SOUTH Gippsland Bass Swim Club celebrated the end of another fantastic season on Friday, March 25, at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club.
The club looked back on the club history, celebrating head coach Dylan Muir’s 10 years of coaching.
“It’s not a swim club, it’s a family. You all make my job so much easier,” said Dylan.
Ten years ago when Dylan started, there were 11 swimmers competing at the Gippsland championships and 30 in the club.
In 2022, 110 competed in the championships, with numbers heading towards 150 club members.
At the championships, the club finished second for the fifth year in a row and won the under 14 competition (Ash Delany Trophy) for the third year in a row.
Before lockdown, there were 35 swimmers in the whole junior program. In March 2022, there are that many in the new pre-junior development program and 80 in the junior program.
Word of mouth of how much fun it is, the success of their friends at races and the joy of swimming has seen the club grow, including the hiring of new coach Caiden Gill to help with demand.
There was an acknowledgement of the impact COVID had on the swimmers and club over the past two years, as it’s an indoor sport and this meant a lot of shutdowns.
There were the drives to the outdoor Toora pool to train in (thanks Toora team), the fitness Zooms and the uncertainty for the coaches as to whether there would be a job for them again, which were remembered as part of the celebration of how far the club has come.
Dylan thanked the parents for their major contribution.
“It is you who drives them all over, fuels them, organises them and supports them. This makes our coaching job so much easier.”
The club has had huge success at competitions, finishing fifth at Mildura at the State Country Championships on points in January and 14th at Vic Age Champs out of 150 clubs, with the highest scores at those events ever in the club’s history.
The teams sent to these competitions continue to increase, with 23 making it the age championships and 12 ending up in finals.
While many competitions have finished up, many swimmers are aiming for the school championships at the end of April.
Thirty-seven junior swimmers competed, with 21 making the finals.
This year, the club has had several swimmers break records, with Rahni Matheson holding the current state 100m and 200m breaststroke title for her age and Sophie McKenzie and Rahni Matheson breaking the Gippsland 50m breaststroke records for their age groups.
Soon, seven swimmers head off to the Australian championships, beating the previous record of four, and the club wishes Sophie McKenzie, Trinity O’Keefe, Rahni Matheson, Sienna Matheson, Milla Laub, Skye Munro and Mostyn Lumsden all the best in South Australia and the club wishes them well.
The coaches, committee, officials and volunteers were acknowledged for the ways in which they keep the club running so smoothly.
Brett Kerr, who has stepped down from coaching, was honoured.
“Good coaches are hard to find around here – they don’t grow on trees, and we were lucky to have Brett with us for a long time.
“We appreciate that while he has stepped away, we do love having him back from time to time.”
The club would like to thank the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club who donated to the club as well as the use of the room for the night.
The club will have a two-o-three week break from training over April before preparing for the short course season that starts in June.
Coaches awards: Taylah Matheson, Aiden Kelly, Jasmine Ruffin, Brooklyn Packer and Noah McMillan.
Club champions: Olivia Holmes and Zac Sherar.
Most improved: Georgia Courtney.
Age champions – females:
17-plus W Tomei Dal Pozzo, runner-up Sophie McKenzie.
15-16 W Sienna Matheson, runner-up Trinity O’Keefe.
14 W Milla Laub, runner-up Lara Smyth.
13 Rahni Matheson, runner-up Asha Chambers.
12 Olivia Holmes, runner-up Miah Roberts.
11 Sienna Hunt, runner-up Gypsy Quaife.
10 Eden Roberts, runner-up Hannah Lucas.
9 Emily Croatto, runner-up Jedda Tagell.
8 Josie Richer, runner-up Daisy Gilliam – Rodda.
Age champions – males:
17-plus Josh Seignior, runner-up Luke Muir.
15-16 Cooper Quaife, runner-up Hayden Barnes.
14 Mostyn Lumsden, runner-up Billy Boyd.
13 Zac Sherar, runner-up Josh Hunt.
12 Max Brocklesby, runner-up Will Simmons.
11 Blake Sherar.
10 Rex Brocklesby, runner-up Archie Smyth.
9 Oisin Flynn.
8 Darby Smyth.