New backstroke ledges which assist competition swimmers during the start-up of their race have been installed at Norville Park Swimming Pool just in time for the City of Charm event being held this weekend.
Bundaberg Regional Council has worked with the Bundaberg Swimming Academy to install the ledges, which are being put to good use as more than 400 swimmers compete in the annual competition hosted by the Bundaberg Swim Team.
Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said the ledges were beneficial to local and visiting swimmers in many ways.
“This specialised equipment hooks over the top of the starting blocks and can assist with improving the start push and trajectory of the swimmer when entering the water,” he said.
“Each device features five different adjustment positions, grip handle, anti-skid surface and more.
“By using the backstroke ledge a swimmer gains power and force when entering the water.”
Cr Habermann said the ledges were an integral device in preparing local swimmers for competition or even for a possible future in the Olympics or Commonwealth Games.
“The ledges are FINA compliant which gives swimmers in the Bundaberg Region some experience using them in a race setting before they progress further to state or national trials,” he said.
“Overall, it could also greatly assist in getting our local swimmers to an Olympic or Commonwealth Games standard.
“Bundaberg already has a number of amazing Olympic swimmers and these devices will help our future sports stars to train like the best.”
The ledges are not the only addition to Norville Pool in recent times, with the devices complementing a timing system and scoreboard which were installed a few years ago.
Jessica Watson of the Bundaberg Swimming Academy said the ledges had arrived just in time for the 48th City of Charm swimming competition weekend.
She said the ledges would give regional swimmers an opportunity to prepare themselves for championship meets.
“Norville Park Swimming Pool has state of the art facilities that just keep getting better every year,” Jessica said.
“This year we see the introduction of backstroke ledges that are brand new to Bundaberg.
“This is the only regional venue that provides this opportunity for swimmers to prepare themselves for State and National Championships.”
Olympic swimmers take part on City of Charm
Jessica said this year's meet was the biggest since 2001, with 412 swimmers ranging from eight years old to 33 years old participating.
She said among the crowd would be some familiar faces, with five Olympic swimmers also attending the event.
Local swimmers will meet with Olympians Isaac Cooper, David Morgan, Alexander Graham, Thomas Neill and Paralympian Liam Schluter.
“It’s a fantastic year to swim alongside their Olympic heroes, especially Isaac Cooper, but we also see a great depth of field in all age groups,” Jessica said.
“This meet benefits Bundaberg is so many ways, we are bringing around 350 families into the region who will be here for the weekend, this not only helps accommodation providers but also hospitality venues.
“Specifically to the swimmers, this provides our local swimmers the best opportunity to have some serious competition in their own back yard.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey will welcome swimmers at the official opening tomorrow morning and said he was thrilled to see such a large take up of participants at the local event.
“It's fantastic to see that more than 400 swimmers are participating in the City of Charm event and I want to congratulate organisers for putting together an amazing carnival,” he said.
“Bundaberg is the home of many great swimmers who have gone on to achieve Olympic status and I am sure there are many more of our future Olympians ready to swim their hearts out in this weekend's event.
“Good luck to everyone involved!”
The 48th City of Charm meet is held at Norville Park Swimming Pool this weekend with the official opening beginning at 7.45am on Saturday.