Swimmers Dive into National Event Camps


As the excitement for Tokyo 2020 builds, Australia’s top swimmers, along with some of the next wave of young talent, will begin assembling around the country in the next six weeks for a series of technical stroke-based National Event Camps (NECs).

This year a total of eight camps will take place – one more than last year – with Australia’s best distance swimmers assembling this week with coach Vince Raleigh in Brisbane to kick off the campaign.

The large majority of camps will be held in the last week of February with the final camp – the women’s 100m freestyle and relay camp led by Simon Cusack – to begin on March 1.

Since the inception of NECs in the 1990s, the camps have had a long history in high performance swimming in Australia, and returned last year with great success.

National Team Head Coach Jacco Verhaeren said the camps would provide opportunities for collaboration, innovation and to sharpen technical focus in an important year for Australian swimming.

“No one camp is the same and the programs are designed and led by our designated head coaches, which I think is fantastic as it will expose some of the athletes to different training environments as well as collaboration with other athletes from outside their usual training venues,” Verhaeren said.

“Some of the camps will also have a strong focus on relays as our work on the national relay testing program continues to take shape.

“These camps tend to often foster healthy competition and allow athletes to have increased access to event-specific coaching from inside our senior level programs.

“The athletes from our pathway programs will also have the chance to be exposed to senior international training preparation which they will benefit from.

“The camps will be supported by some of the country’s top sports science and sport medicine professionals who will provide support on innovation for both athletes and coaches.

Some of Australia’s most prominent swimming coaches will lead the camps including: Dean Boxall (St Peters Western), Peter Bishop (Marion), Michael Bohl (Griffith University), Glenn Baker (Southport), Craig Jackson (Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre High Performance Coach), Chris Mooney (University of Sunshine Coast), Vince Raleigh (Brisbane Aquatic Centre High Performance Coach) and Simon Cusack (NSW High Performance Hub Coach).

The head coaches will be supported by assistant coaches as well as a scholarship coach, who will attend the camps as a professional development opportunity.

The camps will also have prestigious Dolphin and sporting alumni attending at different stages to share their knowledge, with gold medallists Jodie Henry, Kieren Perkins, Stephanie Rice, Bronte Barratt and cyclist Anna Meares to name a few of those who will be in attendance.

Six of the camps will take place concurrently in the week 22-29 February including: butterfly and backstroke (Gold Coast) led by Bohl and Baker respectively, the breaststroke camp (Sunshine Coast) led by Mooney, the women’s 200m freestyle and relay camp (Noosa) led by Boxall, and the men’s 100m and 200m freestyle and relay camps (Adelaide) led by Bishop and Jackson, with the final camp – the women’s 100m freestyle and relay (Canberra) – led by Cusack.