was the 11.8km Skaha Ultra in August. Having ridden long distances before I was certain I could complete the ride but distance swimming was something new. While training I typically swim less than 3 km and once did a 4km swim race so tripling the distance was no small feat. I added to the challenge by breaking my leg while skiing in December, lopping 3 months off my training, I returned the pool in March.

The swim across Skaha was amazing and I was ecstatic to finish. The next day, once the endorphins had evaporated, I decided to return to improve my time. In addition to having a full season of training, I also plan to finish with a swim buddy filled only with air! Not closing it properly, I towed a swim buddy filled with water.

laurie de grace

Emily Epp

Kelowna, BC Canada

Hello, My name is Emily! I have been swimming since I was 9 years old. I have always loved swimming outside in oceans and lakes; there is something so peaceful about it. I completed my first Across the Lake swim when I was 12 and fell in love with it. Since then I have specialized in open water swimming having completed a solo English Channel Swim, Escape from Alcatraz swim, and circumnavigated Bowen Island. My hope is so inspire swimmers to challenge themselves, and enjoy our Beautiful Okanagan Lake. I am very excited to be an Ambassador. If you see me, please say hi!

Emily Epp

Sarah Freeman

Canmore, AB Canada

Sarah is Building empowering communities for #waterwomen to connect & thrive as their authentic self in the water & beyond🌊
She is a water lover, from Masters Pool competitions, 2k-5k open-water swims, ice dipper and soon to be Ice Swimmer!
She is a step-mum of two beautiful girls, wife to an Aussie, and a horse lover too.
You can also find Sarah Leading the Bow Valley Chamber, and being a community co-host on the radio. Most of all she is part mermaid with a big heart🧜‍♀️

sarah freeman

Stephanie Horman

Kelowna, BC Canada

With a passion for Adventures, Stephanie has a love for finding new ways to explore the beautiful Okanagan landscape. As the founder and owner of Cabin 5 Granola, she embraces ways to support and nourish the community through full bellies, and exploration.

This swim marks a big personal goal of overcoming her fear of open water swimming, as a way to challenge her own boundaries and inspire others to do the same.

Phred Martin

Kelowna, BC Canada

I like long swims along the shore, especially with lots of sea life (but not the big bitey ones). My new phavourite quote “When you’ve forgotten how to breathe, go visit the water. It will remind you how.”

Andrea McCallum

Vancouver, BC Canada

Andrea has been swimming a looong time! Her first memory of swimming was in Lake Okanagan… when she was around 6 years old! My parents were sitting on the beach and I swam towards them. They asked if my hands were on the bottom of the lake. I said “no”, and remember thinking that was a weird question. My parents were a little surprised and said “she’s swimming!” I have been hooked on swimming ever since. I have swum the Across The Lake Swim twice… it is so spectacular, well planned and the nicest people volunteering. Andrea is very excited to be participating now as a SwimSquad Ambassador. I hope all swimmers participating in the Interior Savings ATLS Kelowna 2024 swim have fantastic swims and an amazing swim experience.

Nadia Pedley

New Westminster, BC Canada

After a short sabbatical (of 25 years), Nadia is back with a splash! A former water polo player, turned masters swimmer, she is ready to take on the exciting challenge of open water swimming. When she’s not swimming (or at work), Nadia enjoys spending time soaking up the sun on her paddle board and spending time camping with family and friends.

Nadia Pedley

Darryl Reuter

Kelowna, BC Canada

Bio coming soon!

Darryl Reuter

Kierra Smith

Kelowna, BC Canada

Rooted in the heart of the Kelowna swimming community, my journey from a local swimmer to a two-time Olympian has been incredible, shaped by the unwavering support of those around me. The kindness and encouragement I received left a mark, teaching me the true value of community and the strength found in collective support.

Now, as I embrace the role of an ambassador for the across-the-lake swim, I see it as a way to express my gratitude and encourage others to join in this experience. It’s not just about the distance swam, but the shared moments of joy, challenge, and camaraderie that define our time in the Okanagan Lake. This event stands as a testament to what we can achieve together, and I’m honored to be a part of it, hoping to inspire others to dive into the water beside me.

In every stroke, I carry with me the spirit of our Kelowna swimming community—a spirit of perseverance, joy, and unity. I look forward to sharing this adventure, side by side, with everyone willing to take the plunge, celebrating of swimming and the beauty that surrounds us.

kierra smith

Samuel Spinelli

Kelowna, BC Canada

I’m a simple person, just looking to enjoy some coffee, cake, and a grueling few hours of an outdoor challenge. Sam is a husband to an incredible wife and father of two sweet little ladies. He co-owns Thrive Kelowna and Just Peachy in Kelowna. You’ll usually find him either hanging out with his daughters or tackling a crazy endurance or strength challenge.

sam-spinelli

Tamara Stone

Kelowna, BC Canada

I am a lifelong resident of Kelowna and love playing in the outdoors. I skate ski and hike in the winter then play tennis and run, bike and swim in the summer. I am excited to help get more people to swim across the lake 😀

Amy Tucker

Kamloops & Oliver, BC Canada

Hello there. My name is Amy Tucker, and I am from Kamloops, British Columbia.

I am an enthusiastic swimmer and triathlete who has actively participated in open-water swimming since 2013. I am a dedicated member of the Kamloops Masters Swim Team, Kamloops Tri Club, Kamloops Senior Games (Zone 8), and Team Canada (age group).

You can find me swimming in various places, such as the Kamloops Tournament Capital Swimming Pool, Kamloops Swimming Pool, and open water. My favourite swimming lakes include Paul Lake, Lac Le Jeune, Hefley Lake, Lake Okanagan, Skaha Lake, and Christina Lake.

Besides swimming, I love cycling through beautiful landscapes, running on scenic trails, and teaching as a business instructor at Thompson Rivers University. I am passionate about promoting swimming and building communities throughout the province.

As an active volunteer, I always look forward to inspiring others to dive into the sport. My dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to inclusivity make me a proud SwimSquad Ambassador. I am excited to share my journey and encourage you to join me in making a splash in the swimming world!

Amy Tucker

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