31 August 2023

Paralympian shares swim tips with Cooktown superfish

| Sarah Martin
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Central Cairns swim coach Herbie Howard and Paralympian Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson joined the Cooktown Amateur Swimming Club for a training session before the trivia night.

Cooktown’s young swimming stars are well on their way to competition in Darwin following a successful trivia night fundraiser, and with some extra training under their belts from trivia hosts Herbie Howard and Paralympian Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson.

Herbie coaches Cooktown’s sister club, Central Cairns Swimming, and is a regular fixture in Cooktown, but it was Paralympic silver medalist Scooter’s first visit.

“Well, first visit I can remember anyway,” the laidback swim star said.

“Apparently I came here when I was 10, but I can’t remember it.

“It’s great and it was good to come down this morning with Herbie and show the kids what we do.

“It’s amazing to be on Grassy Hill and think about Captain Cook coming here 250 years ago and doing what he did.”

Herbie, who has coached Grant throughout his stellar career, which includes two stints at the Paralympics, a world record, and swags of world championship medals, said it was fun to play tourist.

“It’s been awesome, we were at the Lions Den for dinner last night, then we did the training session in the morning and went for breakfast at The Wharf Café, then went up Grassy Hill for a look around,” Herbie said.

“We were going to try go fishing, but it’s been so windy – Scooter wants to come back for a fishing holiday!”

The pair kept trivia on track, cracking jokes, sharing their incredible swimming careers and reading questions before finishing their Cooktown weekend with sightseeing on the way home on Sunday.

The Bright Sparks – Kim Giese, Sue and Marilyn Clark, Steve and Abi Johnson, Alice Ganfield and Chanelle and Rob Oldaker – were among the teams enjoying the trivia night fundraiser.

The trivia competition was taken out by The Mad Hatters, featuring Cape York Weekly’s own Sarah Martin, with second place going to the Smartinis and third to Fig Jam.

Best dressed team was The Punks, and the wooden spoon prize went to The Ice Dealers.

Funds raised will help send 10 of the Cooktown Amateur Swimming Club’s young superfish to the NT Country Swimming Championships in Darwin in September.

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