Message from the President
Welcome to your March edition of e-Splash.
February was a hugely exciting month for our swimmers, coaches, clubs and volunteers with a lot going on both in and out of the pool right across the State.
The Open Water Swimming Series continued in fine form with Rockingham and Shorehaven hosting rounds 11 and 12. It was great to see so many new and familiar faces challenging themselves in open water. On Sunday 26 February the OWS Series took to Rottnest’s Thomson’s Bay with a special Champs of the Bay swim just for kids aged 7-13 years-old.
The kids emulated their Rottnest Channel swim heroes, having a go in 150m, 300m, 450m and 600m distances. Everyone who crossed the finish line got a big cheer from the crowd and, judging by the smiles, I’m sure we’ll see these eager young swimmers at the beach again soon. Our thanks to Rottnest Express.
It was a very busy month in the pool with the End of Summer Sensation attracting hundreds of swimmers from all over WA as they took up one of their last opportunities to qualify for Nationals. There was some very fast swimming over the weekend and I look forward to seeing some of our best and brightest taking on the Australian Age Swimming Championships next month.
The March long weekend saw the return of Swimming WA’s "Festival of Swimming" with events in Kalgoorlie and Perth taking in almost 2,000 swimmers.
On Friday 3 March, I opened the A Division of the SunSmart Club Premierships at HBF Stadium. The A, B, C and D Division Club Premierships were held over Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Premierships were an outstanding celebration of team spirit and rivalry with noise that, at times, seemed louder than an ACDC concert. What an atmosphere! Sincere thanks to all those involved with the organisation of the march out costumes; a lot of work went into them and made the event very special. .
While our metro Clubs were competing at HBF, our country Clubs were just as busy – taking on the 2017 Country Pennants in Kalgoorlie. Darren Beazley and I were delighted to be there on the Saturday and Sunday to witness the passion and meet as many of the swimmers, coaches and volunteers as possible. Altogether, it was a weekend of very fast swimming in the Goldfields with records from as far back as 1970 being broken. Bunbury emerged as the major winner of the day, host Kalgoorlie took B, Georgina Molloy took C, Boddington won D and Pinjarra won E Divsion.Special thanks go to Goldfields Oasis for their support of a wonderful event. We took over that facility for the Country Pennants at considerable cost to the City. Swimming WA is very grateful to Goldfields Oasis for their continued support.
I would like to wish heartfelt congratulations to all the swimmers who competed at the SunSmart Club Premierships and County Pennants this past weekend. It was so encouraging to see our swimmers supporting each other and working as a team. You did your Clubs and our sport proud.
On Monday 6 March the Festival of Swimming concluded with 550 swimmers taking to the pristine waters of Leighton Beach in Round 13 of the Open Water Swimming Series.
It was great to see Premier Collin Barnett and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt along on the morning.
While we had many swimmers backing up their efforts from last weekend’s Rottnest Channel Swim with a 5km swim, Leighton also saw many people brand new to the sport come and see what open water is all about with a 150m Come and Try Swim. A highlight for me was handing a ribbon to a tiny 6-year old girl who completed the 150m and ran up the beach smiling having beaten a number of older swimmers to the finish!
I applaud everyone who took to the water yesterday and look forward to seeing you again at this season’s final round – Suburbs to the City on 18 March.
With so much of March still to come, I encourage everyone to check the Swimming WA calendar for opportunities to get involved. Whether it’s the Optus Junior Dolphins Carnival, an open water swim or one of the many pool events, there’s something for everyone and I encourage you to get involved as much as you can.