CHILDERS TEEN CALEB SPARK RETURNS FROM NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL SWIMMING TITLES
Locals dive in to help Caleb swim in Wellington
EVERYONE knows a spark of talent can go a long way with the right training and preparation, but how far can you go with the support of a community like Childers?
In Caleb Spark’s instance, the answer is roughly 2700km.
Powered by waves of community support, Spark returned from the New Zealand National Swimming Championships at Wellington with a swag of personal bests and top-10
Shelley Whitaker There aren’t many people out there with the same drive as Caleb.
finishes in all nine events.
Not bad for a lad who only swam competitively for four years.
Spark was pleased with his efforts in the pool, but it was the district’s help that stood out more than anything.
“That was really good,” he said.
“So many people helped out. We had a trivia night before I left and we had so much support.”
In addition to DrunkBean and the Fudge shop’s donation of prizes for a trivia night, 10 businesses kept sponsorship tins in their offices to help the 15-year-old fulfil the next step of his dream.
Isis District Swim Club president Shelley Whitaker, who contributed baked goods and self-made lip balm for Spark to sell at swimming carnivals (after some trial-and-error she noted), said locals were happy to help.
“I don’t know many adults who put in the amount of work he does,” Whitaker said.
“He’s certainly worked hard for what he’s achieved. Swimming is his dream and he’s focused on making it.
“It (the fundraising success) was his mother through and through.”
Spark has the type of routine that leaves you exhausted just reading about, but the 15-year-old takes it in his stride.
Whitaker said Spark’s success could serve as extra motivation for Isis District SC members despite the fact he is now with Fairymead.
“He had to make a tough decision a few years ago and at that stage the coaching was a bit better at Fairymead,” Whitaker said.
“There aren’t many people out there with the same drive as Caleb.
IN BETWEEN RACES: Tom Green, Caleb Spark and Tom Cole take a breather and have a laugh.