Start­ing off with a splash

Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE -

A $7500 grant has helped pay for the in­stal­la­tion of new pro­fes­sional start­ing blocks at River­ton Leisure­plex and they've al­ready been used by some po­ten­tial Olympic swim­mers.

RIVER­TON Leisure­plex now has pro­fes­sional start­ing blocks that en­able swim­mers to train and com­pete un­der Swim­ming WA meet con­di­tions.

The $17,000 project was funded by a $7500 grant to River­ton Aqua­nauts from the Depart­ment of In­dus­try, In­no­va­tion and Science, and con­tri­bu­tions by the swim­ming club and the City of Can­ning.

River­ton Aqua­nauts pres­i­dent Vanessa Jack­son said the start­ing blocks could also at­tract new mem­bers.

“The blocks will al­low swim­mers to train in an en­vi­ron­ment that repli­cates what they en­counter at lo­cal and na­tional swim­ming meets, and our mem­bers will be able to prac­tice their race starts which can im­prove their times quite sig­nif­i­cantly,” Ms Jack­son said.

“It will ab­so­lutely im­prove the pro­file of our club and will in­crease our pro­fes­sion­al­ism when Aqua­nauts holds swim meets at River­ton Leisure­plex.”

Among those able to make the most of the new starter blocks is a group of swim­mers from China who are tak­ing part in an in­ten­sive train­ing camp un­til late Au­gust.

For the past three years, the Pas­sion and Sun­shine Teenagers Sports Club teens have trav­elled from Shang­hai to im­prove their swim­ming tech­nique and gen­eral fit­ness.

Eigh­teen swim­mers aged 11 to 14 ar­rived with three coaches to train twice a day, six days a week at River­ton Leisure­plex.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell­mu­ni­ d484499

Matthew Lof­fler (left) and Sam Lof­fler, from River­ton Aqua­nauts, put the new start­ing blocks to the test.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell­mu­ni­ d484499

River­ton Aqua­nauts swim­mer Sam Lof­fler try­ing out a start­ing block.

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