Hunter Valley All Stars coach Damon Rodd believes there is a revival of sorts for swimming in the Maitland area.
Rodd’s Rutherford-based squad travelled to the NSW Country Short Course Championships in Sydney recently and returned with the club’s first medal and a host of final finishes.
Rodd said opportunities for aspiring Maitland swimmers to train close to home in winter have been limited since the end of the United team at Hit ‘n’ Dip Green Hills more than a decade ago.
“There haven’t been a lot of chances for kids around here recently and I think this marks a bit of a resurgence,” he said.
“This group came here to train from elsewhere but, eventually, our current learn-to-swim kids who started here will progress to the main squad.”
Rodd said the quality of swimming was high despite only using a 17-metre indoor heated pool.
Lorn 13-year-old Claudia Yates was the standout performer for Hunter Valley All Stars with a silver medal in the under-14 girls’ 100 metre backstroke.
Yates, a talented surf lifesaver as well, recorded high finishes in both the 100 and 200 metre freestyle as well as the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley.
Aberglasslyn 14-year-old Rozelle Kleyn made finals of the 100m breaststroke and 100m backstroke in her age group. Windella 14-year-old Sydney Slade and Bellbird 14-year-old Harry Whitfield were top 10 in their respective 100m freestyle events.
Hunter Valley All Stars train out of Just Like Fish Swim School, which is on Hinkler Drive in the Rutherford Industrial Estate.
Maitland Mercury | By Josh Callinan, July 14, 2015.