SMNE Winter Champs success


Hi Team ABB,

A huge congratulations to Team ABB who competed at the Swimming Metro North East Championships this weekend, you all represented our team so proudly! The point scores are out and we only narrowly came 4th to Knox Pymble and came 1st in division 2 by a huge margin! So a huge congratulations. The final point scores were:

1. Carlile 4199
2. Lane Cove 2719
3. Knox Pymble 2356
4. Abbotsleigh 2248
5. Willoughby 1045
6. Ravo 914

Full results here.

Here is a short wrap up from each of the coaches:

Leanne ‘I’m going on holidays for 2 weeks’ Speechley

Gold squad were epic with their self-sufficiency in warm ups, cool downs and ownership of hydration and food intake. The racing from Gold squad was sensational as all swimmers stuck to race plans, were brave in trying new race strategies and sensational in becoming very process driven. As always it’s not all perfect and in many cases lack of fitness and lack of skills in regards to turning and diving need attention. The highlights of the meet for me included having all 3 competitive coaches pool side, the cheering from young to old and old to young, the happiness for each other when someone swam well and the delightful smiles all round on return from the pool. There were many PB’s and this should give all swimmers confidence as starting a season in front of where they left off the last short course season is extremely comforting. I don’t often give swimmer of the meet as its usually too hard – however I can’t go past mentioning Shaun on his excellent race plan execution, Lachi on his gutsy program of 1000 races and Rani on her “happy place” and underwater demon style racing that paid off immensely.
Lastly and certainly not least – thank you to the parents that helped make the meet one of my favourite run meets, to the parents in the stands, to Chris for the coaching leading into the meet and to Raf and Brandon for being such legendary and fun coaches on the day.

Don Rafael

I am extremely happy with the way Abbotsleigh team swam over the weekend! I mention the overall results but more importantly the bonding team experience.
I am impressed the way swimmers are connected to each other. I saw Mat helping Shaun with his warm up. Bailey helping Cameron with her turns & finishes on her warm up. For me THIS is team work and I cannot describe how happy I am to be part of it.
The new White squad had a fair go in every event. Really well done to Adriana, Tane and Baily for getting some states qualifying times! Amin, Zac and Talia for showing off all their good skills! This places themselves and their coaches In a really happy place.
Now I know why everyone call Abbotsleigh swim club as a THE team.
You guys rock!!!

And my Terrific Self

Smiles, PB’s, Laughter, Pb’s, chuckles, Pb’s……… What fantastic meet!!!!!!!!!!!! As coaches we are all so, so, so, so proud of your efforts this weekend. Our black squad were terrific in their application of race plans, showing a lot of composure for some tough races. The relays are always a huge highlight for me, seeing all the junior teams cheering on for the seniors and vice versa. A huge thank you to those swimmers who made the extra efforts in coming out for the relays, especially Cammy ‘This is weird’ Graham for filling in for the boys 12 & under relay!!!!!

Parents, thank you very much for your support and I’m sure you all know this but we have the best kiddies here at Abbotsleigh Swim Club and you should be all so proud!

Keep up the great training boys and girls, Speedo Cup in 2 weeks and please make sure you are getting your entries in for the Ginninderra meet.

Thanking you!


Photo courtesy of Nina Beilby (note she has a $5/download special til Friday).

Knox meet report

Energy, enthusiasm and excitement. The 3 Es that describe our swimmers yesterday, when they managed to finally get their hands on one of the delicious Knox Pymble cupcakes!!!!!

Yesterday was a fantastic day of racing where our team displayed an enormous amount of team spirit and unity. I quickly noted to more than a couple of people; including coaches, parents and athletes, how well our Abb swimmers were cooperating and socialising yesterday while still swimming very, very well. What a strong team we are building!!!

Some quick notes from yesterday:
· 66 personal best times swum
· Multiple SMNE, Metropolitan and State Qualifying times
· 1 very happy assistant coach

Congratulations on a fantastic meet and keep up the hard training and that strong team vibe for SMNE Area championships in 19 Days!


An absolute success!!!
The kids got off the bus screaming for more. “When is the next one Lea – that was so fun!”
From the bus trip up, the racing, the playing, the team dinner and the bus trip back – all the swimmers were again on their best behaviour and represented their club with pride.
The results varied and are yet to be published. The day started with a huge high of many PB’s and outstanding swims. We saw the midday slump hit as at about 2pm but picked up towards the end of the day. (not sure if this had anything to do with the fact the kids learnt they were winning money not medals!). As expected the swimmers had to take a great deal of ownership with organising themselves in the areas of – getting to marshal, feeding themselves, coping with the high and low emotions attached to their swims, handling the no swim down/warm up pool and many other typical race day scenarios. They all did this well and we are very proud of them.
Thank you to Brandon who coached the house down. Sitting next to him all day long and listening to him give inspiring, professional and insightful race plans and race feedback – I know Abbotsleigh is in a very strong place. Thank you to the Rev for driving the bus, towelling down the slippery blocks for each and every swimmer, timekeeping and for his support and enthusiasm. Thank you to Sam Graham for driving, timekeeping, helping Nicole manage and for being as calm and cool as a cucumber. Big shout out once again to our Team manager Nicole Dunlop, who put in some hard yards pre trip with so many little behind the scenes things. Her organisational skills are a blessing as this allows us to get on with the coaching. Thank you to Suzanne McKay for helping us organise dinner – the Roasted Berry was a delightful place to have our team dinner and allowed the kids to chat and wind down after a long day of racing. Lastly thank you to the kids for their behaviour, laughter, camaraderie, racing tough and representing Abbotsleigh. Our presence was well noticed!
Thank you to the older gold swimmers for their leadership and great attitudes. Thank you to the younger kids for their surprising maturity. A big thank you to all the parent that trusted in Brandon and I to coach, look after and keep your children safe.

Congratulations to Shauny Champion the winner of the $4.00 for bringing harmony to the bus sing – a – long! Well done to Georgia, Annabelle and Brandon for the development of our new secret team hand shake.

Lastly we were extremely happy with the interaction between all the kids regardless of age or squad. What a great team building exercise that has resulted in an exceptional team spirit and we are planning to build on this as we approach the SMNE champs in 2 weeks times.

PS – 10% commission to the coaches for those wins and places 12 and over kids!!

SMNE 13U Meet 12th October

Always a fast paced carnival where swimmers barely have enough time to race, see their coach, swim down and are back in the marshalling area on time. I must thank our swimmers on the professionalism throughout the meet; warming up as a team, strong racing and their consistent swim downs. Some simple statistics from the day are:
• 139 individual races that Abbotsleigh athletes competed in
• 2 relay teams
• 97 personal best times swum
• 34 medals
• 1 Happy assistant Coach
Special mentions to:
• Felicity smith: every time ‘flic’ dove into that water she came out with a PB. Her largest being a 19 second PB in her 100 freestyle.
• Claudia Fydler: Consistent effort in training shows off when it comes time to racing.
• Bailey Strachen, Claudia Freeman, Emma Fontanot, Eden Timms & Sierra Timms for competing in their first proper long course meet under the Abbotsleigh A.
• To all our 100m butterfly swimmers. Some very strong performances especially for Sam Druce; well-done mate first State Qualifying time and Jayath Gunawardena on his very first 100m butterfly race which he competed in without any fear.
A strong carnival by all our swimmers, one critique from a coaching perspective is as a team our turns, underwater work and breakouts were not to the standards we have been training at. Consistent application during training shows when racing!

Hayley White’s talk

On 13th August we were very lucky to receive a visit, talk and b/k demonstration from Australian World University Games Team member and Bronze medal winner Hayley White. Top points to remember from her talk:

Set goals -long and short. The weekly goals are what get you through the tough times. Weekly goals can be as small as working on your streamlines for that week.

Swimming with her team and her friends keeps her going. It makes her want to be the best Individual. This way she can contribute to being a good team member.

She has always paid attention to skills and technique. From the very beginning as a 4 yr old. This has paid off now in her older years.

Dry land has been a huge part of her training and believes its been a huge key to her strength in the water.

Hydration is also a huge key to performance success both in training and racing. During a session Hayley drinks approx 1 – 1.2 litres of water and or powerade depending on intensity of session. She carries a 2litre water bottle with her all day long and sips on it until gone.

Time management is huge for Hayley. She must juggle 10 pool sessions, university, work, 3 gym sessions plus Physio and massage and sleep time and social time. Hayley prepares her life down to each day for every day of her year. This helps her stay on top of her energy and progression and not be run down and anxious.

Nutrition – everything in moderation. Protein shakes including a concoction of spiralina, almonds, banana and milk help her with recovery. Eating during long and tough sessions is important.

Loving swimming has been the best part. During tough times and times when others were reaping rewards – her passion and team mates and love of the water got her through.

Hayley was a butterflier before puberty and became a back stroker after. Message don’t specialise too soon.

Hayley started out doing 3 sessions as a bronze level swimmer and gradually increased to her now 10. She averaged 8 – 9 during her school years.

Hayley found moving from the coastal town of Kingscliff to the big city very daunting and draining. Swimming kept her going and helped her make new friends that she considers some to be her best and will be lifelong friends. Swimming training and swimming competitively has given her so much more than an ability to swim fast. It helped her through tough times and has made her so much more resilient.

To deal with nerves at a race she talks a lot to others in Marshall to distract her from over thinking. She has a clear race plan and knows exactly what she is doing behind the blocks. This gives her confidence and helps with nerves. She says her hard work has helped her with confidence behind the blocks. Also she is glad the nerves are there as this is the part that suggests she is ready and she finds them a bit of a buzz. She says if you are not nervous then maybe think about quitting as it might mean you no longer care.

Bk tips
On start
Feet shoulder wish apart
Feet level – not track
Knees shoulder width apart
Back straight and flat
Eyes look over the block
When lunge back thrust hips up and squeeze but.
Flick feet on entry
Break out –
dolphin kick until begin catch
Don’t rush first 2 strokes as have enough velocity out of break out
Settle into stroke
Short course racing – turns
100m – 12 – 14 kicks off wall.
200m 5 – 8 kicks off wall. Best not to be Oxygen debted during 200m as have to do 7 turns.

I hope you enjoyed Hayley’s visit – if so we will try to do this more often.


State Championships August 2013

Hi team
This weekend we are off to the NSW State Swimming Championships. Brandon and I are very excited to be taking a 16 strong team to these champs. The team has put in some great training and completed some extra tough sessions over the past 4 and ½ weeks. We coaches are extremely confident that the work you have done will bring you great results. All you need to do now on the final run into the races you will swim is stay healthy, well rested, believe in yourself, your ability and the work you have done. The racing will take care of itself! Create your own luck this weekend by being prepared with all the little things. Food, equipment, racing attire, warm clothes, towels, water, team spirit and a great attitude. As usual please arrive at the pool 1 and ½ – 2hrs prior to your race and see Brandon and I poolside so we know you have arrived. Please be in full bright yellow uniform!! Go Team ABB!

State Team Photo

It would be great to get a team photo tomorrow night (31st July) at our home pool – in our yellow team shirts. If you normally train Wednesday – great, if not it would be awesome if you could be there as an exception to get a team photo, have a team pump up and even do some relay change over practice. (not a huge drama if you simply can’t make it).

State Open report

Hi All
Well my first NSW meet with Team Abbotsleigh was a pleasure. Great to see all the kids in their bright yellow tops – loud and proud!!!
All swimmers were very responsive to race plans and as always from racing we learnt so so much. I certainly gained more insight into each individual and can now progress and assist each swimmer to improve.
Thank you to Bec, Matt. Emily, Zoe, Katie and Morgan for their respect, effort and great racing attitudes. You are all a fine example to your team mates and carried the Abb flag well.

Stats at State Open.

· 60% PB’s
· 30% of swims inside 1 sec of a pb
· 10% of swims more than a second over.
· 1 Bronze medal – Bec Booth 50 BK. Big Congrats and a classy swim.

In summary The swimmers were un tapered and in heavy training so a great effort from these awesome Abbotsleigh Swim Team members.

Coach Leanne

2013 FINA World Championships


FINA World Championships, Barcelona – Everything You Need to Know and MoreEvent Website –
TV Broadcast – The event will not be broadcast into Australia, however FINA tv will stream online highlights daily – for details follow the links at

COMPETITION SCHEDULESaturday 20 July to Saturday 27 July – Open Water Competition
Sat 20 Jul – 
Men’s and Women’s 5km – from 10.00am local time (6.00pm AEST)
Mon 22 Jul – Men’s 10km – from 12.00pm local time (8.00pm AEST)
Tue 23 Jul – Women’s 10km – from 12.00pm local time (8.00pm AEST)
Thur 25 Jul – 5km Teams Event – from 12.00pm local time (8.00pm AEST)
Sat 27 Jul – Men’s and Women’s 25km – from 8.00am local time
Sunday 28 July to Sunday 4 August – Pool Competition
Heats from 10.00am local time (6.00pm AEST)
Finals from 6.00pm local time (2.00am AEST)

Mon 22 Jul – The West Australian pair of Rhys Mainstone and Simon Huitenga will swim the Olympic Marathon distance in the 10km Open Water for men. Mainstone is a FINA World Cup gold medallist, while Huitenga will be on debut for Australia.
Tue 23 Jul – Dual Olympian Melissa Gorman will look to use her experience in the women’s 10km Open Water swim, while the youngest member of the team, 14-year-old Chelsea Gubecka gets her chance on the world stage.
Sun 28 Jul – Olympians David McKeon and Bronte Barratt will lead the way for Australia in the men’s and women’s 400m freestyle, while our relay swimmers will be in action with the men’s and women’s 4x100m free finals.
Mon 29 Jul – Olympic silver medallist Christian Sprenger will be hoping to make one step further up the podium in the men’s 100m breaststroke, while five-time Olympic medallist Alicia Coutts will be in action in both the women’s 100m butterfly and 200m IM.
Tue 30 Jul – Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes is expected to lead the charge in the men’s 200m freestyle, while London silver medallistEmily Seebohm will swim her pet event the women’s 100m backstroke.
Wed 31 Jul – Bronte Barratt and Kylie Palmer will be in action in the women’s 200m freestyle, while the men’s 100m freestyle gets underway involving James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy.
Thur 1 Aug – Sister act Cate and Bronte Campbell will look to start their campaign in the women’s 100m freestyle, while James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy will be focused on the final of the men’s 100m free.
Fri 2 Aug – Australia will be hoping the final of the women’s 100m free is an all Campbell affair featuring both Cate and Bronte, while young guns Mitch Larkin and Matson Lawson will be aiming for the men’s 200m backstroke final.
Sat 3 Aug – Matthew Abood and James Magnussen will be eyeing off the final of the men’s 50m freestyle, while watch out for Belinda Hocking and Meagen Nay in the women’s 200m backstroke final.
Sun 4 Aug – Gold Coast teenager Jordan Harrison will be looking to swim in his first major final in the 1500m freestyle, and the Campbell sisters could be back in action in the 50m free. Australia will also look to finish the meet strongly in the men’s and women’s medley relays.

AUSTRALAIN SWIM TEAM – FINA World Championships – Barcelona
MEN (21 pool, 3 open water) Matthew ABOOD (26) NSW, Ashley DELANEY (27) VIC, Tommaso D’ORSOGNA (22) WA, Thomas FRASER-HOLMES (21) QLD, Alexander GRAHAM (18) VIC, Jordan HARRISON (17) QLD, Simon HUITENGA (24) WA, Grant IRVINE (22) QLD, Jarrod KILLEY (22) NSW, Mitch LARKIN (19) QLD, Matson LAWSON (20) VIC, James MAGNUSSEN (22) NSW,  Rhys MAINSTONE (22) WA, Cameron MCEVOY (18) QLD, Ned MCKENDRY (20) QLD, David MCKEON (20) NSW, Jarrod POORT (18) NSW, Brenton RICKARD (29) QLD, James ROBERTS (22) QLD, Christian SPRENGER (27) QLD, Matt TARGETT (27) VIC, Kenneth TO (20) NSW, Chris WRIGHT (24) QLD, Daniel TRANTER (21) NSW

WOMEN (total 15 pool, 4 open water) Jessica ASHWOOD (19) NSW, Bronte BARRATT (24) QLD, Bronte CAMPBELL (18) QLD, Cate CAMPBELL (20) QLD, Alicia COUTTS (25) QLD, Danielle DE FRANCESCO (20) QLD, Brittany ELMSLIE (18) QLD, Sally FOSTER (28) SA,Melissa GORMAN (27) QLD, Chelsea GUBECKA (14) QLD, Belinda HOCKING (22) VIC, Bonnie MACDONALD (17) QLD, Samantha MARSHALL (20) VIC, Ami MATSUO (16) NSW, Emma MCKEON (18) NSW, Megan NAY (24) QLD, Kylie PALMER (23) QLD, Emily SEEBOHM (20) QLD
*Italics – Qualified as an Open Water Swimmer

• A total of 42 athletes (24 men and 18 women) will represent Australia at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona
• The average age of the team is 21.2
• There are a total of 36 (21 men and 15 women) pool swimmers on the Australian Team this year
• The Open Water Team has a total of seven (four women and three men) swimmers on the team
• At 14-years-of-age Chelsea Gubecka is the youngest member of the team while at 29 Brenton Rickard is the oldest athlete on the team and was a member of the 2003 World Championships team that competed in Barcelona
• Two pairs of siblings will compete on the team, Emma and David McKeon and Cate and Bronte Campbell
• Six new comers to a senior Australia long course team: Alexander Graham, Jordan Harrison, Grant Irvine, Emma McKeon, Chelsea Gubecka and Ami Matsuo
• Australia won a total of 12 medals at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai (including relays) with eight of those medal winners on the current team (James Magnussen, Belinda Hocking, Alicia Coutts, Matthew Abood, Matthew Targett, Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer and Brenton Rickard)
• James Magnussen is the only individual World Champion from 2011 on the current team
• Australia will go in with seven world number one ranked times for 2013 (as of July 1 2013)



State Open Championships July 2013

Hi All,

The following 6 swimmers are representing our great club at State Open Championships this weekend.

Zoe zoom zoom Lysaght, Bec betty boop Booth, Matt killer Kelly, Morgan go go Graham, Katie speedy Strachan and Emily boom boom Booth. We wish them all the very best and encourage them to make their own luck by preparing well and having great intentions to race at their best. I am looking forward to coaching you all at this high class meet and flying the bright yellow Abbotsleigh flag with pride.

We also have a crew heading to the Ravenswood meet to represent Abbotsleigh swim Club. Do us proud and race tough and smart. Be organised, prepared with food and water and walk in the racing arena ready to race. Brandon will be pumped and ready to guide you all to some PB’s.

Coach Leanne