Clarenville student swimming in new waters in Nova Scotia

Jesse Avery among newest members of Acadia University swim team

Published on December 28, 2016

Jesse Avery.

©Robert Greeley photo

By Robert Greeley, Special to The Packet

Jesse Avery has been swimming since he was 10 years-old.

The Clarenville WaveRunners competitive swimming club was a second home for him during the summer while he was in going to school at Clarenville High, as he spent the months off practising and representing the club at a variety of meets.

However, going into his last season with the WaveRunners this past summer, Avery had a particular thought lingering in the back of his mind.

Realizing, in September, he would be leaving the familiarity of his hometown — including all of his friends and family — to study Music at Acadia University, Jesse wanted to keep one thing constant. He wanted to continue to swim.

Throughout the summer, Avery created a new mindset with the ultimate goal to become a varsity athlete on Acadia University’s swim team.

When he arrived on campus, Avery paid attention to when the tryouts would take place.

He was lucky to have added encouragement to try out from one of the first friends he made upon his arrival, Brett Liem.

Eventually, Avery tried out for one spot among the 21 that made up the team.

Going up against a large amount of winter club swimmers, unlike himself who swam only in summer, Avery thought it would be a difficult challenge.

Winter club swimmers swim from approximately September to June while summer club swimmers only swim from approximately July to August, meaning the winter swimmers get around an extra eight months of practice.

However, despite what seemed to be a disadvantage, Avery made the team along with one of his first friends on campus, Brett Liem.

Avery was only one of three summer club swimmers on the whole team of 21.

He credited this achievement due to the connections he made from swimming with the WaveRunners.

Avery thanked the constant push from his former teammates McCall Ryles and Andrew Noseworthy for helping him achieve more.

He also was thankful for the knowledge that his former coaches Mykala Pardy and Chris Sheppard gifted him with and praised the experience former teammate and coach Noah Pardy gave him.

Pardy, in his second year at Memorial University of Newfoundland, is a member of their swim club.

Pardy shared the advice of how to help manage the life of a student athlete to Avery. All of these elements played a factor into how Avery performs now.

Going into this season, he knew it was going to be more of a challenge going from one 50-minute practice a day to a two-hour practice twice a day.

However, it has helped increase his endurance tremendously.

His current coach Gary Macdonald is who Avery credits with his significant improvement in the water.

Macdonald expressed understanding for the massive transition Avery faced.

Avery even shaved six seconds off of his 100-metre freestyle swim and three seconds off of his 50-metre freestyle swim.

During the few meets they have had so far Jesse posted a personal best at the home invitational and then, later in the season, he posted another personal best at the meet hosted by Dalhousie University.

Going into the new year, Avery has set a few more goals. This includes getting more time in the water and looking at getting his 100-metre under a minute.

Regardless of the result, however, Avery is excited to return to Clarenville next summer and help give back to the WaveRunners club.