Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Kamloops judge Joyce Ribalkin and Burnaby judge Anne-Marie North watched on as winners in the synchronized swimming competition at Walnut Grove Community Centre in Langley were announced Sunday morning.

BC Summer Games: Moms find judge’s role fun and rewarding

Women share why they give back to the sport of synchronized swimming through the BC Summer Games.

Armed with a 150-page instruction book, and experience as a synchronized swimmer’s mother and frequent spectator, Kamloops’ Joyce Ribalkin wiped her brow, then expressed delight as she watched a series of girls step up on the podium Sunday to collect their bling.

Ribalkin was one of dozens of judges at the BC Summer Games this weekend. And while most of the sports competitions were held in Abbotsford, synchronized swimming was held at the Walnut Grove Community Centre in Langley for the past three days.

Ribalkin is an executive with the Kamloops Sunrays. Her daughter has been swimming competitively for the past six years, and rather than just being a spectator, she chose to get involved – to volunteer. Soon she was refereeing, became involved with the club directors, and now is venturing into judging.

But she admitted to being a little nerve heading into this weekend, it being her first time sitting in the judge’s chair and the first time at a provincial competition as on official.

She explained that there are very specific criteria by which the judges must mark each swimmer in artistic impression, difficulty, and execution.

By Sunday, the only remaining area of competition was the solo category, and swimmers were out of the pool by 10 a.m.

“These swimmers have worked so hard that you want to make sure you’re giving the right marks to the right swimmers and placing the right athletes on the podium… It was a little daunting, but I did okay… I did it,” Ribalkin said.

She herself was beaming as she watched the winners (all ranging in age between 11 and 15) take their turn stepping up to the podium and having a medal placed around their neck.

“It’s a great experience,” added fellow judge and new friend Anne-Marie North of Burnaby.

She too started as a mother observing from the stands 12 years ago, then became a volunteer, began judging and now also teaches others to judge. She’s even a master swimmer herself.

“I wanted to help grow athletes… give them the tools they need to succeed and go on to pursue their dreams, whatever those dreams may be. My primary motivation has and always will be the athletes.”

 

Just Posted

Outdoor terrace opens at City Hall

The outdoor terrace renovation is the final component of the Timms Community Centre renewal.

A GoFundMe for the goats

Matthew Farden surpassed his fundraising goal for Aldergrove’s Happy Herd Farm rescue animals.

Langley Township’s Froese named vice-chair of Mayors’ Council

The Township mayor will be one of the top officials overseeing TransLink.

Holiday market for a mission

The Aldergrove HANDS mission team is hosting a holiday market to raise money for Belize.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Unique technology gives children with special needs more independent play

UVic’s CanAssist refined seven prototypes aided by $1.5M government contribution

Kelly Ellard’s boyfriend has statutory release revoked

Darwin Duane Dorozan had several parole infractions that found him ‘unmanageable’

New chair of Metro Vancouver board is Burnaby councillor

The 40-person board is made up of elected officials from 21 cities and one First Nation

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

German-born B.C. man warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Most Read