Published: Dec 21, 2012 04:09:54 PM Updated: Mar 19, 2013 09:27:37 AM
In a joint partnership between Swimming Australia, Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and the Australian Sport Commission, a pathway has been opened for up-and-coming Surf Lifesaving swimmers to transform into Olympic marathon Open Water swimming.
As a first step in this program, 13 talented surf swimmers aged 15-19 years were identified to participate in a three day open water swim camp which will finish in Sydney today.
Selected based on their rankings at Australian Surf Lifesaving Nationals earlier this year, athletes were taken though open water swimming drills, technique sessions and strategies, at Maroubra beach and the Des Renford Aquatic Centre.
“Each swimmer has already had successful results in surf races, belt races, and rescue tube races shows potential for open water swimming events,” said former Swimming Australia Open Water Head Coach Greg Towle .
“Ky Hurst represented Australia in the 10km open water event at the past two Olympic Games coming from a surf background and made a successful transition to the sport.”
“We want to tap into more of the talent that comes from the surf and open the doors to the potential of representing Australia at the Olympic Games.”
Swimming Australia and SLSA created Talent Transfer Program to provide an additional entry point for talented surf lifesaving athletes and give them the opportunity to transfer into open water swimming as well as access state and national high performance pathways.
For surf lifesaving coaches, this program hopes to improve the ability coaches have to develop their technical swimming expertise and knowledge.
Swimming Australia’s General Manager for Strategic Relations Adam Pine said he’s looking forward to seeing the future talent come through this program.
“This program is taking us one step closer to broadening the talent pool for open water swimming, ” said Pine.
“We envisaged the camp was not only a training camp for surf swimmers to swim in the open water, but for each athlete to be taught by high performance coaches in a swimming pool. to work on swimming technique as well as participating in lectures on nutrition, race preparation and strategies.”
Swimming Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia will continue to work together to build this program and pathway in the lead up to Rio 2016.
Athletes attending the camp:
Alyssa Koenen, 15, QLD
Alyssandra Gasparotto, 15, NSW
Elyssa Pierce, 16, NSW
Lana Rogers, 16, QLD
Jessica Suriano, 16, NSW
Elyssia Gasparotto, 17, NSW
Ann Glen, 19, QLD
Cooper Krenkels, 16, NSW
Jack Gray, 16, QLD
Josh Brown, 16, NSW
Ben Thornton, 17, NSW
Jake McKenzie, 19, SA
Liam Ryan, 19, WA