Elite swim squads singing MARC’s praises

Published: 10 May 2023

Head coach of St Andrew’s Aquatic Centre and Olympic silver medallist Ashley Delaney is singing the praises of our region after bringing his elite swim squad to Mackay for a training camp.

Delaney has brought a core group of swimmers who are preparing for the World Championship trials to Mackay this week to make the most of our warmer weather and state-of-the-art facilities.

In the squad are Isaac Cooper (Tokyo Olympian), Ben Hance and Ruby Storm (Tokyo Paralympians).

Delaney said the squad was “extremely impressed” with the Mackay Aquatic and Recreation Complex (MARC) facility and looked forward to seeing what kinds of times they could achieve at the camp.

He said, with Bonza flights from the Sunshine Coast being so affordable, Mackay had become a clear winner as a northern winter training destination.

Another elite squad from the Queensland Academy of Sport’s (QAS) Brisbane Hub is also headed to the facility next week. This squad, coached by David Proud will feature ten up-and-coming swimmers, including William Martin OAM who won three gold medals and broke two world records at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

To encourage up-and-coming regional swimmers, council is offering free spectator entry to two open squad training sessions.

The open sessions will be at the Mackay ARC on:

  • Friday, May 12, 3pm to 5pm (St Andrew’s Swimming Training Camp)
  • Friday, May 19, 3.30pm to 6pm (QAS Brisbane Hub Training Camp)

Mayor Greg Williamson said it was tremendous to have the Mackay ARC firmly on the radar of elite swimming squads.

“Dean Boxall, who many people would remember for his animated celebrations in Tokyo, brought his squad, which included Tokyo gold medallists Ariarne Titmus and Meg Harris, to the ARC in 2021 to train,” Mayor Williamson said.

“He praised the ARC widely and his feedback on the facility was graciously accepted and has helped to shape our future development plans,” he said.