Swimmers chase Olympic dream in Darwin

Swimmers chase Olympic dream
Swimmers Michael Ng, Abbey Harkin, Meg Harris, Ella Ramsay and Kai Taylor from St Peters Western Swim Club in Queensland with CDU Lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science Alexander Engel as part of a training session at CDU.

Darwin has become a training hub for elite athletes as they prepare for international sporting events, like the Tokyo Olympics.

Currently 17 swimmers from the Saint Peters Western Swimming Club in Queensland are training at Charles Darwin University’s Wellness Centre as a part of a two week training camp as they prepare for an Olympic qualifying event in June.

The swimmers are training to qualify for travel to Tokyo to be a part of the official Olympic team.

Staff and students within the College of Health and Human Sciences are working with the swimmers, their coaches and Swimming NT as a part of an existing research partnership. This is part of CDU’s strategic plan to collaborate with local, national and international sporting organisations.

CDU Exercise and Sport Science Lecturer Dr Daniel Gahreman said that Exercise and Sport Science students are gaining valuable industry experience by being involved in this program. These students were previously involved in research projects lead by Dr Gahreman.

“We have been working closely with the swimming coaches in the Northern Territory to enhance athletes performance by implementing nutritional and coaching strategies,” Dr Gahreman said.

“The Territory provides a great environment for athletes to visit and train in, as the climate during the dry season is warmer than southern states.

“The training environment is ideal, the state-of-the-art strength and conditioning facility at CDU, a great swimming pool with a perfect temperature and a low population density with no COVID cases mean low risk of community transmission.”

“We envision that these athletes will continue to come back in the lead up to future Olympics and we encourage more athletes in other sports to consider the Territory as a great place to train.”

Among the group of swimmers training in Darwin is 400m freestyle World Champion 2019 Ariarne Titmus. Ariarne has a strong chance of reaching the Tokyo Olympics and winning an individual Olympic swimming title. If successful, she would be the first Australian woman to win an individual Olympic swimming title since Stephanie Rice in 2008.

South Australian Sports Institute swimmers are also attending the two week training camp at City of Darwin’s Parap Pool in preparation for the Olympic qualifying event in June.

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