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Who We Are

The Ottawa Rideau Speedeaus d'Ottawa is an inclusive masters swim club with a difference: it is primarily a gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer and two-spirited swim club, but welcomes everyone including members from the straight community. Our main purpose is to help members reach their swimming goals, be they for recreation, fitness or competition. Our swim lanes are organized by level of ability, offering a place for everyone, from the beginner to the seasoned competitor. Previous competitive swimming experience is not a prerequisite and members participate in competitions only if they choose to do so.

We value swimming in a diverse, fun, open, trustful, safe and supportive environment. We foster connection and friendship through social and swimming activities.

We are committed to creating a welcoming, non-discriminatory environment, and encourage the participation of gender diverse people, people of colour, linguistic and cultural minorities, and people with disabilities.

Our experienced coaches will help you reach your goals. We offer regular swim practices. We ask that, as a minimum, new swimmers are comfortable in deep water and have some knowledge of swimming. Special Learn-to Swim programs are held from time to time for budding swimmers not yet ready to attend regular practices. Swim Clinics are held to improve swimming technique and Private Lessons are available for those who want more one-on-one attention.

Enjoy your time with the Speedeaus. We're always looking for new people.

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Ottawa's Inclusive Swim Club

Our Team

Our Coaches

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Want to coach for the Rideau Speedeaus?...

Board of Directors

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The Board of Directors is voted on at the AGM each year. According to the Club’s By-laws, the Board is composed of 3-5 Directors. To be on the Board you must be a club member in good standing. The Board is a working board where the executive: president, treasurer and secretary are all members of the Board. The Board meets with the coordinators, usually monthly, to make decisions on the policies, direction and the operation of the club.


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The operations of the club are made possible by volunteers taking on lead roles of coordinators to ensure the smooth functioning of the club. The President appoints volunteers to the coordinator positions.

Volunteers are people who want to help the Rideau Speedeaus with their mission but do not necessarily need to be members of the club. They contribute as much or as little time as they are comfortable with. We recognize that people have other commitments, and the club will support people to achieve all their goals in life.


  • Coordinators – leading role positions appointed by the President to carry out key on-going functions of the club

  • Special Events Lead – leading role positions appointed by the President to carry out a one-time or annual event

  • Support – other volunteers to help Coordinators or Special Events Leads to complete required tasks


To apply to volunteer with the Rideau Speedeaus send an email to outlining which of the above roles you are interested in and/or what skills you are offering to help the club with its mission.




The Rideau Speedeaus mission is:

  • to promote the sport of swimming and the health, well-being and resilience of the LGBTQ2+ communities in the National Capital Region;

  • to create safe, fun, inclusive and positive spaces for LGBTQ2+ people and allies of all skill levels to participate in recreational, fitness and competitive swimming activities;

  • to provide opportunities for friendship, camaraderie and connection among members; and

  • to cooperate with and support other like-minded organizations, groups and individuals with aims consistent with the Speedeaus and the LGBTQ2+ communities.


In 1990, several members of the gay men’s sports club Club Moustache discussed that they would like to have a swimming group and so the Ottawa Rideau Speedeaus swim club was formed. From the beginning the founder, Sandy Beeman, made the decision that the club would be an inclusive space for LGBTQ2+ people and their allies. The first “Swimmers in Heats” swim meet was held in 1993, attracting teams on the queer swimming circuit from the US and Canada during the 1990s and 2000s and was especially well-known for the post-swim dance parties. This foundation for a welcoming queer space has led to the evolution of the club as it exists today. The club was incorporated as a federal not-for-profit organization in 2023.

Historical Newspaper Article
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