The City is celebrating the incredible achievements of Geelong Swimming Club athlete Hayley Mackinder and her peers, following stellar performances at the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships.
Competing recently in the Gold Coast, Hayley rewrote the record books by breaking a 26-year-old Australian Age Record in the heats for the Women’s 13-years 100m breaststroke.
Hayley’s time came in at 1:11.66, with the previous record of 1:12.10 set in 1995 by World Short Course champion Kirsty Ellem.
To top off a great start to the championships, Hayley went on to win gold in the 100m breaststroke while also qualifying for the Olympic trials in June this year.
Fellow club athlete, Matilda Byrnes won bronze in the Women’s 13-years 100m butterfly, the club’s first medal in this category for 18 years, and 100m backstroke. Madison Cooper made finals in the Women’s 16-years 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, also qualifying Madison for the upcoming Olympic trials.
Dylan Logan competed in the Australian Age and Open Multiclass Nationals and won gold in the Men’s 17/18-years 100m backstroke and silver in the 50m freestyle and Men’s open 50m butterfly. Congratulations are also in order for finals achievements by Romy Heard, Joshua Wilkinson, Brooke Briscoe, Sarah Steinman, James Logan and Lachlan Dosser.
Hayley Mackinder expressed her gratitude for the win and her incredible support network.
It felt pretty incredible to break the record and I actually didn’t realise I had until after the race.
I went out harder in the final and did a PB for my first 50m, so I was pretty happy. I think I am just relieved that I put together a good race and was able to back it up in the final and get the gold – so I’m really happy.
I’m so lucky to have the best coaches Sam and Lucky and the fact that they have always believed in me. I also couldn’t do it without my parents and my sister – it is a big commitment from my whole family. My club mates are the best, we were by far the loudest cheering club there!
As Geelong Swimming Club swimmers, Hayley, Matilda, Madison and Dylan all train at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre, often in the 50-metre FINA pool, with nine training sessions taking place each week.
The City has a long-standing relationship with the Geelong Swimming Club, which has based itself at the Kardinia Aquatic Centre since 1970, prior to the amalgamation of Council and when the facility was then known as the Geelong & District Memorial Swimming Centre.
Among many disruptions and closures of facilities last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, Council allocated $300,000 to open the South Geelong facility for an extended period during the 2020 ‘off season’ for the Greater Geelong community.
Deputy Mayor Trent Sullivan said Hayley and her peers should be extremely proud of their efforts.
It’s incredible to see Geelong represented so strongly on the national stage, and that’s testament to Hayley and her peers’ athleticism, dedication and the elite training and support they receive with the Geelong Swimming Club.
Council was happy to see its decision of extending the opening of the Kardinia Aquatic Centre last year make a difference to this passionate group of swimmers, giving them more opportunity to continue training during winter.
Congratulations to Hayley on her record-breaking swim, gold medal and for qualifying for the Olympic trials which take place in the coming months.
The Geelong Swimming Club athletes are supported and trained by an expert coaching team made up of former Australian Dolphin Sam Ashby as Head Coach and Lucky Weerakkody, who was this year awarded the prestigious Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association coaching ring for his selection as a coach on an Australian Swimming team.
Geelong Swimming Club President Glenn Benson thanked the City.
Thank you to the City of Greater Geelong for keeping the Kardinia Aquatic Centre open during winter last year and adapting to COVID-19 restrictions, their commitment to the sport of swimming has allowed the Geelong Swimming Club to achieve extraordinary results during the 2020-21 season.
At the Geelong Swimming Club we are changing the landscape of swimming, not only in Geelong, but also the state of Victoria.