Northcote and Marion YMCA have kick-started a new cross-border swimming initiative this school holidays.
The two performance arms of the swim clubs came together for a one-week training camp under the watchful eyes of head coaches Ash Delaney and Shelly Jarrett.
Twelve Marion Swimming Club national level swimmers travelled to Melbourne to train in the pool and gym with their 20-plus counterparts at the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre.
Northcote coach Delaney says the camp is the ideal opportunity to meet and train with interstate rivals while building stronger relationships with fellow YMCA members.
“The idea is for our swimmers to train alongside others in their chosen stroke and who are at a similar fitness level,” said Delaney, a silver medallist at the Beijing Olympics. “They will be exposed to another coach and learn new things.”
Jarrett, who was Olympic gold medallist Kyle Chalmers junior coach, says the initiative is a great way to build fitness leading into January’s South Australian State Championships at which more than 30 Northcote swimmers will compete.
The squad trained eight sessions together, including two six-hour days of gym and swim.
SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre general manager Adam Luscombe has been instrumental in forging stronger ties between the two YMCA swim clubs.
“It’s all about inspiring youth and building strong communities,” Mr Luscombe said.
“We’ve always been good at learn to swim and now we have another opportunity to build up our young people and develop communities around these elite squads.”
The YMCA and Marion Swimming Club have been partners for seven years with a lot of success and some big Olympic names, while the Northcote partnership is in its infancy.
“We’re very proud of the Northcote program and what the Y has been able to achieve there,” Luscombe said, adding that there was a wider vision at play.
“It would be great to have a team made up from all the YMCA swim programs to travel overseas to compete. That’s the dream.”