By ZAC STANDISH
THE latest COVID-19 snap lockdown has sent swimmers across Victoria into a state of panic as they head into the upcoming national Olympic trials in Adelaide unsure as to whether they can attend.
This has forced the Traralgon Swimming Club to spring to action, as they look to ensure the three swimmers slated to be competing at the trials are best equipped to perform at their best.
Head coach Brian Ford gave an update on how their participants are handling the restrictions.
“One of them has fortunately got out of the state and has gotten to New South Wales and that is Emily Beecroft, having made the team in 2016 she certainly has a great chance of making it again so has gone over to train with another squad,” Ford said.
“Meanwhile the other two (Jordyn Cargill and Elayna Pistrin) are still in Victoria, they are more than likely not going to make the team and they are going to trials for the first time as a qualification for them and it will be great for their resume and an opportunity to swim against the best.”
Following a fantastic performance in Rio, Ford has high hopes for the Paralympian swimmer Beecroft heading into the trials and the ensuing games in Tokyo.
“Emily’s main events are the 100m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle and the 50m Freestyle so her goal is make the Olympic team, that has been what she has been training to do since the last games,” he said.
“After finishing fourth in the 50m Freestyle in Rio, she is obviously keen to get back there and get a medal, it is a lot tougher than last time because there a lot of new swimmers that have come up through the ranks, but the drive and goal is certainly still there.”
As for up and coming teenagers Pistrin and Cargill, he hopes this experience of attending the trials will be a springboard to successful careers.
“Elayna is only 18 and she has been swimming at national age group level for four or five years now and this is the first time she has qualified at an open level, so for her it is just experience, she has got a scholarship to go over to the US in August for four years of collegiate swimming,” he said.
“Jordyn is 16, so for someone that young to make an open time is a great achievement, he got fourth at the recent age-group national championships and for him to get a qualifying time will be great going forward, he is doing the 400m individual medley and compete in some of the slower heats.”
For the club as a whole, Ford said they have taken a really flexible approach to training with the lockdown restrictions currently in place.
“We and many other swimming clubs are doing what we call Zoom meetings in relation to land work, we have got four coaches who do exercises on Zoom with their swimmer at least once per-day,” he said.
“It is all about adapting and getting the best out of the situation, the first lockdown we could either let the kids sit around and do nothing or as a coaching group get together and offer this Zoom program which helps swimmers whether they are brand new or going to Olympic trials.”
He said it is extremely humbling to see the success of the Traralgon Swimming Club program experience recent success and a testament to the coaches to have participants in such high level competition.
“We think our program is one of the better programs in Victoria and country Victoria in particular, so to have swimmers qualify shows the hard work all of our coaches and swimmers put in,” he said.
“It is something we have been doing for a long time so we know what the formula is, so it is about getting people of ages to come down and really commit to our program because it is a recipe for success.”