photo credit: Delly Carr
‘Retirement’ at 26 is a funny thing to say. But retirement it is. I have been honoured and privileged to be a part of the Australian Swim Team for the past 9 years, but the time has come where I’m ready to part with competitive swimming. It has been an extremely difficult decision for me to make and something that has taken me a few months to make a clear decision, but I am finally at a happy place and excited/nervous for the future. I am not saying goodbye and will be a part of the swimming community for hopefully the rest of my life, but I am now ready to take that unknown leap into ‘life’.
Swimming has been a part of my life since I was 4 years old, and I have been swimming competitively for 13 years. It is something that will take time to adjust and something that may take years to adjust to, but I am extremely lucky to have such a great support system.
Anything in life, I have always said, is a team effort. I have been blessed with one of the best teams in the world and there are a few people in particular that need to know that they are thanked and appreciated.
To all my coaches over the years that have guided me not only through life but swimming as well Max Batey, Charmaine Bolte, Frank Hohmann, Shannon Rollason, Rohan Taylor and Scott Talbot. Rohan, I was with you for just over 4 years, but I have grown more in the last 4 years than at any other stage in my life. You have helped shape me into the women I am now. Scott, my time with you was short to say the least, but you helped and gave me the time to make one of the biggest decisions in my life and for that I thank you.
To all the organisations that have helped support me, when at times I was at my lowest points. ASA (Australian Swimmers Association, Dan Kowalski) you have always had my back and supported me no matter what decisions I made in my swimming career. Nunawading Swimming Club, you welcomed me with open arms 4 years ago, and made me a family away from home for that I thank you. To the VIS, AIS, Swimming Victoria and Swimming Australia thank you for your help, support and guidance.
To all my sponsors, especially Ego Pharmaceuticals, that stuck by me through everything, good, bad and ugly. You have been the most generous company and I am truly honoured to be a part of your amazing family. To Physiohelath, Virus and Hydralyte, thank you for believing in me.
To Matt Woolnough, Nick Owen, Jacqui Louder, Warwick Waters, Maria Cabeliza and Gary Barclay, thank you thank you thank you. You have all had a massive impact on my life and it has been a true privilege to have you in my life.
Last, but probably the most important, is thank you to my family. There are no words to say how truly thankful I am for everything you have all done for me. Mum and Dad thank you for giving me every opportunity to achieve all my dreams, thank you for always being there and for all your support. Lucy and Rob, thank you for moving to Canberra and for all your messages of support. To my wonderful Fiancé, Max, I love you and thank you for the amazing support you have given my over the 6 years I’ve known you. You have always been there for me, supported me and loved me know no matter what. For that I thank you.
A few other people that I would like to thank and mention are Justin McEvoy, David Moraty, Wayne Lomas, Mark Anderson, Amanda Isaac, Elly Gandy, to all my training partners and squads over the years and to everyone else that has been a part of my swimming life, I know I may have forgotten some people but you know who you are and I thank you.
It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later………
Milo and the Little Things in Life
8 December 2015
We all see the posts, photos and stories about how having an animal can change your life (for the better) in so many ways. Having grown up my whole life with animals (horses, fish, birds, dogs and cats) I knew they were magical things, but until I got ‘my little man’ Milo I really had no idea. Milo is truly one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Apart from the unconditional love, cuddles, kisses he has made me a happier and healthier version of myself. Even though every day I have to take him for ‘walkies’ I moan and can often not be bothered, it gets me up and outside in the fresh air. Through some of the hardest times in my life, and there have been a few, Milo has always been there. Without him I would definitely be worse off ‘mentally’. In the days that I was feeling depressed about swimming and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life, Milo was there saying ‘come on mum time for walkies’. I would put my shoes on leave my phone at home and go for a walk, and by the time I got home I felt better. Better for doing something, better in my mind a better version of myself than I was one hour ago. So yes one of the best decisions I have made is getting a dog, yes they are hard work and more responsibility, but they will always love you and push you to be better and for that, Milo I thank you.
Untouchables & My Favourite Swimming Memory
26 August 2014
Not only was this moment one of my highest achievements in swimming but it is also one of my happiest memories that I have from my career, not because of the medal but because of my parents. The photo was taken just after I had won my very first international gold medal in the 200m Backstroke at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I tell most people that when competing at an international competition, even national level sometimes, parents become untouchable. These are the people that drove you to sport when you were young, the people that gave you every chance to become great at whatever you chose to do, the people that sometimes put their lives on hold for you. These are the people that travel all over the world to watch you compete yet you can’t ‘touch’ them. It is quite hard to celebrate a moment when you can’t celebrate ‘in the moment’ with your parents. However, this changed, thankfully for me at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Part of the stand for the swimming event was on the pool deck, and my parents luckily were in that stand. So after I got my medal and we were doing the medal parade I got to see my parents, hug them and share the moment with them. Thanking them for everything that they had done to get me to this moment. This was truly a special moment for me, as for so many other athletes they never get this change to be in the moment with some of the most important people in their lives. Hence why it is one of my happiest swimming memories.
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