The Western Star - - Sport - LUCY RUTHERFORD [email protected]­ern­

SWIM­MING: De­spite the scarcity of wa­ter in south­west Queens­land, there’s plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties for ru­ral swim­mers to progress in the sport, ac­cord­ing to Head Coach and Na­tional Age Coach of Nudgee Col­lege Michaela Pat­tin­son.

The in­nau­gu­ral St Joseph’s Nudgee Col­lege free swim clinic was held on the week­end in Roma for swim­mers from as far as St Ge­orge and Dalby.

“We do a trip to Goondi ev­ery year and the kids ab­so­lutely love it, they just soak it all up,” Pat­tin­son said.

“We saw a need of put­ting back into the com­mu­nity. We thought here’s an op­por­tu­nity to visit some fam­i­lies and spread a lit­tle bit of good­will.”

Along­side Pat­tin­son was Nudgee Swim­ming Di­rec­tor David Proud, the two di­vulged their wealth of knowl­edge along­side three Nudgee swim­mers who made it to a na­tional level.

“Lachie (a Nudgee Col­lege na­tional swim­mer) was from a coun­try town.

“He knew that be­cause he loved the sport, he had to move be­cause he wasn’t get­ting the coach­ing he needed,” Pat­tin­son said. “He went from not mak­ing age to a na­tional swim­mer.

“He’s done a lot in two years so there are big op­por­tu­ni­ties out there if kids from ru­ral towns want to progress.” For Roma All Stars coach Stacey Robert­son, the clinic led by coaches who have taught Aus­tralian team rep­re­sen­ta­tives and na­tional age cham­pi­ons was just as valu­able to her as it was to the kids. “Just by watch­ing the way David’s do­ing things and how he is work­ing with my swim­mers, it’s giv­ing me more ideas on how I can teach them,” Robert­son said. “I’m tak­ing just as much from the clinic as the kids are. “One of our male swim teach­ers, Ben Bright, went to Nudgee and he still holds records there so it’s pretty cool to have that con­nec­tion. “It’s great that they brought some of their stu­dents to teach the kids, and that they’re put­ting in their own time to help us.”

Pic­ture: Lucy Rutherford

MAK­ING A SPLASH: St Joseph's Nudgee Col­lege came to Roma this week­end for swim­ming clinic, with kids from all over the south­west at­tend­ing.

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