DESPITE a lack of pool time, Cooktown’s Amateur Swimming Club members continue to smash goals in the pool, bringing back a swag of medals from the FNQ Short Course Championships.
Coach Donald Macmillan said Cooktown’s swimmers spent less than half the time their competitors did in the pool, and didn’t have any other training facilities at their disposal.
“Most of the other clubs in the Far North have professional coaches and swim four to six sessions a week, but our kids are only swimming two,” Mr Macmillan said.
“But we’re still turning up and at the FNQ Short Course Championships we had 11 swimmers qualify for the Country Championships in Darwin.
“We had some standouts at the competition as well, with Maiika Hegamaea winning every event she entered and getting age champion, which was brilliant, and Rudi Habermann got runner-up age champion for 12-year-old boys and Jett Ryder was age champion for the 14-year-old boys.”
Club president Mel Hegamaea said congratulations had to go to Mr Macmillan as well as the young swimmers.
“We had no disqualifications, lots of personal best times, quite a few placings and medals and the Cooktown team placed sixth overall out of 14 clubs – but most of all, lots of happy little faces,” she said.
Mr Macmillan said the focus was now on training for Darwin, with 10 swimmers attending the event and competing in more than 70 events between them.
“We had 11 swimmers qualify, but one of those families relocated so we’re only taking 10 kids,” he said.
“It’s a national event for all regional clubs across Australia, with about 600 competitors across four swimming days, which is really amazing.”
Mr Macmillan said the team would be busy fundraising in the lead up to the Country Championships to cover travel and accommodation costs, with the major fundraiser an adults-only trivia night on August 26.
“We’re really looking forward to that, we’ve got the Australian Paralympic swimming coach, who is also coach at our sister club in Cairns, Herbie Howard and Paralympic medallist Grant ‘Scooter’ Paterson hosting,” Mr Macmillan said.
“It will be a hoot, the two of them are absolutely hilarious.”
Teams of eight will battle for the glory of winning, as well as a sunset cruise with Riverbend Cruises, with more prizes for lucky door, best-dressed team and even a wooden spoon prize for the losing team.
There will be a bar and hot food available on the night, with each team also receiving a complimentary drink on arrival and a nibbly platter.
Entry is $50 per person, with registration due by Saturday 12 August.
For more information or to register email [email protected] or phone Ms Hegamaea on 0455 600 853.