Former competitive swimmer and ex-coach Steven Verseghy passed away last week at the age of 49. -Image: Facebook

Kelowna swim community in mourning with death of former coach

A memorial service for Steven Verseghy will be held today at Springfield Funeral Home.

Kelowna has lost a valued member of its swimming community.

Steven Verseghy, a national level swimmer in the 1980s, passed away last week after drowning in Okanagan Lake.

He was 49.

After his days of competitive swimming, Verseghy went on to coach in several cities across Canada, including Kelowna where he moved to in 2000.

One athlete he coached during his time with the Kelowna AquaJets in 2004-05 was Kierra Smith, who went on to win two gold medals at the 2015 Pan Am Games and compete at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Smith posted the following comments about Verseghy on her Facebook page:

“He was on a completely different level than the rest of us and I don’t know if I’ve encountered anyone with his intensity,” Smith wrote. “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.

“Although we’re spread out, the Canadian swimming community is small and it’s even smaller in Kelowna.

“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.”

Verseghy was born in Toronto and competed with the Ajax Swim Club. He eventually made it on to Canada’s national men’s team in the 1980s where he swam with the likes of Victor Davis and Alex Baumann.

A celebration of Steve’s life will be held on Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 at 1 p.m. at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road in Kelowna.

Steven is survived by his wife Natalie Verseghy and their daughters, Hayley and Lauren Verseghy.

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

In photos: The 27th Annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Images from Friday evening and Saturday at the festival grounds.

Summerland cannabis shop receives approval in principle

Inspection now required before Green Gaia may sell cannabis

North Okanagan-Shuswap Liberal candidate responds to Trudeau ethics report

Prime Minister’s immediate response to commissioner’s findings appreciated

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Summerland’s downtown has gone through numerous changes

Main Street has been commercial hub of community for many years

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Most Read