Year 10 student and talented swimmer, Col, was recently announced as one of the newest members of the Australian World Para Swimming Team following his impressive performance in the 100m butterfly at the Australian Open Swimming Championships.
Col will make his debut on the international stage later this year when he travels to London to compete in the World Para Swimming Championships which take place from 9 to 15 September.
“There are 34 people on the Australian team which is called the Dolphins,” said Col. “I’m also one of the youngest team members, which is pretty cool.”
It was a busy term-break for Col, who also achieved amazing success at the Multi-class National Age Championships where he won the 400m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m breaststroke and 100m butterfly. He also swam personal best times in each of these races.
“It’s quite daunting when the cameras are filming your race, but I think the pressure helps me to swim really well at competitions,” said Col.
Col also swam at the National Age Swimming Championships where the top 40 swimmers in each age group compete. This places Col in the top 40, 15-year-old male swimmers in Australia!
Following an intense period of competition, Col has commenced training for London and will be slowly building his strength with the support of Swimming Australia and his coaches from the Melbourne H20 Swimming Club.
“In the lead up to London I’ll be training eight times a week for two hours in the pool, and I’ll do four sessions of 45 minutes in the gym at School,” said Col. “I’ll also be going to Cairns for a week to participate in a warm-weather training camp with the Australian team.”
To help the athletes prepare for the world championships the team have been separated into smaller ‘mentor’ groups of five swimmers.
“Our mentor group is like a family, we chat in a group message and help to support each other,” said Col. “I’m also really lucky to have triple Paralympian Ellie Cole in my mentor group.”
It’s quite daunting when the cameras are filming your race, but I think the pressure helps me to swim really well at competitions. Col, Year 10 student
Finding downtime between swimming and school can be challenging for Col, and he enjoys travelling back to his hometown of Echuca where he can relax and spend time with friends and family.
“Every holidays I go home to Echuca where I spend time with my mates, go fishing, camping and help out on the family farm,” said Col. “It’s also really nice to spend time at the Echuca pool as I spent 12 years swimming there before I moved to Melbourne.”
Col relocated to Melbourne in 2018 to pursue his passion for swimming.
“Since moving to Melbourne my mindset towards swimming has definitely changed,” said Col. “I’m doing a lot more training and my goal is to reach the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.”
Col is working hard to achieve his dreams and we wish him all the best as he prepares for London.