Swimmers target state carnivals after tough summer
'RECORD-BREAKING' Byron Bay Swimming Club representatives have been hailed for their "amazing" efforts after defying the odds to book places against some of the state's elite junior competitors.
A total of 26 swimmers from the club are preparing to take part in three state school events in Sydney next month.
The swimmers, believed to be the biggest contingent from the club to attend the contests, have qualified for the events despite being without a hometown training pool for several weeks this summer.
Club secretary and assistant coach Helen Buckley said she was delighted with the efforts of her charges.
"The kids have put in a great effort," she said.
"They just seem to get on with it.
"It is rewarding to see all the swimmers supporting each other. They are an amazing bunch of kids."
The swimmers were forced to travel to the Lennox Head for training after their Byron Bay Swimming Pool base was rendered unusable by summer storms.
The lack of a pool disrupted club training nights and cut into the swimmers' training time.
Despite the problems, club representatives, who come from eight schools in the FNC region, battled through school, zone and regional qualifiers to earn their places at the meets.
Top young swimmers from throughout the state will take part in the primary school, high school and Catholic school competitions.
The events will be held at Sydney's prestigious Homebush Bay complex after Easter.
Buckley admitted the group now faced a "tough" challenge for medals, but said the children had already done well to qualify.
"The country kids have it tough, so they all put in a great effort to reach this level," she said.
"You get the city clubs which have year-round facilities.
"We have medalled in the past (at these events), but PBs are the ultimate for us.
"I'm sure they will go well."