A marathon effort
SWIMMER TO BE INDUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME
TAMARA Bruce has experienced the highs and lows of swimming and now her decorated career is set to be recognised on the international stage.
The Lathlain resident and Somerset Swimming Club coach will be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame on April 22.
Among her accomplishments is swimming the English Channel in seven hours and 53 minutes as a 17-year-old in 1994, which is tied for the 14th fastest swim ever.
As a 14-year-old she won the solo category at the Rottnest Channel Swim with a record-breaking time of 4:13:58. Her swimming career came to an end in her early 20s after a bad car crash.
Ms Bruce said it was a big deal to be voted by peers from around the world into the Hall of Fame.
“I'm still very overwhelmed, shocked but very excited,” she said.
“I received a certificate of merit in 1994 from (the Hall of Fame) and that was special but receiving this honour is amazing.
“I found out in December; I kept getting missed calls from Ireland and I thought ‘I don’t think I know anyone living in Ireland anymore’, but was very shocked when I did answer and was told the news. My career seems another lifetime ago but I received so much in return. Some say, ‘don’t you think you missed out on being a normal kid or teenager’ but really what’s considered normal anyway?
“I trained hard, it’s what I wanted, I got to travel the world and experienced so much.”
Ms Bruce said despite missing out on making her first Australian team in 1992 because she was too young, making friends at a USA training camp in Colorado Springs was a career highlight.
“My English Channel swim was also memorable; I went from being disappointed in missing Australian team selection to making one of the fastest crossings in world at the time,” she said.
“Only less than a handful of other people in history had been under eight hours at the time and I ended up being the second fastest ever male or female, and the first was also female.”
These days, Ms Bruce coaches with her father Roger at the family business Brucey’s Squad.
“It's a business we’ve had in the Victoria Park area for 35 plus years; we’ve had numerous successes over that time,” she said.