Members of the Australian Dolphins swim team (Olympic program) will unite as a group for the first time since 2019 when they travel to the Gold Coast for their National Event Camps (NEC) this week.
Taking place between 3-13 February across three venues – the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Bond University and Palm Beach Aquatic Centre – this year’s NECs take on a new format, with all nine camps converging in Queensland rather than scattered camps around the country.
The 10-day event, which aims to create a high intensity training environment, will comprise of three components: freestyle, form stroke and the National Relay Project. Australia’s freestyle specialists will dive in first (3-6 Feb), followed by a whole-team approach to the National Relay Project (7-9 Feb), and conclude with the country’s top form strokers (9-13 Feb).
Australia’s next wave of elite young talent such as Lani Pallister, Meg Harris and Tom Hauck will also take part in the camps, affording them valuable opportunities to train alongside experienced Olympians in Cate Campbell, Kyle Chalmers, Emma McKeon and Mack Horton.
Not only will the NECs strengthen the athletes’ skills in the pool, but it will also give them the opportunity to connect with past champions of the sport. A dinner with members of the Beijing women’s 4x200m gold medal relay team and the Sydney men’s 4x100m gold medal relay team has been organised – instilling and enriching the history of our Australian Dolphins.
National Team Head Coach, Rohan Taylor, said the camps play an important role in reconnecting the entire team, while also creating an environment conducive to success.
“These National Event Camps are the first opportunity in more than a year for our elite athletes, leading coaches and world-class performance support personnel to come together as a team,” Taylor said.
“With the challenges we had to overcome in 2020 and the months of separation between all of us, we decided to change the format this year and have all the camps in one location so we could reconnect, which is crucial leading into the Olympics.
“Bringing together the best of the best – including some of the country’s top sport scientists – will enable us to create a high intensity training environment that will ultimately lift performance and unlock that one percent which will be vital for success in Tokyo.
“There’ll also be a big focus on the National Relay Project, with the aim to strengthen our relay teams.
“Relay medals are a key focus for our team and these camps provide a valuable opportunity to work closely with our sports science team to refine our skills.
“The camps are also a key activity in aligning our high performance programs to our strategic goals; building champions both in and out of the pool as well as winning when it matters most to inspire the nation.”
Taylor will be joined by a host of experienced coaches who will lead the individual camps, including Peter Bishop (Marion), Dean Boxall (St Peters Western), Simon Cusack (NSW High Performance Hub Coach), Craig Jackson (Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre High Performance Coach), Vince Raleigh (Brisbane Aquatic Centre High Performance Coach), Adam Kable (NSWIS Hub Coach), Glenn Baker (Southport) and Michael Bohl (Griffith University).
Click here to view the camp breakdowns, including coach and athlete list.