Young WA swimming talent Ethan McAleese has returned an
impressive set of results from the Commonwealth Youth Games recently completed
in the Bahamas.
The 17 year-old Leda resident who is coached by Will
Scott out of the Southern High Performance Training Centre, picked up bronze medals
in the 400m IM and as a relay member of the Australian 4x200m freestyle team.
In a busy race schedule, McAleese also finished fourth in
the finals of the 200m freestyle and 200m IM, rounding out a highly productive
junior representative campaign.
For many of the Australian athletes at the Youth Games in
the Bahamas, it represented the first time they have travelled overseas for
competition and providing a learning curve in terms of preparation and coping
with time away from school, family and structured support.
Australian Commonwealth Youth Games Team General Manager
and legendary Paralympian swimmer Matthew Cowdrey said he was impressed by the
professionalism of the group, particularly how well they bonded as a collective
and coped with a compromised travel routine after connecting flights enroute to
the Bahamas where missed in the US.
"Despite the challenges, I was unbelievably proud of how
our athletes handled themselves and were able to respond. The professionalism
of these young athletes is just so impressive and has come a long way since I
was in their shoes,” Cowdrey said.
"A Commonwealth Youth
Games is about the experience. It is a stepping stone to bigger and better
things. I have no doubt that the lessons learned by all our athletes at these
youth games, will make them better athletes in the future. And that is what it
is all about.”
McAleese’s efforts at the
Commonwealth Youth Games come as WA prepares to send three local talents to
compete at this month’s Junior Swimming World Championships in the USA.
Junior national champion
Jemima Horwood will be joined in action by fellow WA swimmers Taj Jones and
Busselton raised athlete Jasmine Hopkins.
The under-age representative
swimmers follow-on from three WA athletes (Brianna Throssell, Zac Incerti and
Holly Barratt) who recently competed at the FINA World Championships in
Budapest, marking something of a resurgence for swimming in this state, which
itself was a topic covered recently in The West Australian newspaper.
Horwood will focus on
freestyle events in Indianapolis and you can read more about Jemima’s journey
via a local feature through the Community News Group.