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01 July 2020
By SARAH MATTHEWS
Horsham Sharks Swimming Club members will start training for the upcoming season following the reopening of their home pool.
President Jen Briggs said she was thrilled Horsham Aquatic Centre would open its doors to the public today.
Club leaders were critical of Horsham Rural City Council’s decision to keep the centre closed despite COVID-19 restrictions easing on June 1.
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The council owns the centre, which is operated by YMCA Victoria.
Mrs Briggs said she was pleased the council reviewed its decision.
“We’re thrilled the pool is reopening and it gives the kids an opportunity to train and try to catch up with their competitors, who have been back in the pool since June 1,” she said.
Mrs Briggs said swimmers were training for Victorian Country Short Course Championships, in Ballarat on August 15 and 16, although she was unsure if the event would go ahead.
“It is still on Swimming Victoria’s calendar, but the kids have to be able to do qualifying meets and I feel like we are running out of time,” she said.
“The long-course championships are in Mildura in January and it looks like that will go ahead. Either way, it’s great that we can get back in the pool again.”
Mrs Briggs’ son Deacon and Warracknabeal’s Lily Eldridge are among national-level swimmers keen to resume training to keep up with their rivals.
Lily’s mother Kelly Ough said her daughter could not wait to return to the water.
“It’s great for Lily, because she is a severe asthmatic and being out of the pool for so long has affected her health,” she said.
“Swimming Victoria hasn’t announced when the competition season will start. They had hinted early August, however with the recent spikes of coronavirus in Melbourne, I don’t think that will happen. Regardless, Lily will still get back in the pool and train as though she has competitions.”
Lily competes for Melbourne Vicentre Swim Club, based at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, while Deacon swims with Ballarat Gold.
Horsham Sharks Claudia and Jack Lanyon and Deacon’s brother Chase will also compete for Ballarat Gold this season.
Mrs Briggs said the swimmers would benefit from advanced training.
“They have reached the point where they need extra help and guidance,” she said.
“Ballarat Gold has a paid coach, who attends all the championship meets. All the smaller clubs in the Wimmera rely on volunteers.”
Mrs Briggs said the swimmers would split their training between Ballarat and Horsham pools.
“Their coach will give them training programs they can do on their own,” she said.
“During the school holidays we will be down to Ballarat for training every second day, but once school goes back, we will go to Ballarat on Saturday mornings and one day during the week.”
Mrs Briggs said under new rules, the Wimmera District 12 swimmers were allowed to have dual memberships but could only compete for one club.
She said her family would join Ballarat Gold so all members could compete for the same club.
The 2019-20 swimming season finished yesterday, as did Mrs Briggs’ term as president of the Sharks.
She said a new executive would be appointed at the club’s annual meeting on August 2.
The entire July 1, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!