Over 100 students from the Diocese of Wollongong performed exceptionally well at the recent NSW Catholic Primary Schools and NSW Combined Catholic Colleges state swimming championships held at Sydney International Aquatic Centre in Homebush.
The championships provided an opportunity for some of Wollongong’s best Catholic school student-athletes to showcase their talent.
The outstanding athleticism of students couldn’t be missed at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges (NSWCCC) event, with St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park student, Bella Grant being awarded age champion (17+ years) with an impressive medal tally of seven gold, one silver, and one bronze.
Just as impressive was St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong student Jessica Cole (15 years), winning five gold medals and two silver medals to also be named age champion.
Amber Meadley, Acting Sport Coordinator at St Francis said that Bella's spectacular achievements are a testament to the dedication and tenacity she shows not only to her swimming career but to her education as a student.
"When discussing and celebrating these successes, Bella's humble response emphasises the humility and great sportsmanship that she possesses – ultimately a great advocate for both St Francis and the diocese," Miss Meadley said.
"With well-deserved acknowledgment to the support of the Grant family, teachers, and coaches, Bella is one to continue to watch in our upcoming events!"
The diocese’s secondary swimmers competed in the NSWCCC swimming championships on 6 April. Of the 134 events contested, Wollongong swimmers won an impressive 52 medals with 24 students named on the NSWCCC team for the NSW all schools swimming championships in June.
Congratulations to congregational school, St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong for taking home gold in the intermediate 4x50m freestyle relay, and the 12-19 years all age 4x50m freestyle relay events.
St Mary’s, wollongong team members:
Girls 15-16 years 4x50m freestyle relay in a new record time of 1:51.96 – Aya Milton, Stephanie Staniforth, Ivy Miller, and Jessica Cole
Girls 12-19 years 6x50m freestyle relay – Aya Milton, Matisse Schettino, Laani Cleghorn, Charlie Cleghorn, Grace Ohara, and Jessica Cole
Wollongong's primary school swim team took home an impressive 23 medals and podium finishes, from 55 events held at the NSW Catholic Primary Schools (NSWCPS) swimming championships on 22 March.
Eleven members of the diocese's swim team were selected in the NSWCPS MacKillop team to attend the NSW Primary School Sports Association (NSWPSSA) swimming championships in April.
St Joseph’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Bulli led the way with an outstanding result of three relay gold medals in the 4x50m freestyle junior and senior girls and junior boys' events.
St Joseph's sports coordinator, Kylie Grose said their representatives are to be congratulated. “All swimmers and relay teams ranked in the top 20 for all events, which is a fantastic achievement at such an elite level. The junior and senior girls' relay teams both made the final of the NSWPSSA which is remarkable,” said Mrs Grose.
“The junior girls finished 6th, and senior girls placed 5th overall. An outstanding individual performance was given by London Campbell, who finished 4th in the 11 years 50m breaststroke. These swimmers are some of the fastest in NSW for their age and event!”
4X50M FREESTYLE RELAY SWIMMERS FROM ST JOSEPH’S, BULLI:
Junior Boys – Callan Primmer, Owen Olbourne, Saul Olbourne and Taj Caldwell
Junior Girls – Sophie Pearce, Zali Ashcroft, Sadie Jones and Andie Kennedy
Senior Girls – London Campbell, Minerva Barlow, Harper Barlow and Torah Beath
(Pictured top left)
OTHER OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES:
Sophia Wragg-Leighton (St Thomas More Catholic Parish Primary School, Ruse) – NSWPSSA silver medal in the 50m years freestyle event
Matthew Holmes (St Paul's Catholic Parish Primary School, Moss Vale) – NSWPSSA bronze medal in the 8-10 years 200m individual medley event
Eddie Clare (Holy Cross Catholic Parish Primary School, Helensburgh) – NSWPSSA bronze medal in the junior multi-class 50m freestyle event
John Sparks, CEDoW Professional Officer – Diocesan Sport said the Wollongong swimmers achieved fantastic results and were great ambassadors for their schools and for the diocese.
"To watch the students achieve is a credit to their talents, hard work, and dedication and also highlights the wonderful pathway opportunities students are offered in our schools,” he said.
Full event results for the NSWCCC swimming can be viewed at CSNSW Sport.
For a full list of the Wollongong swim team and students who were selected for the NSWCCC team, visit CEDoW Sport.