BLEACHER FEATURE SACKVILLE SWIMMING SIBLINGS MAKING A BIG B by Sue Seaborn aby number one, Mitchell (’13), was in the pool at 11 weeks old. Secondoldest Mikhel (’14) was paddling around at nine weeks. Marya (’15) was splashing in pool water at five weeks and last, but not least, Martin was in Mount Allison’s pool just three short weeks after his birth. It is little wonder that the Peters’ children swam before they walked and followed in the watery wakes of their talented swimming parents, John (’95) and Lisa Peters. John and Lisa met in Summerside, PEI, while both swimming competitively. Lisa was a Canada Games synchronized swimmer, while John, a freestyle sprinter from Saint John, NB, was a three-time national qualifier and swimmer of the year with Acadia University. They began working in Sackville in 1989, Lisa as a nurse and John as a nationally certified coach — establishing the successful Sackville and Mount Allison swimming programs. More than 1,600 swimmers have gone through the town program, with many of them going on to become Mounties. 32 / Summer 2013 / RECORD splash Lisa and John enrolled Mitchell in swim classes and competitions when he was six. With each additional child the pool bleachers became the location of choice for babysitting duties. Each family member was brought along to the pool to watch their siblings swim and compete and before long all four were making a name for themselves in the water. Though all the kids competed in many different sports over their school years, they especially excelled in swimming, track, and long-distance running, winning various provincial championship titles for cross-country successes and swimming performances. In the water at 6 a.m. every day, John, his kids, and some 70 other swimmers would hit the decks, training over 3,500 hours a year in the Mount Allison pool. The four siblings have each broken many provincial records and have swam for several Canada Games teams. When they were old enough to go to university, their successes followed them. Though Martin is not attending Mount Allison yet, his siblings between them hold 20 different school records. John, a former three-time ACAA crosscountry and Swim New Brunswick coach of the year, says, “When you coach your own kids, you get to see every proud moment over their careers. Some of mine were to see Mitch’s tryout in Mexico for the national Olympic team and to see him honoured as a four-time University Athlete of the Year. Marya and Mikhel have come into their own as well, qualifying for nationals, winning conference allstar awards and gold medals at the university championships. Martin made the NB Canada Games team this summer.” This latest news means that all the Peters family members have swam in the Canada Games over the years. When they all return home at night, after practices or meets, the Peters’ family does not discuss the day’s events in the water. They leave the “coaching” at the pool and live daily as a normal family — one that has certainly made a big splash in the university and national swimming communities. Left to right: The Peters Family — Martin, Mitchell (’13), John (’95), Lisa, Marya (’15), and Mikhel (’14)