Joe set to make splash at meet
SWIMMING: He goes about his business in a quiet and unassuming way, but Joe Milburn could make plenty of noise this weekend at Rockhampton's Southside Pool.
But as is the typical manner of the quietly spoken 14-year-old, he'll take everything in his stride, including any success.
"He's a kid that's just dedicated to his sport,” Milburn's proud coach and aunty, Jodie Shanks, said at training this week.
"He knows what he is doing now is to benefit for his future. It's not about what you get now, it's about how you work now and getting the little things right.”
The Year 9 Rockhampton Grammar School student may be small in stature, but he's one of the swimmers expected to stand tall at Caribeae Swimming Club's annual Beef City Meet.
Hundreds of swimmers from across Central Queensland will converge on Rockhampton for the massive two-day carnival, starting tonight.
For Milburn, it will be his 11th straight Beef City Meet after he competed in his very first one at just age four.
"I can remember one race - the freestyle race. I was on the outside lane and I remember versing all these eight-year-olds. I made it to the end so that was pretty good,” he recalled this week.
"I only realised when I was talking to Jodie (coach) the other day that this will be my 11th Beef City and it kind of shocked me.
"I always look forward to this event, it's just one of those events you can't wait for it to come around.”
Like most swimmers this weekend, Milburn is aiming to post Queensland long course qualifying times, especially in his pet events - the 100m and 200m butterfly.
"We've been doing a lot of sprint meets so this will be the first real carnival where I get to do a bit more distance events,” said Milburn, one of more than 60 host club swimmers.
Milburn's big goal for the season is racing on the national stage at next year's Australian titles.
And maybe one day, follow in the footsteps of his idol, Australian Olympic swimmer Cameron McEvoy.
"He is my favourite swimmer because he races all those big fellas and he's the little one and I guess that's a little bit like me,” Milburn grins.
His coach believes the pocket-rocket has already developed the confidence to take on the "big boys”.
"Joe's quiet and unassuming. You wouldn't think standing up against boys that are probably 30 centimetres taller than him and looking physically stronger, that he would be able to do anything, but quite often he comes out in front,” Shanks said.
It's something Milburn will no doubt be doing at the Beef City Meet this weekend - again next year and the year after.