Vippy Chau – Lifesavings Sport Coach
Written by Veronica Noronha
“Competing the Markham way means bettering yourself for the sake of the community, being inclusive, and feeling like you are a part of something bigger than yourself,” says Vippy Chau, Lifesaving Club of Markham coach. Did Chau choose Lifesaving Sport or did the sport choose Chau?
The answer is yes to both. At her very core, she believes that being part of a community means giving back. Lifesaving Sport was a perfect match for Chau. Before she headed out on a new journey to the University of Western, we caught up with her to learn more about Lifesaving Sport and what drew her to it. She has always loved swimming so when her friend encouraged her to get involved in Lifesaving Sport, she gave it a try. After a couple of years, her coaches recognized her commitment and passion for helping others and invited her to take a coaching course to advance her skills. Chau succeeded as a coach just as she had succeeded as a Lifesaving Sport athlete.
Chau was a member of the award-winning Lifesavings Club of Markham (LCM), who train at the Markham Pan Am Centre. When asked how it feels to represent and compete in the Markham Pan Am Centre, she said, “it is great to have home pool advantage. I feel really proud of this facility. It is one of the best and it is ours!” Thanks in part to Chau’s athletic prowess, LCM placed first overall at the Canadian Lifeguard Emergency Response Championship in Oakville, Ontario in May 2019.
So, what exactly is Lifesaving Sport? The Lifesaving Society defines it as, “the only sport whose skills are first learned for humanitarian purposes”. It is literally a matter of life or death. Lifesaving Sport supports the drowning prevention work of the Lifesavings Society and its humanitarian mission and objectives, which includes providing athletes, coaches and officials an opportunity to participate in Lifesavings Sport, from a developmental level up to high performance. The path to training includes lifeguard skills, beach and pool rescue, as well as first aid.
Chau plans to continue practicing Lifesaving Sport and hopes to one day start a Lifesaving club at her University. All this while aspiring to complete her undergraduate degree and eventually make it to Law school. With the dedication, commitment and good sportsmanship Chau has demonstrated over the years, there is no doubt she will accomplish everything she sets her mind to.