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41st Masters Swimming National Championships – 21-24 April 2016

Report by Caroline Makin, Club Captain

Melbourne was the destination that our 26 Vikings descended on for the 41st Masters Swimming Nationals Championships. The competition was back to the usual Long Course format for 2016 and was held in the 10-lane indoor 50m pool at Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre from 21-24 April.

Our crew departed via plane or car from Canberra in high spirits, looking forward to what lay ahead in Victoria.  Hoping to come back perhaps victorious, whether that meant bringing home medals, securing National or State records, club records, PBs, or simply achieving their goal of competing in their first ever National Championships.

Some of our swimmers took the opportunity to head to MSAC the day prior to the competition starting to try out the competition pool and do a small warm up in the wave pool as well as practice their technique in readiness for their racing over the following four days!

The opening ceremony put on by Masters Swimming Victoria was fabulous. There was the National Anthem as always, but then there was a parade of clubs with banners around the pool, which was followed by a spectacular show with male and female dancers around the pool deck.

 

 

 

The Vikings team showed their strength in the pool across many age groups. The competition was stiff but many swimmers still managed to bring home some bling for their efforts, and we witnessed lots of magnificent swims with many many PBs being achieved. We could hear team mates cheering on their fellow Vikings from the side lines and some of our swimmers even videoing swims for each other which truly showed their camaraderie and spirit.

The days were long, and we swam relays not only at the end of the day but also due to Day 2 overrunning, had to get to the pool early on Day 3 to swim the Day 2 relays before beginning individual racing again on Day 3!  Many of the relay events saw nail-biting finishes amongst some of the teams, with the winners finishing by only a finger nail ahead!

We not only enjoyed our time at the pool, but also socialising in the evenings with fellow Vikings members and also our friends from other clubs.

Our club finished 5th overall in the Club point score, and 2nd behind Claremont Gropers from WA in the ‘Visitor’s trophy’.  This is a fantastic achievement!! Thanks to the coaching team for helping prepare our Vikings!

It was a huge event and the competition is becoming fiercer every year at Nationals! There is incredible depth in Masters Swimming and it was great to be part of an event where swimmers of all ages and ranges of ability were competing.

See you at the Gold Coast in 2017 for the next MSA National Championships.

Thredbo Swimming Camp 2015

Report by Leisa Cass, Club President

Tuggeranong Masters Swimming were again invited to participate in the Ryde Masters Swimming Club’s annual October long-weekend Thredbo Training Camp. This year saw Greg Gourley, Nicolee Martin and Leisa Cass as return participants and Annette Byron, Katrina Burgess and Maddie Flemming were first timers at this excellent weekend away.

The weekend involves 6 x two-hour training sessions, the first one starting at 4:30pm on Friday. Saturday and Sunday were 7am – 9am and 4:30pm – 6:30pm, and it wrapped up with a 7am – 9am session on the Monday morning.

While this may sound like a particularly tough programme, there is a strong focus on technique and drills, with the four Saturday and Sunday sessions each dedicated to one stroke. The overall distance in each session is similar to an average one-hour training session swum at a normal Vikings training session. They also ran a Freestyle sprint and ‘Form’ stroke sprint series, allocating points in line with FINA pointscore against your nominated time for each event. Greg Gourley and Annette Byron were high in the pointscore ranking after each session, with Greg coming out a winner for the ‘Form’ race series, and Annette was just a couple of places behind. Annette also placed fairly high in the Freestyle series.

This year, Ryde brought along their portable mirror panels which were laid on the bottom of the pool, to enable swimmers to practice drills and technique and observe themselves and correct their stroke. Apparently once swimmers get over the whole idea about looking at themselves swim, it is wonderfully helpful.

 

Leisa was coaching during that part of each session and unfortunately (or not?) missed the chance to see herself swim!

Between sessions, there was plenty of amazing food prepared and waiting for swimmers when they got back to Boali Lodge after training and at lunchtime, cafes and bakeries to visit, marked bushwalks for those with energy to spare, or a ride up the chair lift to Eagles Nest, and free wi-fi for those who just want to hang out at the lodge and get ready for the next swim session.

Everyone trained hard and enjoyed themselves, but probably Annette Byron summed it up best when she was heard to say (more than once) – “Did I mention to you how much fun I’m having?” .. and that’s the key to it all … work hard, take on board the feedback from the coaches and have the most fun possible!

MSNSW 40th Anniversary Dinner – 12 September 2015

Report by Ann Reid

Over 150 people, mostly NSW members of Masters Swimming, enjoyed a great night celebrating Masters Swimming Australia’s 40th Anniversary on Saturday, 12 September 2015. Tuggeranong members: Leisa Cass, Gary (and Audrey) Stutsel, Cecelia Kaye, Anne Smyth and Ann (and Pete) Reid were joined by Molonglo’s Ross Burden at a table with four Ryde members. A wrapped gift awaited each diner.

MC, Stephen Lamy (Manly), kept us entertained during the evening with the news, songs etc of forty years ago. Photos from the last forty years were projected on to the wall – several Tuggeranong members were spotted – there was even a photo of our pool.

Gary Stutsel, a founding and life member of Masters Swimming in Australia, gave an interesting account of the formation of Masters swimming in NSW (and Australia). Gary has been a member of seven different clubs so far – keep this in mind for future trivia competitions!

Paul Wyatt (Coogee-Randwick) and Carol Dawson (long-time Official and swimmer from Cronulla) also contributed with memories from the past 40 years.

Various people were recognised for their contribution to Masters Swimming in NSW, such as life members.

There was a photo booth, a lolly bar, a huge swimming pool anniversary cake and of course the dance floor.

Recognition was given to the oldest and youngest present at the dinner; Leisa was recognised as the member present whose birthday was closest to the anniversary date!

There were trivia questions that challenged us. “Name the six state presidents”, “name all the clubs Gary Stutsel has belonged to”,  When Jane ((Noake, President) asked “what year were the nationals last held ”…. Ann (Reid) was on her feet before Jane finished with “in the ACT?” (Organising officials and volunteers back in 2006 is still fairly fresh in Ann’s memory!). Anne (Smyth) was first and loudest with the answer to “which club had won the most state championships” – Seaside Pirates.

A DJ kept the music (also from the past 40 years) going and the dance floor got pretty crowded.

So with prizes, a good workout on the dance floor (Ann showed them all how to do the Nutbush!), our lolly-filled 40th anniversary glasses, extra anniversary cake and lots of good memories to take home this was a fantastic night and well worth the trip to Sydney.

Check out the photos on the NSW website.