Promising swimmers benefit from visit of Olympians
SOME of the region's most promising swimmers benefitted from a recent Western Aquatics/CYMS Super Clinic at the West Moreton Anglican College pool.
CYMS St Edmund's Swimming Club head coach Stephen Critoph said more than 40 swimmers gained valuable insights into higher level competition at sessions hosted by Olympians Mel Schlanger and Chris Wright.
"It was part of a program that's run by Australian Swimming for kids in the 12-15 age group,'' Critoph said.
Schlanger conducted a session with the girls and Wright worked with the boys from the CY's and Western Aquatics clubs.
"They spoke about life experiences growing up in swimming, and what things can happen, and how they develop and what problems they can face,'' Critoph said.
"Coming from a celebrity as it were, somebody who has been through it and much closer to their own age, it was something they could relate to and hopefully take the messages home.
"The kids loved it, being up close and personal with somebody who they might aspire to be like one day.''
Schlanger won a gold medal as a member of the Australian 4x100m freestyle relay team at the 2007 World Championships. She also anchored the 4x100m relay team that won gold at the 2012 London Olympics.
Wright made the 2010 Commonwealth Games team and broke the Australian record for the short course 200m butterfly.
Western Aquatics head coach and former Olympic butterflier Heath Ramsay also saw immense value in the recent clinic in Ipswich.
"It's something very worthwhile for the kids going through that adolescent period,'' the Sydney 2000 butterflier said.
"It's always good for the kids to hear stories of people that have recently come through that 12-15 year age group and how puberty can play a massive role, positively or negatively, and knowing everyone comes out the other side.''
Critoph was pleased to see St Edmund's and Western Aquatics working together to provide the clinic endorsed by Swimming Australia.
"It was a nice friendly atmosphere,'' he said.
"You're not in a mad throng of people trying to get autographs signed and the kids got to ask questions, and they got to talk about things that concern them, and not just the basics about swimming.''