Riptech Diving is making a push for exposure and Sawyer Niedziejko is helping the effort.
Niedziejko competed in the Group D (nine- and 10-year-old) division earlier this month at the BC Diving Winter Provincial Championships in Vancouver, winning silver and bronze medals.
He achieved a national standard at the event to move one step closer to qualifying for the Junior Development National Championships, which will run from July 18 to July 21 in Regina.
“For the first time in the 18-year history of Riptech, they’ve had an athlete accumulate enough points to meet that national standard,” Riptech head coach Neil Barrett said.
“He would be first to ever represent Kamloops on the national stage. He has to hit the score once more, but he has multiple opportunities to reach it between now and July.”
Niedziejko was recognized with an award at winter provincials. He received the 2018 BC Diving Top Athlete Award for men’s Group E (seven- and eight-year-old) athletes.
“He was pretty tickled,” Barrett said. “Some of the older kids there are representing Canada on the national-team circuit. To be lifted up and put in that calibre was a great thing for Sawyer.”
Niedziejko is expected to be in action, along with Riptech teammates, at the Canadian Novice Diving National Championships, which will run from April 26 to April 28 at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre in Kamloops.
Barrett, who took over head coaching duties on Jan. 7, has more than 20 years of diving experience and is married to Eryn Bulmer Barrett, a two-time Canadian Olympian diver.
Eryn is a technical advisor and guest coach for Riptech.
The club is playing host to a free learn-to-dive event from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Canada Games pool. Registration instructions are online at riptech.ca.
Riptech offers programming to athletes ages five and up.
“We’re catering to all aspects,” Barrett said.