At the young age of three, Georgina Henderson told her mom, Julia, that when she grew up she wanted to be on the local swim team. (Julia jokes that maybe her daughter’s water birth predisposed her to being a swimmer.)
Georgina began swimming at five and now, at just 12 years old, she is already making great strides in her sport.
“This is my fifth season coaching Georgina Henderson,” says her Muskoka Aquatic Club (MUSAC) coach, Heather Lee. “From the moment she started with MUSAC, it was clear she was meant to be a competitive swimmer.”
Two recent podium finishes at the Markham Invitational—a bronze in the 100m Fly and a silver in the 200m Fly—qualified her for the Short Course Festivals this February in Windsor.
“It was a moment when all my training and dedication paid off,” says Georgina. “Swimming is about accomplishing your personal best, not winning.”
Her goal is to swim all personal-best times at Festivals.
“As a coach, I was proud to share this moment with her after watching her develop, progress and improve year after year,” says Lee. “She didn’t allow obstacles and disappointments get in the way of achieving her goals. I will share this story with many swimmers for years to come, as it is one of the best examples of tenacity and perseverance in a young athlete that I have witnessed in my coaching career.”
Georgina trains six times a week at the pool for at least 1.5 to two hours at a time. In addition to her pool training, she participates in dry-land training for strength and flexibility, seasonal outdoor running, and works out at the local Cross Fit gym. In the summer, Georgina attends the ESWIM training camp and has attended Camp Ak-O-Mak, a girls-only competitive sports camp.
She loves her swim team. “It’s hard and challenging but also fun and rewarding,” she says. “The coaches are very motivating. Some of my very best friends have been made through the swim team.”
Through her hard work, Georgina has set two MUSAC club records in the 400m Freestyle and the 400m Medley Relay.
She is most accomplished in the Butterfly. She ranks sixth in Ontario for the 200m Fly and eleventh in the 100m Fly for her age group.
She is working on her swim technique with the goal of qualifying for the Winter Ontario Youth Junior Championships this March and for next year’s championships. She dreams of going to the Olympics one day and looks to Olympic swimmers Yusra Mardini and Penny Oleksiak for inspiration.
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