Ipswich swimmer Josh Dixon was successful at the recent state titles.
Ipswich swimmer Josh Dixon was successful at the recent state titles. Rob Williams

Coach says Josh has plenty of time to enjoy sport

SENIOR Woogaroo Swimming Club coach Noel Donnelly is proud of what Josh Dixon is achieving at his age.

Donnelly has noticed the most improvement in Josh over the past 12 months during his seven sessions a week on average.

"If anything, I've sort of held him back,'' Donnelly said. "They (young swimmers) don't do more than 30km a week.

"On that sort of load, he's done very very well.

"It's a technique-based sort of program.''

Josh, 12, won gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle in personal best times at the recent Queensland titles.

The coach hopes his promising Ipswich Grammar School swimmer continues to study hard and pursues higher level competition into his twenties.

"Once upon a time, you were old if you retired at 17,'' Donnelly said. "Now the good swimmers are right up there in the mid-twenties and we had a 50m champion this year at the Olympic Games who was 35 years old.

"So first and foremost, they are students as far as I'm concerned, getting through high school and just doing the work as far as technique is concerned.

"Hopefully they'll continue to love it when they finish school. And that's when they can sort of start to get a bit more serious about it.

"Josh has done very well in a short period of time.''

Donnelly said Josh had shown a terrific attitude in the pool, being very consistent.

"His mother is a great support for him,'' Donnelly said.

"The other thing he's got going for him is he does what you ask him to do.

"The big one I've noticed, and it's come to the fore in the last six months, is he doesn't die wondering. He's only got one speed (he loves going fast).''

Donnelly works with Woogaroo Swimming Club head coach Justin Lemberg, a 400m bronze medallist at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

After his success at national school and state club level, Josh is among the talented regional swimmers getting ready for the Australian age championships in Brisbane in early April.



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