In its 46th year City of Charm swim meet again made a splash with swimmers as they took their last opportunity to set a qualifying time for state titles.
The 266 competitors from 27 clubs across the state took advantage of the perfect weather as they drew upon all their training and competed against some of Queensland best athletes.
Bundaberg Swimming Academy manager Michele Watson congratulated Bundaberg Regional Council for providing Norville Park Swimming Pool as a venue to host City of Charm.
“Bundaberg Regional Council should be very proud that this is one of the few venues in Queensland that can run a full swim program that parents can spectate at,” Michele said.
“This is because of the size of the grounds and because there are no learn-to-swim, gyms or other programs operating on site at the same time.
“The whole facility can become the field of play. Families are so very grateful for that.
“Many families have indicated this is the first time they will have watched their children compete since March.”
Next generation comes through at City of Charm
Bundaberg Swimming Academy had 33 swimmers take to the pool under the guidance of coaches Paul Simms and Scott Hamlet.
Scott said nominations were up on previous years and it was a great opportunity for the juniors to take part alongside the seniors.
“The whole idea of this competition in swimming is for the kids to use this and better themselves and aim to swim PBs,” Scott said.
“This is one of the first swim meets since COVID in our town, and its open to eight-year-olds right up to 99-year-olds.”
Paul said the biggest challenge ahead for local swimming was that in the last two years the community had lost some of their best young swimmers, such as Isaac Cooper, Connor Simms and now Tobias Street, who had all gone off to university.
“Basically we are now focusing on getting the next generation of swimming superstars,” he said.
“We are looking at the Kasey Krueger, the Indi Bland and Aarj Day, who just won his 100 fly, so these are our next Toby Street and Connor Simms.
“We have a bit of work ahead of us, but it's good to see our guys finishing Year 12 and moving onto high-performance programs, and they need to be in that environment where they can thrive.”
Tobias Street, who was awarded a Bond scholarship and previously swam for Bundaberg Swim Academy, said it was fantastic to be back in the water since COVID had put a dampener on a lot of competitions this year.
Tobias’ mum Emma Street said City of Charm swim meet always had a good turnout and it was the biggest meet in Queensland outside of Brisbane metro.
“We are in our 46th year and it’s always a popular swim meet, with a very supportive environment,” she said.
“It’s good to see big kids like Toby support the younger kids, who look up to him.
“This is the last qualifying meet for kids to get their qualifying times for state titles and if they don’t make the cut by this weekend than they can’t go, so it’s always a good turnout.”
Michele said swimming officials and Wide Bay management committee also attended City of Charm to see how the weekend went in relation to hosting further events.
“Norville is a great venue and the positive comments we are getting from families indicates they are looking forward to a weekend of fast swimming and family times,” she said.
“There will be 180 families staying in Bundaberg and Bargara this weekend.”