SINGLETON Amateur Swimming Club (ASC) has dealt with a lot of hurdles during the last twelve months including having to cancel club nights due to heavy bushfire smoke and cutting the championships short.
Two swimmers were set to race in the National Aged Championships in Perth, with flights and accommodation booked but unfortunately the race was cancelled due to Covid-19.
“One of the kids was set to win a medal, if not take out the whole event, it’s been a long and hard road for him, with all the would haves and could haves,” said Secretary and Coach for the club, Melisa Geale.
“Especially since Swimming Australia decided that due to the different ways boys mature they would take out the twelve years aged group one year, and then the 13 year olds the next,” she said.
“When it finally came time for him to be in the 14 years, it was cancelled due to Covid, so every year he has missed out.
“All the hard work between the pair of them, all of the hours they had put in, just for it to be cut out, it was devastating to say the least.”
Not only were the Nationals cancelled but the pool used by Singleton ASC had to be shut down in March, with the swimmers only allowed to return mid June.
“On the other side of it, it was good they got to have a break.
“Swimming goes all year round, it’s not like other sports where they might do two to three training sessions a week,” said Ms Gaele.
“We are here training about eight to nine times a week, so this gave their bodies and heads a bit of a rest, swimming is a big commitment.
With swimming now back in full swing, Ms Gaele noted that there are some big tenders this year including standout swimmers Billy Moody, Alix O’Bryan and Mackenzie Gray.
“Billy Moody is a standout, having broken state records and winning numerous events and he recently received a call to attend the NSW Regional Squad camp in January,” said Ms Gaele.
“Alix O’Bryan won nationals, she’s always training very hard and Mackenzie Gray made it all the way to Adelaide back in January, swimming in national open water in a five kilometre race.
“When Mackenzie was racing she got stung but a couple of blue bottles, so trying to swim through that with poison running through your body, I thought it was a bit of quick strength from a kid to be able to pull that off.”
Ms Gaele said swimmers have proudly represented their club at Intertown, Development, Qualifying, Country, State and National Levels and continue to do so each year.
She said the young kids coming through are also starting to really impress.
“They tier it off with levels one, two, three and four and give them either a gold, silver, bronze or green standard.
“This little girl has jumped in her first race and receives a gold, only around the top ten percent of swimmers in Australia will receive that.”
The club held out until mid November to hold their 2019/20 season presentation, so they could do a face-to-face presentation.
“We didn’t want to do an online presentation, we wanted to be able to give the kids something in person,” said Ms Gaele.
“It felt like the season was finally completed . . . we persevered.”
As they kick off their 2020/21 season, the Singleton ASC welcomes any newcomers who wants to touch up on skills, gain fitness or are serious competitors.
The club is proud to have strong community foundations of community and older swimmers are always willing to jump in and assist younger swimmers, who sometimes need a confidence boost to finish the race.
“My kids love their swimming and I’m really enjoying watching them and supporting them,” said Swimming Club Recorder, Dorothy Smuts.
Summer club nights are held every Thursday from 6pm, October through to March.