A small Lake Macquarie swimming club has finished among the top 10 swimming teams in country NSW, and its star performers are set to compete at a national competition.
The 11 young swimmers from Charlestown Swim Club placed ninth of 70 clubs at the recent 2019 NSW Country Championships, beating squads from much larger clubs in regional NSW.
Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said it was fantastic to see young athletes punching well above their weight in the pool.
“Many have come up through the ranks in Lake Macquarie, progressing to elite status,” Cr Fraser said.
Club coach Karen Leth said many of Charlestown’s 11 competitors at the championships achieved personal best times in their chosen events.
“Some went one better, recording times fast enough to qualify for national competition,” Ms Leth said.
They included 18-year-old Aden Searant, who took out silver in the 50m backstroke, and 14-year-old Charlie Walker, who won bronze in the 200m backstroke and 400m individual medley events.
At just 11 years old, Charlie’s younger brother, Alex, is too young to compete at national level, but showed his potential with gold medals in the 100m butterfly, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.
Ms Leth said that while 13-year-old Kelsey van Eldick did not win a medal at the championships, her times in the 100m and 200m breaststroke meant she qualified for national competition.
Aden, Charlie and Kelsey will compete next month at the national championships in South Australia.
“We are so proud of all our competitors,” Ms Leth said.
“Their results show what is possible through commitment and determination.”
Other members of the Charlestown Swim Club squad were: Nathaniel Dean, Adelle Austin, Zachary Renshaw, Demi Parsons, Charles Walker, Hallie Boucher, Breanna James and Brodie Wright.