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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!

David Bale achieves Two Million Metres – April 2015

Congratulations to David Bale on achieving his Two Million Metres award in April 2015.

David joined the Million Metres Club in August 2012 around two and a half years after starting his million metres journey. In April this year, David swam his two millionth metre, around 2 ¾ years after his first million.  David tries to swim regularly four times a week: three training sessions and one endurance session.

David said “It was all travelling along quite well until February 2014 when I started to experience some strange symptoms, dizziness, leg pain, fatigue, and spent a considerable amount of February in hospital.  I now know what I was experiencing was the commencement of my Multiple Sclerosis experience.  My arrogant determination kept me swimming and coach Anne Smyth has provided guidance to improve my stroke. I actually swim Butterfly quicker now than before I became unwell. My swimming has helped get me through some of the challenges I experience.  I have lost substantial strength in my left leg yet I persist with my lap swimming.  I also race as often as I can and appreciate my fellow competitors patience as I sometimes struggle to mount the blocks.  We have a great club here in Canberra and I am proud to be a member of the Tuggeranong Vikings as it embodies the spirit of fun, fitness and friendship. It was very pleasing to achieve this milestone of swimming two million metres.  My swimming keeps both my mind and body strong as I manage the challenges presented to me each day by my MS.  I am 10% through my next million.  Hope to rack up plenty of metres as I prepare for Nationals in Melbourne next year.” 

The Vorgee Million Metre Awards is a great way to motivate yourself to keep coming to the pool, so why not start recording yours now!

Smyth Lands Top Coach Accolade – May 2015

Report by Caroline Makin, Club Captain

Our club was featured on the sports page of The Chronicle in Canberra on 26 May 2015 – a celebration of our success as a club, our swimmers and our head coach and most recently our achievements at the Masters Swimming Australia National Championships held in Hobart in April 2015.