The history of University of Manitoba Swim Club dates back to mid 1990s. A former Bison swimmer co-started a semi-competitive program called the Pool Sharks which ran in 10 week sessions. The programs focus was on fitness and basics of competitive swimming for swimmers under the ages of 16.
In 2004 a professional coach (Iga Ziendalski) was hired to run the program and two years later the revamped sessions were renamed the Mini Bisons. The program was streamlined for younger swimmers with the current age being 10 years and younger. In 2006 Iga registered a swim club with 3 competitive youth swimmers which grew into 31 half way through the 2008 season. In its short existence the swim club now boasts over 50 swimmers with over 10 swimmers reaching the Man/Sask Championships standards.
The next challenge for the University of Manitoba Swim Club is to develop a junior component to serve as a feeder program for the University of Manitoba varsity team and its high performance program. The senior program has its start dated back to the late 1960s at which point a diving team was also part if the University competition.
In more recent history the program saw the hiring of its current Head Coach - Vlastimil Cerny. Vlastimil is a former Olympic swimmer (1988) and also represented Canada as an Olympic coach in Sydney and Athens. The establishment of a high performance program in 1998 saw a great boost to the success of the team. During the past decade, University of Manitoba trained swimmers have represented Canada at every major international competition including the Olympic Games.
The future is bright for the University of Manitoba swimming program. With the establishment of a new Olympic focused age group program and a plan for a new world-class sport complex (housing an Olympic size aquatic centre) the team is on track to become one of the dominant teams in Canada.