Men won’t turn to jelly

Western Suburbs Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

DODG­ING hun­dreds of jel­ly­fish in the Swan River is one of the big­gest chal­lenges fac­ing Superfins WA swim­mers Brett Sil­vester and Greg Black at the an­nual Swim Thru Perth this Sun­day.

“Some­times the jel­ly­fish are so thick that you can’t even see right in front of you,” Sil­vester (34) said.

“But I don’t get ner­vous, I am al­ways just ex­cited. Each time I try beat my per­sonal best time if I can. With any com­pe­ti­tion, ocean or pool, it is just a mat­ter of get­ting in there and get­ting past that fin­ish line. That’s the main thing.”

Event host Clare­mont Masters Swim­ming Club will do­nate part­pro­ceeds from Swim Thru Perth to the WA Dis­abled Sports As­so­ci­a­tion.

Af­ter join­ing Superfins WA at age six, Sil­vester, who has cere­bral palsy hemi­ple­gia, is the long­est-serv­ing com­pet­i­tive mem­ber of the club.

“I’ve been swim­ming since I was lit­tle, ba­si­cally since I was born,” he said.

“When I was about nine I started com­pe­ti­tions, and I thought: ‘Oh, I love this’.

“It’s about feel­ing strong, get­ting fit, so­cial­is­ing with your club­mates and meet­ing new friends from dif­fer­ent swim­ming clubs.”

Black, who has an in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­ity, won the Masters Swim­ming Aus­tralia male age group open wa­ter award in 2013 and 2015.

The 26-year-old said he was train­ing at least three days a week to pre­pare for the swim.

“My first time was in 2008 and I came out muddy, but since then the river has got­ten cleaner,” he said.

“I think 2010 was the tough­est year I’ve ever com­peted, be­cause the weather picked up and it got rougher and rougher.”

It will be the 10th Swim Thru Perth cross­ing for Sil­vester, who will be com­pet­ing in a duo this year.

“When it’s re­ally rough con­di­tions, some of the or­gan­is­ers let me fin­ish the swim re­gard­less of the cut-off time,” he said.

“Af­ter­wards, I think I’ll cel­e­brate with my mates and a cou­ple of beers as well.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d448397

Superfins Greg Black and Brett Sil­vester pre­pare for the Swim Thru Perth this week­end.

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