Rebecca Dean • Regina • Swimming
When it came to picking the right sport for her, Rebecca Dean learned at an early age that water is her natural habitat. She started swimming at the age of eight, joining her older sister in the sport.
"I found out the hard way that I wasn't so great at land sports," Dean said. "It wasn't until a few years into my swim career, when I joined the competitive program at the Regina Optimist Dolphins, that I realized that my dad's side of the family had many national-level swimmers. I guess that's why swimming felt natural to me compared to other sports."
While swimming runs in her family, another factor is her enjoyment of training. Dean admitted that she likes training just as much as competing. She also enjoys soaking in all the lessons swimming has to offer.
"Swimming has taught me valuable life skills and has provided me and my teammates' abilities that we would have not had without being in the sport," she said. "Through our training and our competitions, we have learned how to be physically and mentally strong. On top of this, we have also learned to support each other throughout our time together. Swimming has really taught us that we can achieve our goals as long as we are willing to do the work."
Dean is a finalist in the 2017 Youth-Female Athlete of the Year for the Saskatchewan Sport Awards-an annual awards program of Sask Sport Inc. designed to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of Saskatchewan amateur athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers.
At the Canada Games, she won a bronze medal in the 1,500 metre Freestyle event and served as the female captain for Team Saskatchewan. She won gold and a Canadian Trials Qualifying time in the 15-over girls 1,500 freestyle at the 2017 ManSask Provincial Championships. Dean also won gold in the 200m fly, 400m freestyle and 800m freestyle in girls 13-14 at the Long Course Prairie Championships and took home silver in 200m freestyle and bronze in the 100m fly.
"The way it felt to excel and represent Saskatchewan at the Canada Summer Games was indescribable. I think that by racing my hardest in my event, I set a positive tone for my team and tried my best to motivate them to do the same," Dean said. "Winning the bronze medal was truly one of my happiest moments so far in my swimming career."
Dean plans to continue swimming beyond high school. She hopes to make a national team or be part of a varsity/NCAA program that will allow her to continually improve. She also plans to continue being a great role model.
"I try to support the younger swimmers that I train with and encourage them to put their best into each swim practice," she said. "Above all, I try to keep things light and happy when I talk to them. Training can be tough, so sometimes a little fun and positivity can go a long way."
What makes Rebecca Dean #SaskProud?
"I am always proud to represent Saskatchewan. Compared to other provinces, some may say that we are at a disadvantage because we have to travel a lot to compete. Bigger cities have many swim teams, so they can compete more often with less travel. Saskatchewan swimmers seem to accept this as a welcome challenge that makes us work harder. Our hard work pays off because we still manage to do well on a national level."
For more information on our Saskatchewan Sport Awards program please visit www.sasksport.sk.ca/SportAwards. This program can also be found on social media in support of the #SaskSportAwards and the #SaskProud campaign on twitter @CSCSaskatchewan and Facebook CSC Saskatchewan.
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