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!

Jaime Tulau