The Alice Springs Swimming Club has achieved a lot in the 40 years since it was established by a group of keen parents to encourage local children to pursue their love for swimming. The club has produced swimmers who have broken Australian records, won medals at the Australian Age Championships and who have swum at Olympic and World Championship Trials and Australian Open Championships. Impressive results considering there was no heated indoor pool in Alice Springs until 2012 forcing swimmers to rely on land training during the five months when the pool was closed!
The club’s first swimmer to break an Australian record was Luke Van Haaren who in 1998 broke the 14-years 50m freestyle – the record stood for a number of years too! The club was the starting platform for a number of swimmers who moved towns to train at a year-roundsquad, such as Nick Donald who was just 9-years-old when he joined the club. As he progressed through the ranks, Nick broke a number of Ian Thorpe’s age records. A member of the Australian under 18 team who competed at the 2007 Junior Pan Pacific Championships, Nick won an impressive four gold medals at the meet. He also competed at the 2016 World Championship Trials and finished third in the 400m freestyle behind Grant Hackett and Craig Stephens.
There are three squads at the club: the Junior Squad, Intermediate Squad and the Senior Squad. The Junior Squad is for swimmers who want to develop their stroke or fitness levels. The Senior Squad has a more intensive training regime and is aimed toward swimmers who are focused on competitive swimming, or advanced fitness.
The club runs its own swimming meets at the Alice Springs Leisure Centre as they are hundreds of kilometres from another club and to get to state competitions is a 1200km journey. The club’s emblem is a camel, a common sight in the nearby desert but rarely seen in the water!
We fully intend to ensure that the future will be just as fruitful. We also have a very good support group of parents who work tirelessly to make our club the best. Over past years this group has raised funds to purchase the electronic timing equipment, build the brick control room by the pool, and help subsidize trips away for swimmers to attend meets and training camps, and provide coaches with development opportunities.