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29 July, 2022

Best swimmers in FNQ ready for competition

LOCAL swimming clubs are gearing up for the FNQ Short Course Championship at Tobruk Club on Saturday and Sunday for a weekend of competitiveness, sportsmanship, and lots of cheering for the best swimmers in the Far North.

By Isabella Guzman Gonzalez

Cairns Stingrays Swimming Club members (L-R) Emily Salecich, Ruby Walkear, Rayner Ganfieod, Jessica Deane and Connor Lloyd

Racing will begin at 8am on Saturday and Sunday, and FNQ residents and spectators are invited to support the 223 participants, highlighting the region’s best swimmers. 

Current FNQ Club and Relay Champions, the Cairns Stingrays Swimming Club, have 47 swimmers, ages eight to 22, competing this weekend and hoping to repeat their title. 

Cairns Stingrays head coach Sander Ganzevles said the team is excited to participate again in the FNQ Short Course Championship. 

“We’re quite excited,” Mr Ganzevles said. 

“This is an opportunity, not only for us but for the whole region, to show ourselves to the world. 

“It’s great fun with lots of excitement, great sportsmanship and cheering.” 

Mr Ganzevles said they were looking to retake the crown and test their youngest swimmers this year. 

“It would be a good thing to win,” he said. 

“It’s always an honour to be the fastest or the best; we don’t have that much history in it, last year was the first time we won so it would be an honour to win. 

“This year, we also want to see if our kids age 12 to 14 can take the next step into State Championships.” 

With the Commonwealth Games starting this week, Cairns swimmers like Joel Mundie representing the region, and the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane coming sooner than later, Mr Ganzevles said the future of Cairns athletes seemed bright. 

“They’re a great inspiration for the kids,” he said. 

“It feeds the ambition of the kids to want to achieve excellent levels of swimming in Cairns. 

“If you want to make the Olympics, you should be in the water right now. 

“This is an opportunity to show the world that Cairns is a huge region for sport and that you don’t need to come from Southeast Queensland to get there.” 

Looking to a more immediate future, Mr Ganzevles said the main goal is to swim their best this weekend and boost the younger kids into State championships. 

“The team is most excited about the relays,” he said. 

“We don’t get many relays as a team in Australia and especially locally, so it’s very fun to be a part of it and also to cheer for it. 

“And we want to see if our younger swimmers can beat state times or get close to state times.” 

Mr Ganzevles said he wanted to encourage people from all around FNQ to come and support the swimmers. 

“When you want to become a swimmer, this is the atmosphere you want to be in,” he said.

“The competition is great fun with lots of cheering, and I encourage people to come and enjoy.” 

The FNQ Short Course Championship at Tobruk Pool is this Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31. 

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