Olympic fever is just around the corner and with her infectious smile, steely resilence and fierce competitiveness, West Coast swimmer Jade Calverley has commenced a formidable journey, not for the faint hearted.
Jade, who swims in the S6 classification, has been selected in a group of 10 improving multi-class athletes with potential to represent Australia at the 2016 Paralympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - the party capital of South America.
Port Lincoln's Kieran Modra is the best known Paralympian this region has produced, with the champion cyclist having represented Australia at an amazing 7 Paralympic games over a stella career. Jade now has the opportunity to commence her journey to the Olympics along the 'Road to Rio' by having being invited to attend an all expenses paid camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from Sunday 23rd September to Saturday 29th September for further assessment. The camp will involve swimming training under a group of selected coaches, strength training, recovery work, and testing using the AIS’s specialized staff and facilities.
This incredible opportunity also gives Jade the chance to rub shoulders with other budding Multi-Class athletes, who are presently part of the Paralympic Development Squad. Jade is a member of the West Coast's Gold Squad - with her times nudging on already achieving at a national standard. She will lift her training to 5 pool sessions per week in the lead up to the camp.
The West Coast Swimming Club is very proud of Jade and would like to take a moment to thank the Leisure Centre Swim School - particularly Robyn May for her early support. The West Coast coaching team have undertaken specialised training in working with multi-class athletes and are keen to develop and work with swimmers that would be interested in taking up swimming for health and fitness reason or to compete.
West Coast Swimmers have commenced training and many eager beavers can be seen braving the early starts and hefty demands of stroke correction and fitness building in preparation for a successful season ahead. Friday 22nd of June saw the first Point Score Time Trial event held at the Port Lincoln Leisure Centre. Point Score Events give swimmers the opportunity to improve their personal best times over a range of distances and strokes and in the process, score points towards end of year age group awards. It is also a great chance for our junior swimmers to understand the race protocols of marshalling, dive block starts, turns and finishes.
The evening began with our Swimmer of the Month presentations for May and June to individuals who demonstrate dedication to training, team spirit and a positive attitude in the pool. Congratulations to Harrison Adams, Jasmine Clark, Sophie Traeger and Cameron Akehurst who received eagle boys pizza vouchers and a big cheer and encouragement from their teammates.
A total of 46 swimmers raced at the event with a number of stand out performances noted. Fastest female on the night was Brooke Traeger completing her 50 Freestyle (31.30), 50m Breastroke (46.47), 50m Backstroke (39.47), 50m Butterfly (33.56) and 100m Individual Medley (1.24.19) all in personal best times. Club Champion Luke Andrews has held his 50m times from last season making further improvements in his 50m Breastroke (33.47) and 50m Backstroke (35.09). Henry Lambert is hot on Luke’s tail with personal best times recorded in 4 out of his 5 swims. He is pushing out a 50m freestyle in just 29.13 seconds (2.68 second personal best).
Ellie McInerney (SWD) is on track to wow the crowd at the School Sport Australia Swimming Event where she has qualified to represent South Australia. This event is held in Sydney from the 28thof July – 3rd of August. She shaved off 18 seconds in total from her 50m Freestyle (1.05.89), 50m Breastroke (1.45.28) and 50m Backstroke (1.11.27) times. Many of our younger swimmers are beginning to show a great potential for improvement over the coming season. 8 year old Sophie Traeger took a whopping 11 seconds off her 50m freestyle time recording a time of 53.03 seconds with 9 year old Jamie Ford slicing off a total of 57.09 seconds off her 5 swims. Her biggest improvement was in her 50m backstroke (53.31). From the boys 9 year old Cooper Perham completed his 50m freestyle in 46.38 seconds which was over 10 seconds faster than his previous best. 10 year old Harrison Adams continues to step up with personal bests recorded in every event on his 5 race card. Congratulations are due for his 8.51 second improvement in his 50m Butterfly and he is less than a second away from breaking the minute benchmark (1.00.93).
It is wonderful to now have times available for swimmers who have not raced previous to the point score. Special mention goes to Stuart Meske who’s times for the 50m F/S and 50m Breastroke were within a second of our other 10 year old boys who have previous race experience. Sincere thanks to those parents, helpers and senior swimmers who ensured that the night ran to schedule.
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!