Australian swimmers raised in country areas



Australian Swimmers are known for their competitiveness and tenacity in the water.

Our Australian swimmers have had some great successes and also some unexpected losses this Rio Olympics. Behind the scenes coaching methods, funding, training regimes and when to peak at what event all get scrutinised. Because we apparently came up short swimming Australia will be busy reflecting and instigating changes.

My blog this month picks a few Australian swimmers and tells a simple story that many  of our olympics swimmers come from regional areas and have been successful through hard work and good mentoring.

The Olympics have been great to watch. Perhaps not Australia’s greatest Olympics in the pool but still we got to see some great swimming!

I want to reflect on some of these Australian swimmers we have been watching. So many of them are born and reared in country areas. I have always been a passionate advocate for ‘country kids’ having the opportunities our ‘city cousins’ have and our country born swimmers need a mention.

Jarod Poort, the 10km Open Water Marathon swimmer learnt to swim in the family farm dam in Bowral.

James Magnussen was born in Port Macquarie and did most of his formative swimming training in Port Macquarie.

Kyle Chalmers was born and bred in Ashford South Australia .

Two of my favourites are older Olympians now. Leisel Jones grew up in Katherine NT, and I know a lot of her formative training years were spent in a backyard pool not much bigger than the pool at Swim For Your Life Billinudgel.

And what about our local hero, Petria Thomas. Born in Lismore and lived and trained in Mullumbimby. Even has the local pool named in her honour!

My own swimming career began in the creek on our family farm. My mum was terrified of water. So terrified she would not wash her hair in the shower. She could only wash her hair over the laundry tub. But regularly she would take the 4 of us down to the creek and let us have a swim. If one of us got into trouble, I doubt very much she would have been able to help us.

Australian swimmers are a fit healthy group and generally also do  better at school . Your children have a unique opportunity to  get so much from swimming lessons.

Join us on weekdays and Saturday mornings at Swim For Your Life Billinudgel.


Australian swimmers

Brittany Elmslie (top L-R), Emma McKeon, and Bronte Campbell of Australia celebrate their new World Record winning the women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay final race of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Swimming events at Olympic Aquatics Stadium at the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 06 August 2016. EPA/BERND THISSEN

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