Youngsters lap up Kooty carnival

IT’S been growing every year and Kootingal-Moonbi Swimming Club hosted its biggest ever  carnival yesterday.

Over 200 swimmers took to the water from clubs as far away as Sawtell, Moree, Narrabri and Glen Innes.

Next to the host  club, Narrabri was one of the best-represented clubs with almost 30 swimmers competing.

That was double what they brought over last year.

Kootingal coaches Graham Johnstone and Greg Poetschka were delighted with the turnout.

The carnival has been getting bigger each year for the last four or five years.

“We started with 700 (entries), which was good,” Johnstone said. “Then when we broke 1000 we were very excited.” 

This year they topped 1200.

It meant they had to start the carnival half an hour earlier and, in the more popular events like 50m freestyle, there were up to 13 heats.

Another pleasing thing was the quality of the swimmers.

“There’s a lot of good swimmers,” Johnstone said.

“This is the best quality we’ve had.”

Some like Sawtell’s Luke Mallia were chasing national qualifying times. 

Others were using the carnival as a final hit-out before State Championships, which start for the younger kids on Friday and the 12-18-year-olds next Monday.

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