Swimmer eyes up national time

Para-swimming: Maggie Manning hopes to make qualifying mark.

Sights set: Salmon Arm’s Maggie Manning was invited by Team BC to swim at the recent PARA West Camp in Richmond. This week she’s off to the Long Course Provincial Championships in Victoria where she will work to take off a fraction of a second in a couple of events to earn a National qualifying time standard.

Sights set: Salmon Arm’s Maggie Manning was invited by Team BC to swim at the recent PARA West Camp in Richmond. This week she’s off to the Long Course Provincial Championships in Victoria where she will work to take off a fraction of a second in a couple of events to earn a National qualifying time standard.

Being born with a  severe disability and undergoing numerous surgeries has not stopped a Salmon Arm girl from pushing forward and discovering what she loves — being in the water.

Maggie Manning, 14, was born with severe bilateral hip dysplasia, which means she’s essentially had to grow up without hips.

Her condition makes tasks such as walking difficult and painful, but Manning has found that competitive swimming is not only something she enjoys, but it doesn’t add to the struggles of her disability.

“It’s been hard because I haven’t been able to do all the things that my friends can do,” said Manning. “But it’s made me who I am and I’m proud of that.”

Manning, who has always had a love for sports, tried swimming on a whim for the first time last year and instantly knew she had found her calling.

“When I’m in the water, I’m just like everyone else,” she says.

Manning has gone through 10 surgeries to reconstruct her hips, which have constantly put a damper on her passion for sports.

“The surgeries have been hard to cope with,” says Manning, who had to give up playing ringette due to the complications of her disability.

Playing as goalie, Manning would have to re-learn to skate after each surgery and, eventually, it was too much work to keep her eight-year old ringette career going.

“I was kind of disappointed,” said Manning, who also really enjoys soccer and biking.

Despite the disappointment, she loves swimming which, unlike other sports she’s tried, is good for her joints and helps her muscles grow stronger.

After discovering her love of the water, she quickly paired up with coach Jana Montgomery and headed to a swim meet in Edmonton in November.

She brought home three bronze and one silver medal and qualified for the B.C. Para-swimming Provincials in Kamloops in January. There she won a number of gold medals.

“Maggie is a determined girl, full of grit and athleticism,” said Montgomery. “She’s found her niche and her outlet.”

Manning said her favourite part of swimming events is getting to meet people with the same disability as her.

From provincials, Manning was selected for Team BC to attend the PARA West Camp in Richmond. The camp consisted of seminars on nutrition and goal setting, and lots of training time in the water.

“It was a lot of fun and a great experience to learn,” she says.

Manning likes the way swimming has all the challenges of a  team sport, but it’s also very individualized.

“Swimming is my way to feel not different than everybody else,” she says, noting that she likes to see herself improve.

With dreams of making it onto the Canadian Paralympic team, Manning would be thrilled to compete at either or both the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016 and the Tokyo Games in 2020.

Her next event will be the Long Course Provincial Championships in Victoria, July 3 to 6, where she will be competing to reach the national qualifying time standard.

“I’m really hopeful that I will get my national time,” said Manning. “I’m only 0.04 seconds off.”


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

Just Posted

The Vernon Vipers defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3-1 to secure the top spot in the BC Hockey League Vernon pod Friday, May 7, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
VIDEO: Vipers beat Salmon Arm, clinch top spot in BCHL Vernon pod

Goaltender James Porter Jr. was a wall for the Vipers, who outscored the Silverbacks 3-1 Friday

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

The 2021 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival will be a virtual event and is slated to take place Aug. 13 and 14.(Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Virtual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues returns for 2021

Participating artists will stream live during two-night event

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

Darren Landy stands next to his six-by-10-foot trailer that he uses to haul yard waste to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District landfill in Salmon Arm. Because the trailer is tandem axle, he is charged for disposal. There is no fee for yard waste dropped off by car or single-axle trailers. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Resident caught in tandem-axle dilemma at Salmon Arm landfill

Darren Landy argues larger single-axle trailers loaded with yard waste are being dumped for free

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Most Read