Fit for champions: Olympic stars laud local pools
AUSTRALIA'S best swimmers have descended upon Alstonville and Ballina for a high-performance training camp as part of their Olympic game's preparation.
The camp was a valuable training block ahead of next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo which were postponed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The camp featured more than 20 swimmers, among them Australian Olympians Cate and Bronte Campbell, as well as Commonwealth game representatives, including Bradley Woodward, and some of Swimming NSW's best young talent.
Metro North East Performance Hub Head Coach Simon Cusack said that the camp was a valuable experience ahead of the Olympic year in 2021.
"We've decided to come up here and do a combined camp just to try and kick off momentum into the Olympic year again," Mr Cusack said.
"The pools are great and that's a big thing to consider when we are training, the pools have to be up to spec and these pools are fantastic."
Cusack said the advent of the coronavirus pandemic had seen the swimmers implement unique training methods to maintain their fitness.
"When lockdown came along we had to get some gym equipment out … then training was conducted via Zoom sessions and we had a gutful of them," he said.
"They had to do tethered work in a backyard unheated pool in a wetsuit, the novelty of that wore off very quickly."
Olympic swimmer Bronte Campbell said the facilities at Alstonville and Ballina, which includes the pools and gym facilities, were high quality.
"It's been amazing to come up here and train, everyone's so lovely and friendly, it's great facilities and it's a great time for us to be outdoors and training as a group because it's been a little bit repetitive this year."
Commonwealth Games representative Bradley Woodward said the camp had been a great opportunity to work with other swimmers to refine their craft.
"Training as a group is really useful, it can be really hard training by yourself so being able to have a group to bounce off and socialise with is beneficial for everyone."