QLD champs is a highly competitive state championship. It is regarded as the premier state champs in Australia because of the qualifying times, the quality of the meet organization and the level of international involvement in the meet. At this edition there were South Korean, Japanese, American, European and a large New Zealand contingent competing. It is an incredibly well organized and efficiently run meet. Swimmers get to experience a 6 day international meet giving them the opportunity to self-manage, race highly experienced quality swimmers, race in international standard facilities and navigate different meet processes (marshalling, early check in for long races, etc).
A team of 8 Pirates, 1 Brisbane based ex-pirate and 2 Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika swimmers attended as part of the team with ages ranging from 15 to 18 years. The weather conditions were hot, or hotter so having accommodation onsite at the Sleemans Sport complex one-minutes walk away provided the opportunity for swimmers to return to their accommodation between races to rest, fuel and recover.
Racing was very competitive and with so many international and out of state swimmers it was all about racing for PB’s and getting long course experience at this meet. We had some finals while others made top 10 but missed out on finals due to the visitors rule which limits the number of out of state swimmers in a final but all swimmers put their best foot forward and can be proud of their efforts.
The standard of behavior from the swimmers was outstanding. All swimmers represented the club and their families well. All swimmers helped with team chores and the dirt trackers (non-racing swimmers) were keen to assist the swimmers daily.
Heats in the morning ran until early-mid afternoon which left little time for many afternoon activities however we still managed to pack in some fun things and highlights included a visit to the Swimming Beach at Southbank and dinner at a Mexican Cantina, shopping trips to Carindale Westfield Mall and yet more shopping at the DFO Brisbane Airport. The final night the team went to Eat St where they enjoyed the pre-christmas entertainment and variety of eateries to choose dinner from.
Thanks to Steve for his excellent coaching and guidance of the swimmers on this trip. As team managers we enjoyed our time with the squad and would highly recommend this trip for senior swimmers to gain international experience at a well organized quality meet.