National coach stokes fire

DURING his recent visit to Ipswich, head Australian junior swimming coach Leigh Nugent highlighted the need for a heated 50m pool in the city.

Swimming across the region is the strongest it has been in a long time.

However, Nugent said for swimmers to reach their full potential they needed access to the best facilities possible.

The only heated 50m pool in the region is at Ipswich Grammar School, where Dick Orbell's Grammar Sports team train.

Clubs like CYMS, Railway and Woogaroo currently have to hire lanes at the privately owned enterprise in the winter and at the Bundamba 50m complex in the summer.

Nugent said it was vital for the development of the region's junior swimmers for them to have access to a heated 50m pool, especially during winter.

“There's only so far you can take someone before you need better tools. Before they need to be doing long course training every day,” the 2004 Athens Olympic head coach said.

“There is definitely a need for a 50m heated pool.

“Otherwise you'll find swimmers ... will move on to where they can access these facilities.”

In his brief time in Ipswich, cut short by the Victorian bushfires nearing his Dandenong home, Nugent also spent time with regional swimmers and CYMS head coach Peter Carswell.

“It is just an opportunity for a coach with international experience to see our programs and for him to give positive and negative feedback,” Carswell said.

“It's always good to have other coaches' opinions, whether you use it or not.

“He's at the cutting edge of all things going on and he's very knowledgeable.”

Nugent, who led Australia to its best haul at an Olympics outside of Australia, and second only to the team which represented Australia at the 1956 Summer Olympics, is now a renowned motivational speaker and the national youth coach.

Carswell said his visit to Ipswich was important for the region as a whole.

“It's important that Ipswich is a part of that,” the CYMS coach said.

“It's great for him to be in Ipswich, have him out here and take a look at our swimmers.”

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