Ready to dive in at country titles

SWIMMERS and team officials have been advised the Victorian Country Championships will go ahead as scheduled with the bushfire not expected to affect Sale.

Swimming Victoria and Gippsland Swimming have advised all district, clubs and members travelling to Sale to seek advice and assess their own travel and accommodation arrangements and follow any advice provided by local emergency authorities.

More than 600 swimmers from 35 regional clubs will converge on Sale for the three-day event, beginning Friday at the Lex Glover Regional Aquatics Complex.

Gippsland Swimming president Jackie Madden was proud to see the championships return to Sale after it successfully hosted the event in 2009.

“There are seven swimming clubs within the Gippsland district and it provides us with an opportunity to put on a great event,” she said.

“Together we look forward to seeing all the athletes, not just elite swimmers, but swimmer of all abilities, compete in a memorable championships.”

Swimmers will be competing in 100 events this weekend, making it one of the biggest events on Swimming Victoria’s calender.

Up to 2000 spectators are expected to attend, helping boost the local economy.

Traralgon Swimming Club will enter the championships at Sale chasing its ninth consecutive overall title.

Wellington Shire mayor Scott Rossetti Thursday night hosted a civic reception in the Aqua Energy caf at the Lex Glover Regional Aquatics Complex to officially welcome Swimming Victoria and Gippsland Swimming officials, sponsors and representatives from competing clubs.

Heats will begin at 9am from today to Sunday with the finals beginning 3.30pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday.

Prior to the heats this morning, the 35 clubs will parade around the pool and a group of swimmer representatives from the seven Gippsland clubs will read the athlete’s oath.

From 2.55pm Friday, before the first finals session, the RAAF Roulettes will showcase their skills with a 10-minute display above the pool. Swimming Victoria president Daniel Burger, Cr Rosetti and Gippsland Swimming president Jackie Madden will then welcome competitors, coaches, officials and spectators before the mayor officially opens the championships.