Ath­letes ready for vir­tual swim

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Perera

Pil­bara swim­mers are pre­par­ing to take on the Rot­tnest Vir­tual Channel Swim this year, with the com­pe­ti­tion lined up to run at the Kar­ratha Leisure­plex, the Wick­ham Re­cre­ation Precinct pool and the Ex­mouth Pal­tridge Memo­rial Swim­ming Pool.

At the Kar­ratha Leisure­plex, six teams will take part in a swim de­signed to match the dis­tance swum in the pop­u­lar metropoli­tan com­pe­ti­tion on Satur­day morn­ing.

Five teams of 10, in­clud­ing two Kar­ratha Wa­ter Polo As­so­ci­a­tion sides, and one team of four in­clud­ing City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long, will take to the wa­ter for the 20km com­pe­ti­tion, start­ing shortly af­ter 6am.

The Kar­ratha Wa­ter Polo As­so­ci­a­tion has been run­ning the vir­tual swim­ming com­pe­ti­tion at the Leisure­plex and en­ter­ing its own teams since 2013.

KWPA pres­i­dent Justin An­gove said this year’s men’s and women’s Mar­lins sides were rar­ing to go and were us­ing the swim as train­ing for their WA Coun­try Cham­pi­onships bid next week.

“The Vir­tual Rotto Swim is not only a great team-build­ing ex­er­cise for our guys and girls ahead of their trip to Ger­ald­ton, it is also ex­tremely hard work so it’s the per­fect event to com­ple­ment our train­ing regime,” he said.

“The Mar­lins men won the event last year and hold the pool record for the swim, and we’re hop­ing to beat that this year.”

In Wick­ham, one team will also be tak­ing part in its own swim at the Wick­ham Re­cre­ation Precinct swim­ming pool.

Mean­while, Ex­mouth’s Pal­tridge Memo­rial Swim­ming Pool is run­ning the vir­tual swim com­pe­ti­tion for a sixth year, with spec­ta­tors’ gold coin do­na­tions go­ing to the Royal Fly­ing Doc­tor Ser­vice.

Seven Ex­mouth teams, in­clud­ing three teams of four and four nov­elty teams of up to 10 peo­ple, will be tak­ing part. Shire of Ex­mouth Com­mis­sioner Ian Fletcher said the event at­tracted a wide va­ri­ety of com­peti­tors, with this year’s swim­mers in­clud­ing a group of 10-16-year-olds, as well as fam­ily and work­place teams.

“The Vir­tual Rot­tnest Swim has grown sig­nif­i­cantly in the last six years and this year there are 47 swim­mers tak­ing part,” he said.

“The Shire is re­ally pleased to sup­port an event that en­cour­ages healthy life­style and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity and cre­ates a great sense of ca­ma­raderie, pride and achieve­ment for those tak­ing part.”

He en­cour­aged the Ex­mouth com­mu­nity to go down and sup­port the swim­mers tak­ing on the 400 lap chal­lenge.

The pool gates open at 6am on Satur­day.

Pic­ture: Tepi Smith

The Kar­ratha Wa­ter Polo As­so­ci­a­tion men's team Mar­lins 1 cel­e­brate be­ing the first to fin­ish the 2016 Vir­tual Rot­tnest Channel Swim at the Kar­ratha Leisure­plex.

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