Ocean Swims swell with record student numbers

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The Armidale School (TAS) has entered a record number of 110 students and staff in next week’s Beachside Radiology Coffs Ocean Swims. The TAS team includes swimmers from years 6-12 and will make up more than one quarter of the entries in the 2km event.

Tim Hughes, the school’s Media and Communications Manager said, “We love making the trip to Coffs for the annual Ocean Swims and it is great to see the students challenging themselves and achieving a goal they have set.

Buses are organised for the event and will leave at dawn to make it in time for the 2km event.

The Ocean Swims have risen in popularity among the school community since two boys and a teacher from TAS first took part in 2003. Since 2016, the school has been co-ed and the team is now made up of over 30 percent girls.

Some will undertake the swim because it is part of the school’s Triple Crown Award – for those who complete the 2km Coffs Ocean Swim, the 14km City to Surf and the 111km Hawkesbury Canoe Classic during their time at the school. Others will do it as part of triathlon training or just to achieve a personal goal.

TAS awards a trophy, the Pacific Plate, to the first student home in the 2km Ocean Swim event. Last year’s recipient was Jesse Streeting who competed in his first open water swim and rose to the challenge to come sixth overall from more than 300 finishers.

The swim is also an important event for the Year 11 students doing their Bronze Medallion as part of Surf Life Saving with Sawtell Surf Club.

Event Director Noel Phillips  said, “It is great to see so many swimmers from inland regions taking part in the ocean swims. There is a very high standard of swimming from some of the regional areas in NSW and although many of the swimmers haven’t had a lot of experience in the ocean they often feature prominently on the podium.”

The iconic event, which attracts over 600 swimmers each year from ages 8 to 88 has been running for 22 years with all proceeds going to local charities.

The Beachside Radiology Coffs Harbour Ocean Swims on Sunday 7 April include the 600m Jetty swim for ages 10 and over, the 2km Harbour swim for over 12s, and the 150m and 300m Junior Swims for 8-14 year-olds. All events are held at the protected Coffs Jetty Beach with qualified surf lifesavers on duty and are open to all levels of experience.

For more information and to enter go to villagesports.com.au

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