The Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre will come alight this week as Swimming Australia hosts the 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships, including the Australian Multi-Class Swimming Championships.
Held between 5-12 April and streamed live on both SwimTV and Amazon Prime Video, the championships will not only see elite young athletes vie for Australian titles but also the country’s top multi-class athletes, whose national open competition takes place across the first two days.
This is a new era for Swimming Australia, with the championships streamed into 240 Amazon Prime Video countries and territories worldwide, and to more than 150 million customers at no extra cost to members.
With last year’s event unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19 – and then this year’s meet nearly impacted by an outbreak in Queensland – athletes are no doubt looking forward to being back on pool deck with their coaches and competing against their rivals for a place on the podium.
Powerhouse swimmer from St Peters Western, Ella Ramsay, and Rackley’s Samuel Short – who has been selected to perform the Athlete Oath before the meet – are among the talent to feature in their home state during the Age competition. The determined pair racked up 12 individual medals between them in 2019 – including six gold, four silver and two bronze.
One of Australia’s most decorated Paralympians, 15-time Paralympic Games medallist Ellie Cole (Knox Pymble) will attempt to reclaim her two titles in the 100m freestyle and backstroke events, while recent 2019 World Para Champions Tiffany Thomas Kane (Monte) and Lakeisha Patterson (Belgravia) will look to uphold their breaststroke and freestyle crowns, respectively.
Swimming Australia’s Head Para Coach, Brendan Burkett, said this event will provide a vital part of the athletes’ preparation for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
“While our multi-class athletes will be keen to secure Australian titles, this competition is really a chance to absorb as much race practice as possible heading into our Paralympic trials in June,” Burkett said.
“Finessing their race plans, working on technique and going through their own process for preparing for competition is crucial as we tick down to Tokyo, so the athletes will be maximising this experience.
“We’re very fortunate as well to be racing at the Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre which provided us with so many wonderful memories at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The venue is world class and I’d like to thank the City of Gold Coast for their hospitality.”
National Youth Coach, Glenn Beringen, added that he was delighted to see the return of athletes at the Australian Age Swimming Championships after last year’s event was called off due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
“After a challenging 12 months I know these young swimmers and their coaches have prepared as best they can for their first national event of the season and I’m eager to see what results they can produce,” Beringen said.
“It’s the first chance they’ve had to pit themselves against their counterparts from across the country and see where they stand within swimming’s competitive landscape, so I have no doubt they’ll be fired up and ready to go.
“With selection onto the Australian Junior team up for grabs, there’s no shortage of motivation for them to put it all on the line and give it all they’ve got. And although it’s unfortunate we won’t be sending those selected to the international event, they’ll still get the honour of official making the team and racing in the green and gold in August.”
As announced by Swimming Australia on March 18, the athletes selected on the Australian Junior Team from the meet will compete in a standalone competition in lieu of Australia not sending a team to the international championships in Kazan, Russia. For more details, click here.
The 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships kick off on Monday 5 April with multi-class heats commencing from 9:00am, before finals start at 6:00pm (local time).
Can’t make it to live this event? You can catch all the action live from the Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre on Amazon Prime Video at no extra cost to members. To sign up or start a 30-day free trial of Prime, visit: amazon.com.au/prime.
You can also tune in on SwimTV through purchasing an event pass.
What: Australian Age Swimming Championships, including the Australian Multi-Class Swimming Championships
When: 5-12 April, 2021
Where: Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre
Program: For the program of events and event information, click here.