15th November 2016
Good evening once again,
49 swimmers. Ranging in age from 8, to 22. Some competing in relays for the first time. This was our weekend at the Brisbane Swimming Association Relay championships.
Other swimmers were competing in a 50m pool for the first time and some at Chandler for the first time. Swimmers got to seeing Ash, their coach, in full flight for the first time over 50m and noticing that she only takes one breath in those 26.5 seconds. They got to see our oldest swimmer competing at the meet be disqualified because he left the blocks too early, but come back in his later swims to smash his PB’s doing a blistering fast 24.1second 50m Freestyle. Hearing the older swimmers yell out the names of their younger team mates as they are standing on the blocks to spur them on, and give them a lift. Seeing our junior swimmers fall in behind the club banner as they paraded around the pool deck displaying pride in their team. The bus ride, where swimmers outnumber parents 45 to 2, saw swimmers extremely well behaved and excitedly prepare for the day of racing (and apply their tattoos). Warmup was a challenge, but #TeamGraceSc still stuck together, laying claim to a few lanes in the outside pool, but at the same time sharing it with swimmers from other clubs facing the challenge of finding some clear water. The Grace Team spirit was evident all throughout the day, and certainly something we can proudly say makes us Grace.
On a personal level, it was also great to be able to sit (and cheer) the kids on as they swam their hearts out. On Wednesday nights, I love engaging with he kids in marshalling, but being able to watch them swim and seeing how good their techniques actually are, is also as rewarding. So a big congratulations to all of Team Grace, for doing yourselves and your club so proud.
With our future team trips already in the pipeline for Gympie later this month and Adelaide for next years National Open Water Championships, team experiences in what is known as an individual sport is just one of the ways that what we as a committee believe our swimmers are provided with memories and a framework for the passing on of attitudes and lessons learnt to one another. It is also what we think goes towards what makes us Grace – the pursuit of individual goals in the water whilst committing to the selflessness of promoting the interests of the team. The role and the support of the college in the organisation and delivery of these occasions should not be under estimated.
With this years state champs only a month away, and nominations closing in a week, the focus of our swimmers and coaches is well and truly on them. Currently, we have one swimmer nominated (Mr Adam Wilkie). Whilst I am sure this number will increase over the next few days, I suspect that we may not get to the 21 swimmers we had last year. It may be premature to discuss this in any length, I would certainly be interested in everyone else’s thoughts on this. A toughening up of some of the qualifying times, only 1 qualifying Meet before State Champs, the retirement of some of our seasoned swimmers, and a shift in focus of some of the younger squads may all be influencing factors. Something to dwell on over the coming month perhaps.
With this being the final week that some of our swimmers as they complete year 12, I’m sure that I speak on behalf of everyone at Grace swimming, that we wish Tyler, Braedyn and Maegen all the best for them post school and pray that they always know that they will be part of the Grace Swimming Family.
Yours in Swimming