A marathon ef­fort

SWIM­MER TO BE IN­DUCTED INTO HALL OF FAME

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Aaron Cor­lett

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.

Ta­mara Bruce.

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