Helen Vanderburg claimed the Junior Canadian Championship gold medal three times from 1971 to 1973 while swimming with the Calgary Aquabelles. She also won the gold medal for the National Junior Aggregate, Solo, and Figures in 1973. Helen Vanderburg also won senior crowns in figures and duet from 1977 to 1979, and solo in 1979. She was a gold medalist at the 1977 Pan Pacific Games for duet; in 1979 for solo, and gold medalist at the 1979 Pan American Games for solo and duet. Helen Vanderburg won four World Titles for solo and duet at the 1978 World Aquatic Championships and again, in 1979 for the same events at the Federation Internationale De Natation Amateur Cup. She was named Canada's Junior Athlete of the Year twice; Swimmer of the Year twice; and Canada's Outstanding Athlete of the Year in 1979.