Aussie swim star impressed by talented young Borderers

Former Australian senior swimming team member, Cassie Hunt and Alex Jordan, head of Swim Team Borders at the Selkirk pool.
Former Australian senior swimming team member, Cassie Hunt and Alex Jordan, head of Swim Team Borders at the Selkirk pool.

MEMBERS of the Borders Elite Swimming Team are used to hearing the Antipodean accent of Alex Jordan issuing instructions throughout their early morning sessions.

But the coach was joined by another Australian last week, as Cassie Hunt joined the performance squad in Selkirk Swimming Pool.

Jordan coached Hunt as a youth before she broke into the Australian team in 2002 and was team-mates with the likes of Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett and Liesel Jones – the trio winning 11 Olympic golds between them.

Hunt worked with the swimmers and fielded questions on her experiences of performing alongside some of the greats of the sport.

And she is sure the Borders can produce talent, despite currently not having state-of-the-art facilities.

Hunt told TheSouthern: “I was quite impressed with the set-up and the kids seem to be hard workers.

“I think the environment is what you make of it, whether it is indoors, outdoors, a full length pool or a 25m pool. A pool is a pool, it is what you put into it that counts, as well as the coaching.

“To rub shoulders with those guys is great and hopefully I was able to impart some knowledge in order for them to reach their potential.”

Chairperson of the Borders Swimming Management Group, Rick Kenney, added: “The swimming programme has made great strides in the last four years and if we can keep the funding going for the team until at least the Commonwealth Games in 2018 we might see more Borderers on the podium at major events.

“In the past, guys like Euan Dale and Jak Scott started in the Borders, but left to swim elsewhere, but now the best swimmers from the region are predominantly still in the Borders.

“It shows what can be done – there doesn’t need to be the best of facilities, its all about good coaching and commitment and we certainly have that in the swim team.”

z Hawick Teviotdale Turbos were in action on Saturday at the second Kelso Annual Gala.

Nine young Teri swimmers all performed well and nearly all of them produced personal best times, finishing third overall out of seven teams.

Results: Amy Hill – two-second PB (backstroke); Charlie Jack – two silvers (back and butterfly), bronze (freestyle); Villmantas Noreika – one gold (free), two bronze (back and butterfly); Lindsay Jack – two golds (butterfly and free), silver (back); Kate Arnott – one second PB (breast); Emma Suddon – four golds (back, breast, free and butterfly); Amy McMichan – three-second PB (back).

Mixed freestyle relay team –silver.