Bundaberg talent pool well stocked
MEET Bundaberg swimming’s next crop.
Under the watchful eye of highly-credentialed coach Paul Simms, this latest group have blossomed from learn-to-swim tykes into top-class torpedoes.
As many as five Fairymead Swimming Club members have now qualified for the Australian Championships next year, while several others are knocking on the door with super fast times.
“We’re having a great year, and whatever happens we already have more swimmers at nationals than last season,” he said.
“It’s a great effort to get this many through to nationals, considering most clubs are lucky to have two compete.”
The calibre at Fairymead has not emerged by chance, however.
The swimmers realise their success is borne from hard work, and lots of it.
“We’re here eight times a week, basically, doing 6.5km each session,” Jeremy Rethemel said.
Rethemel was part of the Fairymead crew that took the Queensland Championships by storm.
His time in the 100m backstroke booked him a ticket to Sydney’s nationals, while four others managed medals.
Jacob O’Shea touched in third in the 100m breaststroke, his first individual Queensland medal.
“My times were good heading in to the meet and I was happy with how I swam,” he said.
“I learned how to swim here and have been lucky to have some pretty good coaching along the way.”
Eleven-year-old breaststroke talent Natasha Walden took one second off her personal best to grab bronze in the medley relay.
“I’m keen to keep training hard and see how far I can go in the sport,” she said.
Swimming is in the blood for Walden — her great aunt was slated to compete for Australia in the Moscow Olympics before they pulled out.
Jake Hobbin left the meet with two golds and one silver in relay events, while young Kyle Rethemel smashed his own butterfly PB by nine seconds and also finished with relay medals.
Ammon Lammi and Jess Hobbin have also both qualified for the nationals.