Published: Oct 4, 2012 08:53:26 AM Updated: Oct 31, 2012 12:04:16 PM
A group of aspiring young swimmers from Ginninderra Swim Club in Canberra and the surrounding areas were treated to a visit from dual Olympian Belinda Hocking this morning, as part of their EnergyAustralia GoSwim day activities.
As the EnergyAustralia GoSwim month gets into full swing, clubs across the country will have some of Australia’s best swimmers on hand to encourage club participation, teach new skills and talk to young swimmers about their journey towards Olympic and Paralympic success.
The Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre (CISAC) played host to more than 30 swimmers today as they participated in organised activities, swim clinics, a barbecue lunch and a question and answer session with world championship silver medallist Belinda Hocking.
Growing up in a rural area made club swimming difficult for Hocking who had to travel for over two hours to get to and from training each day, but the enjoyment she got from swimming far outweighed the distance dilemma.
“My parents always drove me to and from training but they realised that swimming was making me happy and being part of a club was making me happy, so they kept it up pretty much every day until I was 15,” Hocking said.
The London Olympic finalist had moved to the Australian Institute of Sport at just 15-years-of-age and looked back fondly on her time spent training with the likes of Jodie Henry and Alice Tait (nee Mills).
“Being part of a supportive club environment strengthened my love of swimming and knowing that I had a good coach and teammates that I could talk to helped a lot.
“I looked up to people like Jodie Henry and being able to train and spend time with her at the AIS was so important, that’s why I like helping these kids because I can give back to the swimming community.”
“If I can get kids into swimming, enjoying their sport and enjoying a healthy lifestyle well then, that’s great,” Hocking said.
The 22-year-old was able to share her experiences in juggling training with school and travel to the young kids that may face similar issues as they continue in the sport.
“Most of these kids train twice a day nearly every day and it’s good to be able to help answer questions they have, it’s nice knowing that the issues and experiences I went through can help them when they are faced with similar situations,” Hocking said.
Hocking originally started swimming to help with childhood asthma and encouraged other families to get involved in swimming even if it was just for the health and water safety benefits.
The GoSwim days will continue throughout October and for more information on how to join a club or get involved with the GoSwim activities, visit http://www.goswim.org.au