Gunnedah's best young swimmers are primed for the upcoming New England North West Speedo Sprint Heats and Area Championships after completing an intensive high-performance camp on the Gold Coast.
The camp provided the ideal environment for the athletes to improve their skills that will hopefully have them peaking at the upcoming swim meets.
Swimming Gunnedah treasurer Chris Jones said the five-day camp proved invaluable for both the club's athletes and coaches.
"The camp provided our athletes the chance to learn from some of the best athletes and coaches in Australia, and gain a greater understanding of what's required from a physical and also mental perspective to be successful at the top of the sport," he said.
"While it was a short program, it was very intensive which ensured the swimmers and coaches got plenty out of it. They not only spoke about and worked on fundamentals such as their stroke and technique, but also learned about strength and conditioning, nutrition and the mental preparation required by elite swimmers.
"The highlight of the camp though was the opportunity for our swimmers to meet and speak with Olympians, Kaylee McKeown, Mack Horton, Cody Simpson, Emily Seabohm and Lani Pallister as well as Michael Bohl, coach of Emma McKeon, among others. These stars of the sport were so giving of their time and provided amazing insights to training and life as an Olympian."
The camp was made possible in part through the support of Greater Bank's #GreaterNewEngland Community Funding Program.
Swimming Gunnedah took out the public vote and $3000 first prize in the program's December round, which helped offset the cost of sending the 22-member squad to the camp held at the Gold Coast Performance Centre from January 14-19.
With the swimmers now home, their attention turns to the Speedo Sprint Heats and Area Champs, which the club is hosting on February 5-6.
They will be aiming to qualify for the Country Championships to be held at the Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre in February.
Jones said that sending the squad to the Gold Coast would not have been possible without the support of the #GreaterNewEngland program.
"We'd been fundraising for a while to help cover the costs of the camp but as we got close it looked like there'd be a shortfall," he said.
"The Greater Bank program could not have come at a better time, and we can thank them enough for the $3000 that went directly to getting our swimmers to the Gold Coast."
Also benefiting from the December round of the #GreaterNewEngland Community Funding Program were runners-up Nemingha Public School P&C and Animal Welfare League in Tamworth, who received $1000 each.
Greater New England regional sales manager Will Boyd said the community funding program has supported a range of local sporting clubs and athletes and hoped that a future national or international swimmer star may rise from this month's winning club.
"Sport is so important to the fabric of our community and it's fantastic that the #GreaterNewEngland program can again play a role in supporting young athletes who have ambitions to reach the top of their sport," he said.
"Swimming Gunnedah must be congratulated for the role they are playing in supporting and developing their young athletes."
Voting in the January round of the #GreaterNewEngland Community Funding Program is now open, with Gunnedah Speedway Club Inc, Tamworth New-England Goalball Inc and the Guyra Super Spuds in the running for a share of $5000 for the month.
The public can vote online at greater.com.au/greaternewengland.
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