High Five to the Allambie Seals!

Back to blog2 years ago by Jodie
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Allambie Seals
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Weeks of training paid off for our Allambie Seals swimming club members like 5 year old Holly who all achieved a personal best score at last weekend’s Blacktown multi-class swimming meet. Watching all the action poolside was their proud coach and exercise physiologist Lauren Hansen.

This weekend the Allambie Seals club took part in the Blacktown multi-Class swimming meet, run by swimming NSW.  This is a competition open to swimmers with a range of disabilities from all across NSW and we were competing as the ‘Allambie Seals’ for the first time.  I think I may have been more nervous about the day than most of our young swimmers!  Especially as I watched them step up against some much older competitors, almost double their age for their first races. 

Eight children from the Allambie Seals swam in the meet with another 2 coming out to help cheer them on.  It was a truly magical day, with everyone setting at least one personal best, making all those weekly training sessions and extra time spent practising in longer pools and working on our speed worthwhile! 

The atmosphere at the pool was amazing and with such a supportive environment it was great to see the swimmers all get in and have a go. For six of our swimmers this was the first swimming competition of this level. Our two most experienced swimmers Amelia and Felix got the job of setting an example to the younger ‘seals’ and showing the rest of us what to expect from the meet from how to register and fill in the forms, to where the marshalling area was and where to collect times at the end of the day.

Our youngest swimmer Holly (age 5) was in the first race of the day. Luckily her dad was able to jump in the pool to give her some last minute encouragement before she bravely set off and swam all the way up to him to complete her 15m race by herself, earning a big high five from dad when she crossed the finish. This moment really reflected what our Allambie Seals is all about – challenging yourself, jumping in and having a go with the support of the team, and most importantly for our young swimmers, enjoying the support of their families. 

Every Saturday morning our parents are down on the pool deck helping set up lane ropes, timing the races and tracking the results.  This week when we were at the Swimming NSW competition our families once again rallied together and were proudly cheering on each swimmer from our own team and other teams to the finish line in each race.  It is the families that have pulled together and pushed the children and challenged us as staff to ensure the children get every opportunity to push themselves. 

As the team stood poolside of the long 50m pool in their new uniforms ready to race as a team for the first time it was a great reminder to all of us about the opportunities that are available when you are willing to try new things and explore different ways to achieve your goals. 

I’m really excited about watching our swimmers take part in more competitions. I can’t wait to see how far they can go … Felix is already talking about heading over to Europe for an international competition and Sybella (age 7) can’t wait to come back to race, “But I’m doing the longer races next time!”.  At the tender age of 7 she’s already talking about entering the open age 50m races!”

The Allambie Seals is a swimming club based in Allambie Heights, NSW.  The club is run by Cerebral Palsy Alliance and is open to children with cerebral palsy from Learn to Swim to beginner Squads. 

To find out more information about joining the Allambie Seals or taking part in one of our swimming programs, email Lauren Hansen.