JUNIOR swimmers from the Bunbury Swimming Club recently hit the pools as part of the 2021 Swimming Western Australia Junior Short Course Championships.
Held on September 4 and 5 at HBF stadium in Perth, 11 swimmers from the club qualified to compete, taking home 26 personal best times with a 75 per cent personal best rate.
Whilst Ashlee Kirk, Sofie Osment, Thomas Blandford and Morgan Hill were unable to compete due to other commitments, the remaining seven junior swimmers took part in a range of 33 different events.
Eleven-year-old Sofija Neric notably took home three bronze medals for her 50, 100 and 200 metre breaststroke heats.
Despite competing before, the championships marked the first time Neric had received medals.
"The medals are exciting because I am looking to do swimming as my career.
"Breaststroke is my favourite event, it's an easy stroke for me to swim."
Twelve-year-old Ella Scott-Higgins has been swimming for three years and competed in the 50, 100, 200, 400 and 800 metre freestyle and the 50, 100 and 200 metre backstroke.
Taking out six personal bests, Scott-Higgins said it was a great achievement after putting in a lot of hard work and dedication to the sport.
"The championships were great because I got to challenge myself and push myself to improve, which I did.
"With swimming, as long as you put in the dedication and effort, it doesn't matter how young you start."
Twelve-year-old Marcus van Rooyen competed in the 100 and 200 metre breaststroke and the 50 and 100 metre freestyle.
Van Rooyen placed sixth overall in the 200 metre breaststroke, taking out his own personal best time.
Twelve-year-old Tana Hathway competed in the 50 and 100 metre freestyle, the 50 and 100 metre backstroke, the 50 and 100 metre breaststroke and the 50 metre butterfly.
Hathway achieved personal bests in five out of seven of her heats, taking out fifth overall for the 50 metre breaststroke and sixth overall for the 100 metre breaststroke.
Bunbury Swimming Club coach Martin van Rooyen told the Mail that swimming at a young age was important not only as a life skill, but to set up building blocks towards progress.
"With junior swimmers they can work on their technical aspects earlier and slowly progress from the ground up," van Rooyen said.
As long as you put in the dedication and effort, it doesn't matter how young you start swimming.Bunbury Swimming Club junior swimmer Ella Scott-Higgins
"Our junior swimmers numbers are huge at the club, which has a lot to do with the social aspect. They went quite well at the championships which are short course, 50 metres."
Eleven-year-old Ariana Seaward achieved three personal bests for the 50 and 100 metre freestyle and the 100 metre individual medley, whilst 10-year-old Amelia Ellis competed in the championships for the first time and received personal bests for 50 metre freestyle and 100 metre individual medley.
Eleven-year-old April Scott-Higgins expressed much excitement over achieving her personal best of 35.5 seconds in 50 metre freestyle.
The Bunbury Swimming Club junior swimmers will next complete in the long course championships set for March 2022.
Interested in joining a swimming team? Visit https://www.bunburyswimmingclub.org/.