Why growing Ipswich club has achieved premier status
SWIMMING: As four of Woogaroo's most talented swimmers prepare for next week's Australian Age championships, the growing Ipswich club is celebrating another achievement.
The Woogaroo Swimming Club this season gained Premier Division status in the Brisbane competition, completing a massive elevation this year.
Club manager and former Olympic medallist Justin Lemberg is proud of everyone who has contributed to Woogaroo becoming the only Ipswich club in the top flight competition.
"Our club started in the Brisbane competition in fifth division five years ago,'' Lemberg said.
"As we go into this year, we've just been promoted into Premier Division so that means we are a top 10 club in the Brisbane competition, which is absolutely awesome.''
Woogaroo has risen from 1st Division last year to the highest level out of more than 50 clubs in the metropolitan area.
Woogaroo covers swimming activities at the Goodna Aquatic Centre, Bundamba pool and training facilities at Ipswich Grammar School and Ipswich Girls' Grammar School.
As for why Woogaroo has continued to grow with 150 swimmers, Lemberg said it was the quality of people in the region.
"It's a mixture of everything and I think we will only get stronger next year as well because we will have more kids that join the club,'' the 1984 Los Angeles 400m bronze medallist said.
"It's just everyone. It's the parents that help out. It's our business getting stronger. It's the coaches that are coaching well.
"We have coaches' meetings every month to make sure that everyone is on the same track.
"Each one of the coaches at each centre are doing a fantastic job.
"I guess it's a perfect storm of good swimming.''
Lemberg is the company owner of Just Sports n Fitness at Goodna, directly involved with Woogaroo and other regional swimming facilities over the past decade.
"In a catchment area of 100,000 people, we should have some good swimmers coming out of the place as well,'' he said.
Reflecting on Woogaroo's progress, Lemberg was in Adelaide for the Australian open championships leading into next week's Australian Age titles.
Woogaroo Swimming Club is being represented by Jayden Allum, Hermes Suen, Sebastien Carvolth and Poppy Wilson at the competition starting on Monday.
Coach Noel Donnelly trains Allum, Suen and Carvolth at the Ipswich Grammar School pool.
Allum, 17, is contesting the 100m and 200m breaststroke and 100m and 200m freestyle.
Suen, 15, is entered in the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly.
Carvolth, 15, has the biggest program competing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, 200m and 400m individual medley, 100m freestyle and 200m backstroke.
Woogaroo will also be represented by 15-year-old Poppy Wilson in the multi-class events.
She trains with Stephen Ballhause at the Ipswich Girls' Grammar School pool.
Wilson is lining up in the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 50m and 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 50m and 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.
The Woogaroo swimmers contesting the national age titles leave on Saturday for Adelaide.
The championships run until April 23.