Meet the Miller's

The Miller’s have been swimming here at Grace Swimming for 4 years. Brad is in our Adult Squad, and his kids all swim here too. Brock, 9, and Blade, 11, are in our Mini Squad, and Axel, 1, is in our Toddler Program.

Before joining our Adult Squad, Brad hadn’t swum in 25 years. He had always said if we had a Squad for Adults that he would join, so when it started in September last year his wife, Sahtina, bought him a pass straight away without hesitation.

Brad’s main aim has been to do something for himself, and to improve his fitness so that he can keep up with his kids. Coach Tina says “Brad turned up for his first swim in his boardies wanting to lose weight and gain fitness. He has since gained the nickname ‘The Adonis’ due to his transformation and sense of humour.” In 3 months he lost 11kg and 14cm off his waistline! Amazing!

Brad loves the social banter with all the other Squad swimmers, and is constantly improving his technique and getting faster. “Brad has never been intimidated by more ‘experienced’ swimmers,” says Tina. “Instead he has them in his sights and has set goals for himself that he has well exceeded. He continues to improve technique, speed and endurance.” He is always noticeably missed by all the Squad when he misses a session. “Every time Tina gives me stroke correction I can feel an immediate change” he says. Brad went from not having swum since school, to lapping some of our very experienced and ex-competitive swimmers.

Brad’s new goal is to do an ocean swim, like Kawana. We have no doubt he will give it his all! He is a great example of it’s never too late to get started and to just have fun!

 

Just Keep Swimming

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Meet Gayl, 60, a swimmer in our Adult Squad here at Grace Swimming.

After a failed attempt at 4 years old, Gayl learned to swim at the age of 7, in 1996. She was given the nickname ‘Dawn Fraser’ by her Instructor, and was hooked. She joined the local Swimming Club, and while never the fastest swimmer, she always managed to make it to School District Carnivals and finish in the top 3 at Club Nights. Unfortunately, as Gayl moved to High School, financial constraints forced her to leave her Swimming Club. From there she lost her motivation and left swimming behind.

Gayl says “Of course I would still get in a pool and ‘chuck a few laps’ but it wasn’t until I moved to Queensland in 2009 that I took steps to swim more often.” At the age of 50, and having not swam consistently in 38 years, Gayl nervously went to her first session with coach, Tina. “I Instantly felt at home and as if we’d known each other for years”, and now they have because she has continued to swim under Tina’s guidance since. We are very grateful to have had Tina join our team, and in September it will be one year since we first launched our Adult Squad Program. Tina is a very passionate teacher and coach, who has a massive range of skills - from teaching Toddlers to State Swimmers, and everything in between. She is passionate about swimming because it is a skill for life. She says “There aren't many sports you can take up as a baby and continue into your 70’s, 80’s and 90’s!”

Swimming with people who participated in triathlons and ocean swims, it was a matter of time before Gayl put her training to use and started competing. In March 2011 she entered the Mooloolaba Triathlon 1km Ocean Swim. “To say my anxiety was through the roof beforehand hand is an understatement,” Gayl says. “I do not train in the surf or in the ocean, and in fact I’m not a ‘beachy’ person at all. I had no idea how to enter through the waves, but somehow I got through that swim and was 6th in my age group Women 50-59”. Gayl then started to enter ocean swims whenever she could. Gayl now has now completed 27 ocean swims, and completed all her training in a 25m pool! Of those 27 swims, she has had 17 Age Group Podium Finishes. “With each swim I learn something new, something to improve my next swim”, she says.

For more information on our Adult Squad Program - go to the ‘Learn’ tab on our website, and select ‘Adult Squad’ from the drop down menu. You can turn up to any session for a free trial, no bookings required!

Brooke & Kobey Make a Splash

Pictured: Kobey & Brooke, with Coach Josh Duyzer.

Pictured: Kobey & Brooke, with Coach Josh Duyzer.

Congratulations to Brooke and Kobey, two of our Squad Swimmers who represented Grace Swimming at the Age Championships in Adelaide last month.

Brooke and Kobey both had a fantastic time at Nationals, and both commented on the amazing experience and exciting atmosphere. Kobey swam PB’s in both of his swims, which is an amazing result. He is aiming to go to Nationals again next year, in the same events as well as hopefully qualifying for some more, such as the 200IM. He is also aiming to qualify for Short Course Nationals in October, and is increasing his training moving in to the new season to reach his goals.

When asked about Nationals, Brooke says "It's harder than I thought. It is hard to make it to Nationals, and it's even harder to swim well there". She looks forward to hopefully qualifying again for next year, and hopes to qualify earlier in the year so she can have more time to prepare in her events. In addition to her 200IM, she would also like to qualify for a 200m or 400m Freestyle this time around. Brooke loved the experience, and said everything was fantastic. She is very proud to have achieved both her goals - making it to Nationals, and becoming Grace Swimming Club Captain.

Brooke and Kobey are the new Grace Swimming Club Captains for this season, and they will be fantastic at guiding the younger kids. Brooke is so excited to inspire the younger swimmers to get in to high level competitive swimming, and to encourage them through their swimming journeys. Brooke and Kobey, in addition to our two new Club Captains, picked up some other awards at the Grace Swimming Trophy Night at the end of the Club Night Season. Brooke received BSA Divisional 1st place, Senior Coaches Award, Sprint Aggregate Points, and 3rd Place Distance Aggregate Points. Kobey received the Diamond Award, 7 year badge, Sprint and Distance Aggregate Point Awards, and BSA Divisional 2nd place. Congratulations to Brooke and Kobey for doing such an amazing job! We are all very proud of you!

Off to Nationals 2019

This year, we have two exceptional swimmers who will be travelling to Adelaide on the 15th of April for the Australian Age Swimming Championships.

Brooke Collyer, 14, trains 8 times a week at Grace Swimming. Her first experience with swimming was an infant class with her Mum. During the first class her Mum saw the other parents gently pushing their babies to the bottom of the pool and letting them float back up, and so she did the same, not realising that they had been progressing up to that point for 6 months. Giving both the Swimming Instructor and Brooke’s Mum quite a fright, thankfully Brooke floated to the surface with a smile on her face and has been a swimmer ever since. At the age of 6, the School Swim Team was short on 9 year old swimmers and asked Brooke if she wouldn’t mind swimming up a few years. She went on to win Age Champion and fell in love with the spirit of competing, and has now been training at Grace for the past two years.
“I am the biggest fan of my coach Josh and really couldn’t have made it to Nationals without him”, she says. “He is the nicest person I have ever met and he pushes me every day to strive for my goals. My favourite part about Grace Swimming is the Club Nights. Racing is such a big part of my life, so it is so good to be able to just take all the pressure off and spend the night talking to my favourite people and playing handball with the little kids, then jumping in and doing the thing I love the most.”
Brooke will be competing at Nationals in the 14 Girls 200m Individual Medley. “I am overly excited to go to Adelaide to compete”, she says. “I’m not too nervous but I am sure I will be as it gets closer.” Brooke been swimming at States since 2015, so is no stranger to competition. Her next goal is to be Brisbane Champion, then State Champion, all the way to National Champion, and her biggest goal is to be a part of the Australian Dolphins Swim Team.

Kobey Lake, 14, also started swimming lessons as an infant, and has now been swimming with us here at Grace for 6 years. His enthusiasm and passion for swimming was sparked when his parents took him to his first Meet at the age of 9. He picked up a few medals and has loved swimming and competing ever since.
Kobey will be competing in the 50m Freestyle and the 100m Freestyle, and he is very proud to have qualified for Nationals, but was not expecting it. He qualified for Nationals training just 4 times a week, and has picked up to 6 sessions per week in preparation. The desire to set a goal and work hard to achieve it is what drives him to train hard and persist, and his goals are to become an International Swimmer and to one day be on the Olympic Team.

We wish both Brooke and Kobey all the very best at Nationals, and hope they have an amazing time!
Go Team Grace!

5 Water Safety Tips for Your Family

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Is your child at risk of drowning? If they are ever exposed to a backyard pool, dam, creek, ocean, bathtub, laundry, pet bowl or a bucket of water, then the answer is yes. Here are some tips from Grace Swimming to helping your family ensure that water safety is a priority.

1. Exposure to water
Exposing your children to a range of Aquatic environments is a pivotal part of developing a healthy relationship with swimming. For infants and young children, it is important to make interactions with water a positive, fun and playful experience. While you may be nervous about your child's first experiences around water (and rightly so!), try to stay positive – children learn a fear of water, and if you are excited it will make it easier for them to be too. Making bath time fun, talking about swimming excitedly and exposing children to conditioning at home by getting their face and hair wet with verbal cues, will all help prepare your child for learning how to swim. Most importantly, constant supervision at all times is essential.

2. Lessons
Swimming lessons are a must for everyone. Taking formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in children aged 1-4. (Source: Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine). When infants reach 6 months old, their immune system has fully developed and their cognitive development enables them to develop skills and concepts faster. They begin to engage with purpose, and begin to organise their world through repetitive interactions within their environment. They are also able to coordinate looking, hearing and touching, (Source: Aussie Childcare Network) so this is a great time to start lessons. Lots of swim schools/centres have Infant Programs, and a good swim school will educate parents on how to educate their child, and explain what skills are being developed in different activities. The skills we teach are learnable, but need constant practice – so this gives parents the opportunity to teach and practice by applying these skills outside of swimming lessons. Children develop a fear of water as they get older, so the earlier they are introduced to the water, the faster they will adapt to the aquatic environment and develop safety skills. BUT, it’s never too late – so the sooner the better, whether it be for your children or for you!

3. Be consistent
It is important to prioritise your child’s water safety, and give them the best possible chance at surviving in an aquatic emergency. Repetition and consistency are key, and if children aren't practicing the skills learned in lessons regularly, they will regress and lose their abilities in the water. It is tempting for many families to pull their children out of swimming lessons as other activities fill up the schedule, or in the cooler months - but try to persevere: Swimming is not just a sport, it is an essential survival skill for everyone. Get out and practice what your child learns in lessons in different environments, continue to discuss water safety with the whole family, and try enrolling in more than one lesson a week.

4. Discipline
We all want our children to be confident and love the water, but overconfident children are most at risk of drowning. It is important to set boundaries and be consistent in enforcing them. Make sure that your children know not to go anywhere near water without you, and make sure they are invited in to the water by you every time you go swimming. If the Instructors in your lessons use the same verbal cue for your child to enter the water all the time, use the same verbal cue outside of lessons to reinforce the rules. Royal Life suggests that when visiting new aquatic locations, to examine them with your child and discuss any safety issues and rules for that location together. Consistency with these rules will help them learn the dangers of water and set down clear boundaries.

5. Restrict Access & Active Supervision
Restricting access is a very important part of ensuring your children are safe. Make sure you have regulation fencing, and don't leave water unattended in accessible places around the house, such as buckets of water and bathtubs. On average, five children under the age of five drown in bathtubs each year. The majority of bathtub drowning deaths in Australia are of children under two years old who were already in the bathtub when they drowned, (Source: Royal Life Saving Australia) so while it is tempting to slip out for a second, remember that drowning occurs quickly and quietly. Constant, active supervision is imperative. When children are playing in the water, Royal Life suggests dedicating a supervisor to watch who has an item such as a hat. If the adult in charge of active supervision needs to leave, the hat must be passed to someone else - this prevents complacency or everyone assuming that someone else is watching.

Most importantly, we want our children to love and enjoy swimming. You can teach a lesson for a day but if you teach curiosity, you teach for a lifetime. You can book in your free assessment with Grace Swimming by calling 3204 2725. We offer a range of programs from Infant Classes, Learn to Swim, Stroke Development, Squads and Adult Squad.


This article is a set of guidelines, always seek advice from professionals and communicate with your Swimming Instructor/Centre before enforcing rules on swimming and water safety.

Sources:
www.rlssq.com.au
www.royallifesaving.com.au
aussiechildcarenetwork.com.au
Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine 2009