Published: Nov 21, 2012 03:48:19 PM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:35:28 AM
Olympians Christian Sprenger, Libby Trickett and Lara Davenport have shared their Olympic dreams and tips with more than 100 school children from remote parts of central Australia today, at the 2012 Bush Schools Swimming & Lifestyle Clinic in Alice Springs.
With some schools travelling more than 800km to attend the clinic, held in 40 degree heat at the Alice Springs Aquatic Centre, Sprenger, Trickett and Davenport were on hand to provide some swimming tips, and talk to the indigenous children, aged eight to 12, about water safety, training hard and a good healthy diet.
A triple Olympian from Athens, Beijing and London, Trickett said the opportunity to meet the kids and share some stories has been a humbling experience.
“This is the third time I’ve been on one of these community visits to central Australia and it’s great to be able to share some experiences with these kids and see the smiles on their faces when they swim,” said Trickett.
“They are so energetic and keen to get in the water which is fantastic to see.”
A silver medallist at the London Olympics in the 100m breaststroke, Christian Sprenger was definitely a crowd favourite, especially when he presented his medal for a show-and-tell session.
“It’s really awesome to show them what a medal looks like, up close and personal, and everyone is always surprised at how heavy it is,” said Sprenger.
“To see these kids have so much fun in and around the water on a hot day, reminds you of everything you love about the sport and just swimming for fun.”
“Hopefully we’ve been able to pass on a few tips to these kids and who knows we may see some of them at club and state meets in the near future.”
Celebrating its 10th year and organised by Yipirinya School, Swimming Northern Territory and the local community, the Clinic aims to provide a fun and educational element to swimming for the children involved.
Swimming NT Executive Director David Evans says the Clinic is an important part of developing the sport in the region.
“Yipirinya School has played a vital role in pulling this Clinic together for the last 10 years and should be congratulated on their commitment to the sport and the community benefits that it promotes,” said Evans.
“It’s great to have some of our London Olympians here this year to get involved in the Clinic and also Beijing Olympian Lara Davenport who has now been coming to Alice to help out for the last four years.”
“Clinics like these help promote the safety and fun elements of swimming but they are also an opportunity for us to provide professional development to some of our age group swimmers and coaches who get involved as well.”
The 2012 Bush Schools Swimming and Lifestyle Clinic will conclude tomorrow with a Swimming Carnival at the Yipirinya School Swimming Pool.