Courtesy: Swimming Canada
Coach-swimmer pairs Emma Hesterman and Wells Ginzer of Okotoks Mavericks Swimming, and Carl Simonson and Lorne Wigginton of the University of Calgary Swim Club (UCSC) are the recipients of this year’s Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Memorial Bursary.
The annual bursary is given out to competitive amateur swimmer and coach tandems registered with Swimming Canada who have demonstrated potential for high performance by achieving “On Track Times.”
Dr. Jeno Tihanyi or “Doc” was a world-class coach who left an invaluable legacy to Canadian amateur sport. During his 51-year coaching career, Tihanyi helped developed numerous elite swimmers in Canada, including double 1984 Olympic champion and former world-record holder Alex Baumann.
The Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Bursary was established to remember Doc, his contribution to competitive swimming in Canada, and to encourage other coaches and swimmers to work closely together toward excellence.
Coach Hesterman considers Ginzer to be a natural leader in his group in Okotoks, Alta. During the pandemic, Ginzer lost valuable training time and was not able to attend regular club team travel for competition. Despite these challenges, the freestyle, butterfly and backstroke swimmer persevered and continued to push himself in the pool.
Ginzer now has On Track Times in the 50-m and 100-m freestyle, as well as the 100-m butterfly. The coach-swimmer duo is planning to use the bursary to fund travel expenses to attend National Development Training Camps and out-of-province competitions.
“It is such a great honour for us to be receiving this award,” Hesterman said. “We look forward to seeking out new and different training, competitive and professional development opportunities. Thank you very much to the Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Bursary selection committee.”
Simonson and Wigginton, training just north in Calgary, have worked together for the last three years. The duo built and maintained a consistent training program throughout COVID that brought success when racing started again in Alberta.
This summer, Wigginton went personal best times in every event he raced in at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Honolulu, Hawaii.
“We are extremely thankful to have received this award,” Wigginton said. “We realize how much of an honour this really is and we are super excited to take this funding and continue our pursuit of our international goals.”
Wigginton has achieved on-track times in five events, including the 200-m and 400-m individual medley, the 200-m and 400-m freestyle and the 200-m breaststroke.
The Calgary pair is hoping to use the bursary for collaborative work and training camp visits with a Swimming Canada High Performance Centre, as well as more training and racing opportunities into Wigginton’s season.
Coach Simonson, who has coached with UCSC since 2012, also expressed his gratitude for this year’s bursary selection.
“I would like to thank the Jeno Tihanyi Bursary for supporting Lorne and I this season,” Simonson said. “Coach Tihanyi, through Alex Baumann, was very influential on the early part of my swimming career and holds my earliest Olympic swimming memories of Canada achieving at the highest levels. It’s a great honour to pursue our goals with support from his legacy.”
For more information on the Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Memorial Bursary please visit: https://www.swimming.ca/en/resources/history-awards/dr-jeno-tihanyi-memorial-bursary/