Club prepares for wave of punters
The Karratha Amateur Swimming Club is preparing for one of the biggest turnouts for the North West Open in recent history, with more than 250 competitors from across the state coming to town this weekend.
Competitors are gearing up for a busy weekend in the Leisureplex pool for one of the biggest swimming competitions in the North West.
Karratha Amateur Swimming Club’s North West Open will see 257 swimmers across 1811 events descend on the Leisureplex this weekend, the highest turnout for the event in years.
Competitors will be coming in from clubs in Perth, Newman, Broome, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Pannawonica, Hedland and Wickham.
Exmouth will be fielding the strongest contingent with 44 swimmers, followed by Karratha (40), Tom Price (31) and Wickham (24).
Two swimmers from Derby have also registered, after missing out over the past few years.
Event organiser Lisa Niikkula said the growth of the competition was encouraging.
“Our numbers are up signifi- cantly, which is fantastic for the North West region,” she said.
“The club has worked hard to re- build after last year and has established a family-friendly competitive atmosphere that is contagious.
“We have a much younger club this year, with many up and coming juniors who should be exciting to watch.”
Niikkula said Brody Benjamin, Sintra Buck, Lara Casper and Brooke Rogers were all swimmers to watch over the weekend.
One of the senior swimmers, Shaela Doherty, will be competing in her last Karratha event after securing a swimming scholarship with a Queensland-based school.
Marni Taylor, 14, is gearing up for her eighth North West Open.
“I just love the sport and the people make it really enjoyable,” she said. “(The competition) really makes you want to keep swimming because of the excitement — everyone is here, which makes it a good chance to meet new people.
“There are a few teams which I am looking forward to seeing in the water.”
Marni encouraged residents to cheer on the local swimmers.
Karratha Amateur Swimming Club is preparing for the North West Open at the Leisureplex.