Canadian Swim Coach Drowns in Okanagan Lake

Jeff Grace
by Jeff Grace 6

August 02nd, 2017 Canada, News

Steven Verseghy, a valued member of the Canadian swim coaching community, passed away last week after drowning in Okanagan Lake (Kelowna, B.C.). Verseghy was 49 years old.

He was a national level swimmer in the 1980s competing with the Ajax Aquatic Club. After competing he went on to coach for several years with stops in Oshawa, Scarborough, Kenora, Victoria and Kelowna.

One of the athletes that Verseghy coached as an age group swimmer was World Championships finalist Kierra Smith who remembers him fondly;

He wouldn’t measure a good set with a stopwatch but by how red your face was and how out of breath you were afterwards. Steven didn’t coach that year for the money. He took the job as the Kelowna Aquajet assistant coach because he wanted to give back to the sport that was so good to him.

Like most smart people he asked a lot of questions and did most of the listening. He was one of the few who was more interested in learning the details about one of my random November workouts than a big meet somewhere.

A Celebration of Steve’s Life will be held on Friday August 4, 2017 at 1:00 pm at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC

Steven is survived by his loving family – wife Natalie Verseghy; daughters: Hayley and Lauren Verseghy.

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Thoughts and prayers to his family and swimmers, past and present. He was a good man and an excellent coach.


A tradegy. It makes me wonder though; how could he drown in a lake, being a former national level swimmer? Makes hesitant about taking my afternoon swim ?


It was probably some sudden illness


In my experience, swimmers and former swimmers seem to think that they are immune to drowning and other in-water emergencies, and thus we (on average) tend to take more risks/fewer precautions in the water than many others might. I have no idea if that had anything to do with this particular situation, but many swimmers are a bit too comfortable with the water.


Thanks for writing this. He was a huge Canadian swim fan and was so excited about their recent accomplishments internationally.

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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