The Minot Swim Club Winter Fun Meet will be held this weekend at Magic City Campus beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday.
Brenda Kast, the president of the Minot Swim Club, said she expects between 200 and 250 swimmers - primarily from the western half of the state - to compete in the meet.
The meet will feature 17 events for competitors ranging from ages 6-18. Kast said about 130 kids from Minot will likely swim, and credited the sustained excellence of the Minot High School teams for increasing interest in the MSC and the ASK Swim Club.
"The high school teams have both had significant success ... and one feeds off the other," she said. "People see that success and want to get their kids involved early so they can have that kind of success."
The event is free to the public but will feature a silent auction to raise funds for the MSC. Participants in the auction will be able to bid on a $250 vacation package from MLT Vacations, a $200 getaway package from 4 Bears Casino and Lodge and a $100 basket from SRT Communications, among other items.
As the MSC is gearing up to host its meet, the club is also advocating for a new pool to be built in town.
Board member Chad Wolsky said there is a "significant need in this community" for a pool, particularly a 50-meter facility. He cited growing numbers of kids interested in swimming and comparisons with other major cities in North Dakota that have 50-meter pools. Magic City Campus has a 25-yard pool.
"We're swimming with six or seven kids in each lane, which is not ideal," Wolsky said of the club's crowded practices at MCC and Jim Hill Middle School. "We'd like to have lower numbers in each lane and we'd like to expand. Right now, we're pretty much at capacity."
Wolsky said the swim club is in the process of meeting with the Minot Hockey Boosters and the Maysa Arena users groups to "come up with collaborative facility that would accommodate figure skating, the hockey boosters and the Minot Swim Club."
A contract with an engineering group hasn't been signed, but Wolsky said one proposed solution is to add another sheet of ice and a pool at Maysa Arena.
"You utilize the same heating and cooling systems for the pool as you do for the ice rinks," Wolsky said. "It saves a lot of money, it saves a lot of maintenance, so it's pretty cost-effective to do them all in one venue."
Wolsky said the club would like to have the project in process in 12-18 months.