The West Coast Swimming Club recently conducted its first ever State level open swimming carnival at the Port Lincoln Leisure Centre. The carnival was a huge success for the swimmers and the club. Swimmers from around the State came from the Adelaide metropolitan area and many regional centres. Sixty-six swimmers competed for medals and prizes donated by West Coast businesses. The club's secretary Tracey Dahlitz from Cummins said that the carnival only went ahead with the great support of the Port Lincoln Leisure Centre, DI Fishing and Boston Bakery. There were also many other contributors responsible for assistance like event prizes, medals and raffle prizes that all went towards the successful conduct of the event.
The carnival was organised and run by the club using parents as officials with quite a lot of assistance from clubs like Whyalla. Rod Sandercock, president of the West Coast Club, said that all officials worked tirelessly on the day to present a smooth operation. Swim SA, the State level body that oversees swimming in this State provided an official referee, Mr Phil Bowan, who said the carnival was a great example of what small communities can do when everyone works together. He congratulated the West Coast Club on the carnival and especially its swimmers who all achieved very highly on the day. West Coast swimmers came from the membership right across Eyre Peninsula including Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Lock, Cummins, Tumby Bay and Port Lincoln.
Club coach Deb Wareing was especially impressed with the swimmers from the Far West who produced some good times, some at their own first carnival. Young Ceduna swimmer Emma Rose Eckert was one of those, winning a gold medal in a handicap event. Hayley Williams from Streaky Bay won a silver and three bronze medals in her first competition. Another first time competitor, Lauren Kolega from Port Lincoln, won a gold
and two silvers against good competition. Kieran Whait swam really good times but was not able to win a medal against strong competition in the boys' ranks. Chris and Peter Wareing did well winning many gold medals between them including the premier events in their age groups, the 200 metre Individual Medleys which carried $50 cash prizes.
The biggest club competing on the day was Whyalla and they also carried away most of the medals. The Whyalla club also provided many of the key official positions, without which the event could not have proceeded. Competitors and their families who travelled far such as from Adelaide and Leigh Creek commented that the carnival timing at just a few days after Christmas encouraged them to have a holiday on the West Coast as well and they discovered that was a very enjoyable experience. Many spent several days in the city and had a great Christmas break before the competition.
Sonia Ford is our publicity officer and would love to hear of noteworthy news items from our swimming community!