It was one of the toughest swimming seasons on record, with bushfires and smoke stopping training at times, and Covid-19 leading to the cancellation of major representative swim meets.
Despite all of these challenges, 11 Tumut swimmers have been selected in Southern Inland Swimming Association development squads, with no less than nine progressing from Tumut Swimming Club.
Coach Max Hargreaves was proud of his swimmers, and said it was a huge achievement for the small club that had been through a very trying period.
“When you consider the season we had last year, it was a horrendous for swimmers,” Hargreaves said.
“It was a great achievement, we haven’t had results like that for a while.”
Hargreaves said the end of the season really saw some fast times being swum in the Tumut pool and regional carnivals, and he hopes these SISA selections act as motivation for his swimmers to strive for even better times next season.
“It was only late in the season that they bloomed and for the club it was a great to see,” Hargreaves said
“I think it motivates them, their eyes light up and they realise they have achieved something, it certainly helps them along.”
Eddie Dodds of Tumut Swim Club and Kade Knight of Wagga Swim Club were two of only six SISA swimmers selected in the National Age Representative squad.
In the next step down, Duncan Smallwood and Jacob Ambrose for Tumut Swim Club and Lillian Holtorf of Wagga Swim Club qualified for the Senior Area Swim Club.
Tumut Swim Club also had Lachlan Arentz, Andy Dodds, Kian Knight, Will Crawford, Cybella Roddy and Lulu Saunders selected in the Green Squad, a stepping-stone to hopefully one of the area representative squads in the coming years.
More accolades were heaped on four Tumut swimmers too, with Jacob Ambrose achieving bronze standard, and Ashton Ambrose, Cybella Roddy and Lachlan Arentz achieving Blue standard in the Bio Island Australian Junior Excellence results.
The standards are issued by Swimming Australia, and reward dedicated and consistent swimmers, who aren’t afraid to attend a variety of events and continue to improve their times.
“They basically have thresholds they need to meet, they need to attend so many carnivals and keep improving on their times and to have four Tumut swimmers recognised by Swimming Australia in brilliant,” Hargreaves said.
SISA Development Officer Erica Beggs was astonished by the consistent results coming out of Tumut after a disrupted 2019/20 season.
“It’s fantastic, it is really good to see these results showing after limited pool time,” Beggs said.
“It has been a shortened season, so to see these results come through, and to see Tumut swimmers attending so many regional carnivals is terrific.”
Beggs believes the future for Tumut Swimming Club looks very bright, and praised Hargreaves and his coaching team for the work put into the club’s young swimmers.
“All these results comes from the coaching and to see what Max (Hargreaves) has been doing for the club it remarkable,” Beggs said.
“He is so committed to up skilling and making himself a better coach and you see that with his swimmers.
“It is a club with so many of those younger swimmers coming through together, there is massive group of them and the club will go from strength to strength in the coming seasons.”