Vander Meulen back with Kokanee club

The Vernon Recreation Complex pool is where Steven Vander Meulen learned to swim.

The Vernon Recreation Complex pool is where Steven Vander Meulen learned to swim.

And now, the former Vernon Kokanee Swim Club and Canadian Olympian is returning to teach young swimmers.

Vander Meulen, 46, has been named the new head coach of the Kokanee, effective Saturday.

“It’s pretty exciting and I’m really excited,” said Vander Meulen, who has spent the last couple of years as head development coach with the Chena North Shore Swim Club in North Vancouver.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. I have a lot of knowledge to share as I’ve been a swimmer and a coach for 40 years.”

Vander Meulen swam for Canada at the 1988 Olympics in the 4×100 freestyle relay, finishing in ninth place.

He is also a former world record holder in the 4×100 medley relay with the University of Calgary Swim Club – a mark which stood as a world record for six years.

Vander Meulen has competed at the Olympics, world championships, Pan Pacific Championships, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games and Universiade.

With 44 senior national gold medals in relays and individual swims, a silver medal at the Pan Am Games, and a silver and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games, Vander Meulen wants to share his experiences and expertise.

“I’m looking to help each kid advance the best they possibly can,” said Vander Meulen, who, along with his brother, Gary, was inducted into the Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

“I have a lot of patience with kids. It’s a long-term project for everybody, and we’ll get everyone moving faster.”

Vander Meulen retired from competitive swimming at 27, and turned to coaching.

He began with the University of Calgary, and also had stints with clubs in Calgary, Duncan, Kelowna and North Vancouver before accepting the job with the Kokanee.

“I am just really looking forward to being back as a Kokanee, and being closer to family,” said Vander Meulen.

The club is equally excited to have one of its recognizable alumni return as head coach.

“Steven has a pretty storied history in this city and in swimming so we were very excited when he applied for the job,” said Jason Shortt, vice-president of the Kokanee.

“It’s a positive step forward for the club.”

Vander Meulen is one of a handful of Kokanee graduates honoured with a banner that hangs in the rafters above the water at the Vernon Rec Centre pool.

The Kokanee club will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2016.



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is sending a letter to the provincial government to request that church be deemed an essential service amid the pandemic. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon mayor scolded for revealing stance on making church essential

Coun. Scott Anderson calls Cummings’ actions ‘arrogant’

Heather Barker. (File)
Manslaughter charge laid in Vernon woman’s 2018 death

Shaun Ross Wiebe, 43, faces manslaughter and assault charges related to the death of Heather Barker

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin makes preparations at Toronto’s mass vaccination clinic, Jan. 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
3 deaths, 234 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

One death connected to outbreak at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, where 20 patients and 28 staff have tested positive

Kalamalka Secondary School staff and students have been warned to self isolate if showing COVID-19 symptoms after possible exposure on March 13, 2020. (Google Maps)
First case of COVID-19 in Coldstream school

Three more schools confirm positive cases

The City of Vernon’s Recreation Services is bringing back indoor walking at Kal Tire Place, with public skating also in the works over the Christmas holidays. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Vernon rec hard hit in pandemic

Cancellations and closures see expected drops in fourth-quarter report

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran in his Creston home. Hanging on the wall behind him is a logo of Kachin’s Manaw festival. Photo: Aaron Hemens
From Myanmar to Creston: The story of a refugee

In October 2007, Zaudanawng “Jay-Dan” Maran and his friends encountered a woman being sexually assaulted by two Myanmar soldiers.

Kamloops This Week.
48 COVID-19 cases and one death associated with outbreak at Kamloops hospital

One of the 20 patients infected has died, meanwhile 28 staff with COVID-19 are isolating at home

The scene of a serious crash on Highway 33 in Kelowna that killed one and severely injured two others on June 20, 2018. (File)
Driver found guilty of causing death, injury in 2018 Kelowna crash

Travis Ryan Hennessy will face sentencing at a later date

(Michael Rodriguez - Capital News staff)
Downtown stairwell fire suspicious, Kelowna RCMP say

Crews were called to Gotham Nightclub for a report of a stairwell fire

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

Head Brewer Kody Rosentreter, owner Wes Greve and taproom manager Lisa Deleo celebrated North Basin Brewing’s grand opening Jan. 22 and 23, 2020. (Contributed)
Osoyoos’ first microbrewery celebrates grand opening

The brewery hopes to show that the Okanagan is more than just wine country

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna, West Kelowna still looking to opt-out of speculation tax

Mayors say spec tax has missed the mark, revenue largely coming out of Canadians’ pockets

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Most Read