You may know us as a swimming camp, but did you know that in the past 15 years Camp Ak-O-Mak has introduced thousands of girls to the sports of triathlon, road cycling, mountain biking and paddling?
From the variety of sports and training activities in our daily schedule to travelling to triathlons, paddling regattas and more, Camp Ak-O-Mak offers an ideal multi-sport training experience for girls aged 7-16.
A Variety of Sports and Activities Every Single Day
Camp Ak-O-Mak is simply the perfect place for girls to train as a multi-sport athlete. Most days, every camper has the option to swim, bike, run and paddle. Campers also partake in yoga, soccer, tennis, sailing, volleyball, strength training and many other sports.
Through this wide variety of activities, athletes are trained to be fitter, faster, have improved technique and increased strength and flexibility. The increased fitness from doing sports all day helps to improve performance during the year in their given sport.
In addition, the change in training that comes from increasing their exposure to other sports helps them return mentally refreshed to their training in the fall.
Sometimes, the new sports they learn at camp can lead to opportunities in these sports later on. They train together which helps them to push each other to their personal best and to enjoy all of the sports. We compete in open water swim races, splash and dash races, weekly bike time trials and mountain bike races.
Last year we introduced 30 campers to velodrome cycling at the indoor cycling track in Milton. The campers absolutely loved it! On the way out of the building, they were already requesting to do it again at camp in 2020.
This summer, we will be returning to the velodrome! We will also be introducing a super sprint elimination triathlon at camp for our campers.
The first year we attended the Barrie Triathlon we had six athletes compete with impressive results. In the past several years over 100 girls have competed each year at the Barrie Triathlon. Camp Ak-O-Mak dominates both the overall winners and the winners of every age group.
We also have competed at the North Bay Triathlon, the Parry Sound Triathlon, the Midland Triathlon and the Parry Sound Xterra Triathlon.
Doing a triathlon with Camp Ak-O-Mak is an incredible experience! We prepare, travel and race as a team. The support before the race, cheering during the race and the fun of the whole day is an unforgettable experience.
In addition to competing in triathlons, we compete in a paddling regatta in Ottawa and another paddling regatta in North Bay.
Paddling helps with the strength and fitness component of multi-sport training. With the recent addition of new racing kayaks and C boats donated by our alumni and increased coaching, the girls have been steadily improving in their paddling results.
Last year we had a former Olympic paddler, Kathleen Fraser, visit as a guest coach. Former National team member and Camp Ak-O-Mak alumni Louise Verity also assisted with coaching. Our Commodore Mike Moore and Joan Crawford were also a part of our coaching team.
As all of our alumni, as well as our current campers and counsellors know, paddling at Ak-O-Mak is an experience that stays in your heart forever!
Creating Athletes for Life
Our successes in multi-sport are overwhelming. I hear of Camp Ak-O-Mak girls and women doing great things in triathlon, cyclocross, road cycling, mountain biking, open water swimming all over the world.
In our third year of triathlon training at Camp Ak-O-Mak, then 16-year-old Brooke Saunders drove directly from the seven-week session at Ak-O-Mak to the USA Triathlon National Championships in Vermont.
Brooke won her age group, becoming a National Champion and qualifying for World Championships in London, England. Four weeks later she stood on the podium at the ITU Age Group World Championships after winning a silver medal.
In 2017, Sheila Doheny, Molly Levene and Jocelyn Saunders competed in the Boston Marathon together.
This past year, Ruby West and Claire Steciuk represented Canada at World Cup races in Cyclocross. In 2020 they will represent Canada at the World Championships in Cyclocross.
From March 30th to April 5th we have a number of campers and counsellors competing at Olympic Trials for swimming in Toronto. These include Gabby Cassasanta, Marni Gray, Bailey O’Regan, Brett Saunders and Jenna Wall.
Camp Ak-O-Mak is a leader in multi-sport training and racing for girls. The setting is on a beautiful lake in Northern Ontario surrounded by wooded trails. There is equipment for many sports combined with training and racing opportunities. We have tremendous coaches that help experienced athletes to reach higher levels and introduce campers to new sports.
Perhaps the greatest asset of Camp Ak-O-Mak is the mindset that we can achieve anything that we set our minds to. Surrounded by nature and supported by great friends and staff, Camp Ak-O-Mak is a magical place where we all become our best self that we can be.
Register for this upcoming summer now so your daughter can experience all of the multi-sport training opportunities that Camp Ak-O-Mak is proud to offer.
Jocelyn Saunders is the Athletic Director at Camp Ak-O-Mak.