Age champ Tegan Sprought.
Age champ Tegan Sprought.

Emerald Seals make a splash to start the season

THE Emerald Seals are off to a good start to the season with 98 swimmers signed up, the highest number the club has seen in years.

Emerald Seals coach Jodi Sprought said it was fantastic to have so many kids involved.

"Being a part of a club means you are a part of a small community of like minded people and the kids make great lifelong friends out of it as well,” Mrs Sprought said.

"It was great to start the season off with 98 swimmers because our aim is to keep growing as a club and get more kids interested in the sport.

"The kids have been really focused on bettering their own times each week.”

The Emerald Seals had their first meet in Clermont last weekend, where all swimmers achieved PBs and as a club came second overall.

"We took 30 swimmers up to Clermont last Saturday for our first local meet and the kids performed excellent, attaining many PBs,” said Mrs Sprought.

"Our aged champions were Zac Sprought, Tegan Sprought and Blake Robinson. Our open aged champion was Ben Gaskin. Our runner-up aged champions were Curtis Bennett, Kane Connolly and Ben Gaskin.

"The kids are all back and training hard to achieve new PBs.

"I just want them to know that if they keep training hard their results will show.”

Last season's captains Arnika Barnes and Ben Gaskin were re-elected by their peers as captains for the Emerald Seals this season and are looked up to as role models by their younger squad members.

Ben is off to the Blackall Meet tomorrow, while others are off the Tropics meet in Rockhampton. He is in the top-10 male swimmers 16 years and under in CQ region.

He is currently hard at work trying to work towards getting PBs and qualifying for Long Course State Championships.

"I have been achieving PBs and my best time at the moment is 28sec for 50m freestyle, and 30sec for 50m butterfly,” he said.

"Through regular speed, endurance and strength training I am hoping to bring my times down.

As captain of the Emerald Seals, he will be doing the same as last season by acting as a role model for the kids but also making sure they don't step out of line.

"It felt good to be re-elected, I am proud of the Emerald Seals, and lucky to be their captain,” he said.

"I will encourage every one of them to do their best while having fun, because if you enjoy what you are doing, then you will perform better.” Co-captain Arnika Barnes was also very excited to be re-elected as club captain for another season.

"I plan to lead Emerald seals to victory at carnivals by encouraging everyone to do their best and keep the club's team spirit alive,” she said.

"If I was to say anything to my fellow teammates I would say keep trying hard at training and just have fun.”

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