Caribeae kids overcome obstacles to take on country's best
SWIMMING: Going up against the best school-aged swimmers from across the nation, Caribeae Swimming Academy's Joe Milburn, Jack Kelly and Will Salmond are preparing to give the 2019 Australian School Championships their all.
The boys will head to Melbourne this Friday for the event (running from July 28 to August 3) where they will compete and hopefully medal in their events.
Salmond will compete in 11 events, Milburn will compete in one and Kelly will compete in five.
Caribeae head coach and life-long coach to the boys, Jodi Shanks, said each of them had overcome difficulties including illness and persevered to earn their spot at the championships.
"They've been training really hard and have had some tough sessions. Hopefully they can put races together and get some good results,” Shanks said.
"Joe has overcome some really bad illness from last year and has swum and trained really well and hopefully is on top of that.
"Jack has had a lot to overcome to get to the level he's at. He's worked really hard to put through that.
"Will had some illness but is fighting fit now. Hopefully will get some good results.”
The boys had to qualify for the championships at the State Championships which were held in March.
A couple of weeks ago, they all had a hit out to see where they were and get some "cobwebs” out of their system.
"Hopefully they put some good races together,” Shanks said.
"Joe might hopefully get in the top three again. Jack won a couple of events at Schools so hopefully he'll be in the top three as well and Will has a good chance of getting medals.
"Joe and Will have won medals at this competition previously and this is Jack's first time.
"Will races in the multi-class, with ages 13-15, and has to compete against older boys as well to get selection.”
Kelly said he will compete over three days and get breaks in between races to recharge which he hopes will "help a bit”.
"It's really exciting. It's been a goal for a couple of years to get on the team and to get on it is really cool,” he said.
"I'm just going to try and do my best when I'm down there.
"I haven't competed in a competition like this before so it will be interesting to see how I go.”
Milburn said he was also looking forward to representing at the competition.
"It's different and something I haven't done before. I'm looking forward to it,” he said.
This will be Salmond's third time at the championships.
"I'll just try my best. The (other swimmers) be very hard to beat,” he said.
"It's always interesting to see all the news faces and getting to know people after seeing them each year.
"I have friends there who I haven't seen in ages from all around Australia.
"At this school carnival I've gotten three bronze before. I just want a PB in all my races.”