Olympian encouraging kids to enjoy Qld titles
HAVING competed at state titles for a decade, former Olympian Heath Ramsay knows how challenging the annual competition is.
The Queensland championships often attract Australia's best swimmers preparing for national campaigns, as well as overseas competitors chasing experience.
However, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2002 Commonwealth Games butterfly swimmer said the best advice he can give young swimmers is not to over complicate the meet.
"They do x amount of laps in training and generally if they are doing 100m freestyle, they only have two laps to do (at the state titles)," Ramsay said. "It should be easy to put all that energy that they normally do into an hour, or an hour and a half training session, into a minute or minute and a half worth of work.
"Try to make it simple so they don't get nervous."
Ipswich-born-and-bred Ramsay is especially excited about the next state titles at Chandler from December 14-20. The head coach is overseeing a group of 15 swimmers from the recently-formed Western Aquatics club which trains at West Moreton Anglican College.
"We've got just over 100 members and 15 kids going to states. I don't think you can complain too much about that for our first year," he said.
His group includes a mix of swimmers with state titles experience and newcomers, including nine and 10-year-olds starting in the relays.
"They are a fantastic bunch of kids to work with," Ramsay said.
"It's good to have that new bunch coming along to bolster the numbers. That's one thing you look at - trying to increase that number going to states each year as the program gets stronger."
Regional talent Laura Brosnan has qualified for a number of events, having won the 200m butterfly last year. However, she's being monitored after dislocating her knee three weeks ago.
"She's already qualified for nationals so it's more just the physio deciding one way or the other, or whether it's worth swimming at all," Ramsay said.
The other swimmers have been training for 10-12 weeks trying to qualify for, or prepare for, the state titles.
"They are all ready to go," Ramsay said. "It's just freshening them up now and convincing them they've done the hard work."
Western Aquatics swimmers who have qualified for next month's state titles:
- Jillian McFarlane (11 years): 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle and relays.
- Hannah Wheelhouse (11 years): 100m freestyle and relays.
- Lilli Albion (11 years): 200m medley, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly and relays.
- Mackenzie Enchelmaier (12 years): 100m breaststroke and relay.
- Mikaela Gallaher (13 years): 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m freestyle; 100m breaststroke and relays.
- Jenna Downing (13 years): 100m, 200m breaststroke; 100m freestyle and relays.
- Laura Brosnan (13 years): 100m, 200m, 400m freestyle; 100m, 200m butterfly; 200m medley; and relays.
- Jade Kickbusch (16 years): 50m, 100m freestyle; 100m backstroke; 100m butterfly and relays.
- Chloe Eather (14 years): 100m, 200m breaststroke.
- Mikaylah Nugent (15 years): 100m backstroke and relays.
- Maddi Cooke (16 years): 100m, 200m, 400m freestyle.
- Relay competitors: Zoe Hill (10 years), Ella Lane (9 years), Ella Ramsay (9 years), Gracie Albion (10 years).