Team NS Canada Games 2009: David Sharpe

David Sharpe’s love for swimming began at three and when he stuck his head underwater while visiting a cousin in Whistler, B.C.

Sharpe! Dedicated! Focused! A Nova Scotia athlete’s relentless pursuit of swimming excellence!

David Sharpe’s love for swimming began at three and when he stuck his head underwater while visiting a cousin in Whistler, B.C. As a child, he played soccer, badminton, and a host of other sports, but he soon gave them all up to Go For It and focus his efforts on swimming. 

“I decided a long time ago that I was going to fully devote my time and energy to being the best swimmer I can be,” says David. “For me, that means going all-out every day to learn every aspect of swimming – that   way I’m fully involved and responsible for my successes and challenges.”

David, who surfs to unwind, has been riding a wave of success. He set or reset 36 Nova Scotia provincial records from April 2008 to March 2009, and he was named Male Swimmer of the Year by Swim Nova Scotia. In addition, David was the Age Group National Medalist this past July in Montreal, where he won a gold medal in the 200m butterfly, silver medals in the 100m backstroke and the 100m butterfly, and a bronze medal in the 200m individual medley.

“David is always tinkering with how he can do more – go faster, be better,” says Lance Cansdale, his coach at the Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club. “Once he sets a goal, he is dogmatic and relentless in his pursuit to be better than the day before, and he sees no end to the path to excellence.”

Because of his dedication to getting it right, David has only missed four practices in the last two years, and his dry sense of humour and great timing help the team get through their daily routine. “Keeping it Fun is also a major part of swimming for me,” says David with a mischievous smile in his voice. “You need to have a healthy sense of fun to get up at 5:30 a.m. to swim for an hour-and-a-half, for the past 12 years.”

Though David feels his volunteer contribution at the Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club is minor, coach Cansdale believes he is underestimating the value he brings by Giving Back to the community. “David is our most successful athlete to date, and he has made significant strides in his career while staying close to home,” says coach Cansdale. “And with all that he has achieved, he still understands how to support his teammates as well as his competitors. We are extremely proud to claim him.”

His hard work has been acknowledged and rewarded by his province, as David is one of two athletes selected to serve as a flag bearer for Nova Scotia at the Canada Games. “David was chosen because of his athletic accomplishments, leadership skills, academic achievements, and community work,” says Jennifer Gavin, director of communications, Team Nova Scotia.

“One of David’s other strong qualities is that his line of excitement, regardless of how big the win or how deep the loss, is even-keeled,” says coach Cansdale. “He thrives on taking it all in and then processing and applying it in his own time.” That approach served David well at the World University Games (FISU). During practice, David’s laid-back heats had coach Cansdale concerned. But when the race was over, David had beaten his best time by 2.3 seconds.  Both men are hoping for the same or better results at the Canada Games.

The True Sport Movement wishes to congratulate David on his sharp commitment and drive to go for it, while having fun and giving back to his community. All the very best at the Canada Games!