Day 4 – Camp Coffs

How lucky that pancakes were on the menu for Wednesday’s breakfast, because Team Abb was in the mood to celebrate a fantastic morning in the pool. Callum, Lachie, Tom, Emily and Jade have been dubbed the 5KM Wonders by Leanne after each posted a National Open Water qualifying time in their 5KM time trial. Also on the honour board with amazing results are Tash and Loz, named Day 4’s Water Warriors for exceptional commitment and effort during morning workout.

Team point tallies are neck and neck – and for the Pigs, TOTU, Butterflies and BetYo, stakes are high. There are penalties for violating Team Abb’s No Complaino rule, leaving gear behind and other no-nos, but many bonus points are also handed out, such as for wins in the dry land leapfrogs, having the guts to stand up and sing a line or two of the national anthem when requested or hitting a hot time in training. The hunt for the three remaining hidden team flags continues.

A rare afternoon off from the pool saw Brandon and the boys teeing off with the kangaroos at Woolgoolga golf course, and Leanne and the girls surfing the waves in a lesson at Emerald Beach. The surfers were naturals, the golfers not so much. Special mention goes to 13th birthday boy, Dutch, who played an entire hole with a putter.

A beautiful treat for Team Abb – and especially the hardworking caterers/cleanup specialists AKA mums –  was dinner at stunning Bonville International Golf Resort. Gorgeous pool, tennis courts, barbie under a marquee while watching Leanne and Brandon race team captains around the gum trees (for points) = everybody happy.



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Day 3 – Camp Coffs



The clouds may have rolled in but they couldn’t dampen the high spirits at Camp Coffs, where  another full day at the pool, the beach and as part of Team Abb has  left some indelible memories. Just riding to and from training is an experience – with Brandon in the bus it’s a singalong to ACDC  while in the car you must face the cutthroat competition of Leanne’s 5 second brain game. The swimmers added another 10km in two tough sessions – including an 800 metre time trial – and Water Warriors were named. These are the athletes the coaches decide have pushed themselves the hardest in a workout from start to finish, going above and beyond with a high level of effort and skill.  Leanne and Brandon awarded WW status on Day 1 to Matt, Claudia, Hayley, Imy and Dutch, and on Day 2, to Tom and Kaea.

After a long morning of exertion, breakfast is one of the most anticipated meals of the day, and Matt and Bec were again a dynamic duo at the barbecue, cooking eggs to order. Much appreciated by the mums! Birthday girl Tash celebrated turning 13  and was serenaded by teammates singing Happy Birthday 13 different times throughout the day – the final chorus during dinner, with candles on a special apple crumble. Thanks to Nicole Dunlop for her beautiful dessert and balloon decorations.

Switching off at Camp Coffs – no phones or electronic  equipment allowed except for a few minutes before bed – has been surprisingly easy. The phone box is chockers – and we don’t think anyone misses what’s in there..! Top marks go to “the big boys” for independent behaviour – they have been spied washing their Team Abb singlets by hand in the sink and then using a hedge for a clothes line!

Winding down with beach stretching and meditation was exactly the preparation needed for Trivia Night, featuring dress ups by all teams, team song performances, and a competition to do the best sketch of Brandon. Now there’s a challenge..

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Bobby Hurley visits Camp Abb

Camp Abb team with Bobby Hurley
Member of the Australian swim team, 2012 World short course champion, 21 time Australian Champion and World Record Holder (50m SC b/k 2008) Bobby Hurley visited Camp Abb today. He had plenty of advice to share with the swimmers about improving their backstroke technique. In 2013 he visited Eindhoven, Berlin, Moscow, Dubai, Doha, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing. We are delighted that he added Wahroonga to his list in 2014!

Day 2 – Camp Coffs

And it’s on…. Team Abb has made a splashy start to camp with a huge first day in the pool, carving through two tough sessions for a total of almost 10km. The swimmers are working extremely hard but there are no complaints – “No Complaino” being the camp motto –  and all are loving the opportunity of training outdoors in such a beautiful setting. It’s hot and sunny – perfect weather for showing off the official Team Abb singlets, as well as brand new training caps in the winning design by Tash – but no one is forgetting to slap on the sunscreen before diving in. That’s become something of a team effort on pool deck, and then again on the beach before monster fitness sessions of pushups, lunges, bounds and ball throws. Check out Lachie, below, performing miracles with his 5 kilo medicine ball. With all the water work and dry land exercising, helping at meal times and getting to the next activity on time, Camp Coffs is a demanding place. People are very tired – tonight it was a very compliant lights out at 9 – but happy. Overheard at bedtime : “I wish I could stay here forever…!”

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Day 1 – Camp Coffs

Not even an 8 hour train trip up the NSW coast could sap the energy of 29 lively Gold and Silver squad swimmers, who bounced onto the platform at Coffs Harbour ready for a week in the sun. With Coach Brandon at the wheel of the Abbotsleigh bus, the team headed to Emerald Beach Holiday Park, a beach-side oasis complete with kangaroos and some very fancy cabins. First up was a surf – “the water is so clear and so warm!!” – followed by a pizza dinner and Team Abb meeting number one. Some very inventive team names and flag designs eventuated : The Majestic Scaly Pigs (Captains – Matt and Morgan;  Callum, Claudia, Erin, Tash, Maddy and Laura), The Other Team Unknown (Captains – Eleanor and Shaun; Kaea, Emily, Megzy, Jade and Loz), Commando Butterflies (Captains -Rani and Lachie; Katie, Dutch, Olivia, Katie Mc and Imy), Best Ever Team – YO (Captains – Rebecca and Harry; Hayley, Keely, Winona, Georgia and Tom). Stay tuned for the competition that follows! First training session at Coffs Harbour War Memorial Olympic Pool Monday 7AM.IMG_2562

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Day Zero – Camp Coffs

Excitement has built for months, and finally Camp Coffs is here – Gold and Silver squads (with coaches Leanne and Brandon) gathered at Abbotsleigh pool for bag and food drop, ready for departure on January 5. Next stop Coffs Harbour! Looking forward to some sun, surf and super swimming…

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Open water success

On 14th December the NSW State age open water championship held at the Sydney international regatta centre. Abbotsleigh was represented by Courtney ‘Bickers’ Bicknell and Callum Trethowan. The conditions were favourable and the competition fierce. The results for the 5km events were:

Courtney- 1:16.58, a whole minute quicker than she went a month ago. Keep up the solid training and you will get that national qualifying time!

Callum- 1:05.23, a 3min 30second PB and placed 1st in the 13yrs age group. Callum is our first ever state champion open-water swimmer!!! What a fantastic achievement.

Congratulations to both of our swimmers.

SMNE Summer Champs Nov 13 Report

Wow what a meet!

Team Abb won the Div. 2 point score for the first time ever!! Yeehaa!!
We have 3 age Champions – Georgia O’Connor 10 years, Natasha Ramsden 12 years and Katie Strachan 13 years.
Congratulations to Megzy Baldwin who achieved 9 from 9 pb’s and taking off a total of close to 47 secs!! Young Cammy Graham and Sammy Ramsden also achieved 100% Pb’s.
We earned ourselves numerous National, State and Metro times. On this note a huge congrats to Tash Ramsden for her first ever National time.
Our presence around the pool was electrifying and it was so great to see all the kids smiling and chatting and getting on so well.
Our bright yellow shirts are becoming very popular for their fun and fast swimming.
The only thing we never got around to was a team photo but attached is a picture of the happy campers after the 200Fr where we achieved 11 from 11 pb’s in a row! We were pumped poolside at this time.
Thank you to all the parents for giving up their weekend for their kids and extra thank you to those parents that helped out throughout the day (which I think was everybody!).
A massive thank you goes out to Brandon who carried the PB flag with his silver squad!
I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and loved working alongside Brandon and our great swimmers!
Thank you also to Skippy Huegill for inspiring the girls!

PS – if anyone has any other great photo’s please send them to Ben Ramsden or myself.

N Sydney / Lunar Park day out

It was a successful day all around. A great history lesson and an appreciation of past swimming greats. Having to train and compete in a salt-water pool with rope and cork lane ropes was a unique experience to say the least. North Sydney Lifeguards still have a shortage of sorbeline cream due to the ”itchies”.
After the session we sat down to a breakfast fit for kings and queens before heading to Luna Park. Everyone had an amazing time at Luna Park and it certainly made up for all the itchy ailments. Well done to all the kids for their outstanding behaviour on the train, at the pool and at the Park, you represented your club proudly. Special thanks to Nicole Dunlop for all her pre, during and post organisation. Nicole made the day an absolute success with her efficient management skills and lovely demeanour. Thanking you also to Fiona De Salis for helping Nicole with Breakfast and helping to supervise the children at Luna Park. Lastly thanks to Tom Blackett for joining our coaching team and taking on the day in all aspects; train supervising, swim coaching and being a big kid at Luna Park with the bronze boys.