Men won’t turn to jelly
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.”
Superfins Greg Black and Brett Silvester prepare for the Swim Thru Perth this weekend.