THE Eyre Peninsula farming town of Cummins seems the unlikely birthplace of a great swimming talent, but Amelia Dahlitz is making it in the big league, holding her own with the nation's best young swimming stars. She is ranked number one nationally for the 50-metre breaststroke in the 16-year-old girls division with a time of 31.73 seconds, second in the 100m breaststroke with 1:10.13s and second in the 200m breaststroke with 2:32.51s. She is also ranked 9th in the 100m freestyle with a time of 57.67s. Amelia achieved these impressive times at the Telstra Australian Open Short Course Swimming Championships in Brisbane, Chandler Pool, in July. She swam against Olympic star Leisel Jones in the breaststroke events, coming 8th in the 50m and making first in her age group rankings. Amelia says she owes everything to her parents and grandparents - from swimming at a small community pool to competing against Australia's best and bringing her Olympic goals closer. "I couldn't have done anything like this without them," she said.
"I was very lucky they were prepared to do everything they did." Cummins is not the easiest base for a budding swimmer, with limited facilities - the 25m pool is only open for six months of the year - and a 130-kilometre round trip to Port Lincoln for coaching and training. Her parents, Tracey and Joe Dahlitz, Roemahkita Poll Merino stud, Cummins, were always prepared for early starts and long journeys for competitions and
training with Amelia's coach Carol Veldhuyzen, Port Lincoln. She would often stay overnight with Carol before early morning sessions. Amelia's family recognised her natural talent and with dedication, determination and hard work from all concerned, the best was made of opportunities to further her career.
Author - Sonia Ford
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