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Tough conditions challenge resilient swimmers

Thirteen students from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School took part in this year’s South32 Rottnest Channel Swim. It was the 23rd year that the School has participated in the Swim, with students battling some of the harshest conditions in years. This did not deter our swimmers who were determined to complete the challenge.

“I chose to compete as a duo this year to challenge myself. Leading up to the swim I was hoping for nicer conditions but around a week before the swim many of us realised that it would be another tricky swim. Doing a duo in bad conditions was tough as sea sickness was a problem for a few people. Although Scarlett and I were both lucky enough to not experience any sickness, stingers were the biggest issue!” said second-time swimmer, Neve Hathway, Year 10.

First-time swimmer, Alexander Clements also Year 10, enjoyed the Swim as well saying, “I felt excited leading up to my first time competing. I was hyped up during it and the swell made it more fun. Though when it was over, I really needed a nap!”

The success of the swimmers has always been a cumulative effort from not just the students, but also the members of their teams, their families and supporters.

Veteran swimmer and first-time manager, Year 12 student Noah Hales, was proud of his team for competing the Swim in the day’s conditions. “After swimming in the Rottnest Channel Swim twice, I felt I could use my knowledge and experience to help a team achieve their best. Managing a team is an important part of bringing the swimmers together and preparing them for the actual day. All the teams that competed did their absolute best even with the challenging conditions.”

Mrs Natalie Clements, Alexander’s mother, also shared in the emotions of the day as Alexander’s team saw the many hours of practice come to fruition as they landed on Rottnest Island.
“The boys had swum more than the 19.7km to Rottnest Island but worked together despite the conditions and the sea sickness. I might have shed a tear when they all jumped in and swam together to the end. It was wonderful that we had made it and got there well before the cut off time,” said Mrs Clements.

“On behalf of the parents of the boys’ BCGS Barracudas team, we are grateful to the many volunteers that helped them get there. Thank you to BCGS Barracudas for showing me the resilience you all have in through completing such a tough swim. They were amazing, well behaved, and respectful of the crew, the boat and did us all proud that day!” added Mrs Clements.

When asked if he had any advice for students who are thinking of competing in the future, Alexander said, “Definitely go for it – it is great to get involved. It is heaps of fun, so it is definitely worth grabbing some mates and forming a team. I would like to compete as a team of four again to see if we can beat the School record. I may do a solo in the future as well!”

Neve agreed and also has plans to re-enter the Swim next year. “I would love to swim again next year and am considering doing another duo or a solo hopefully!”

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