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Dallas Walker of Fort Macleod heading to world lifesaving sport competition

Dallas Walker of Fort Macleod will represent Canada at World Rescue 2016 in September in the Netherlands.

Dallas Walker of Fort Macleod will represent Canada at World Rescue 2016 in September in the Netherlands.

Dallas Walker set out last month at the lifesaving sport nationals to earn a spot on Team Canada.
Although the 26-year-old Fort Macleod athlete performed below her own expectations, she impressed Team Canada officials enough to be offered the chance to represent her country on two tours.
“I didn’t get any best times or anything but something showed the coaches that I should be chosen,” Walker said. “They chose me for both teams, which I was quite surprised at. I thought maybe one, but based on my nationals I didn’t think that was going to happen.”
Walker might be overly self-critical. She earned two bronze medals at nationals in Edmonton and finished top five in all her events.
At the banquet at the end of nationals, when Team Canada is announced, Walker’s heart sank as 14 names were called for the team that will compete at the Worlds.
Then her spirits rose when hers was the 15th — and last — name called by the coaches.
Walker’s spirits rose even higher when she found out she will travel with team Canada on a second tour.
“I was amazed,” Walker said.
In September Walker travels with Team Canada to the Netherlands for World Rescue 2016.
In November Walker will be with Team Canada as it competes for the German Cup and the Orange Cup.
“It is very cool,” Walker said of being able to tell people she is on Team Canada.
Lifesaving sport is composed of a series of events based on activities that are part of a life guard’s work.
Walker has figured out where she went wrong in preparation for nationals.
“My training was very off,” Walker said.
Feeling that she wasn’t ready, Walker pushed herself too hard the week prior to nationals rather than tapering off and was tired going into competition at Edmonton.
That won’t happen again, as Walker is following a training program laid out by the Team Canada coaches that includes two weeks of light training and lots of rest prior to Worlds.
In addition for training for her events, Walker has plenty of other work to do outside the pool and the gym.
Even though the athletes are on Team Canada and representing the country, they pay their own way.
That means Walker must raise $4,000 to cover her costs for each tour, a total of $8,000.
Anyone who would like to sponsor Walker can call Dallas at 403-894-7186 or drop by Dynamic Balance Massage Therapy at Fort Macleod Chiropractic. Tax receipts are available for donations.
In her youth Walker nurtured dreams of swimming for Canada at the Olympics but in her teens her interests shifted to pursuits such as basketball.
Walker came to lifesaving sport later in life, only taking it up four years ago after a long break from competitive swimming.
She is pleased with her success, which has included winning provincial and national gold medals and competing on an Alberta team at an event in France.
“I’m a big believer in what is meant to be, will be,” Walker said. “(Lifesaving sport) showed me I was meant to be in international competition. I was meant to be an elite athlete.”
Walker said it is exciting to represent both her country and her home town of Fort Macleod at a world competition.
She’s setting her sights high for the Netherlands in September.
“I want to get best times and prove to the coaches that they made the right decision,” Walker said.

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