14 May 2024

Griffith trio excel at national swim championships on Gold Coast

| Oliver Jacques
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Three Griffith swimmers

Nicole Taylor, Lachlan Cirillo and Rose Turner did Griffith proud at the national championships. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Three young Griffith athletes have excelled at the Australian age championships, a premier event on the national swim calendar.

Lachlan Cirillo, 21, Nicole Taylor, 17 and Rose Turner, 13, raced some of the best swimmers in the country at the tournament, which took place on the Gold Coast in April.

“I went up for the 50-metre butterfly, where I got to compete against Olympic athletes who are going to Paris this year, Lachlan said. “To be up there with the best in the country was surreal.”

Lachlan is an apprentice electrician who graduated from Murrumbidgee Regional High School four years ago. His personal best for his favourite event is 26.18 seconds.

Lachlan Cirillo

Lachlan Cirillo gets ready to race. Photo: Facebook.

Nicole competed in the multi-class championship, which is for people with a disability.

“I went in breaststroke and butterfly events. I got two fifth places, two fourths and a third, which I was pretty happy with,” she said.

In January Nicole picked up a string of gold medals at the Australian Deaf Games.

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Rose entered the Under 13 division for the 200m, 100m and 50m breaststroke events.

“It was awesome being on the Gold Coast and competing with the best,” she said.

Lachlan got the chance to speak to an idol.

“I met Mitch Larkin, who is an Olympic backstroker. I got a photo with him and we had a bit of a chat; he gave me some good advice; he was a really down to earth guy.”

Griffith Swim Club president Lauren Catanzariti hopes the trio will inspire more children and adults to take up the sport.

“These kids are such roles models,” she said. “Griffith Regional Aquatic Centre are great to us. We give all the encouragement we can. It doesn’t matter what your ability is, just come and learn and get better at it each week; getting a personal best and the smiles on the kids’ faces is what it’s all about.

“In summer, we have up to 70 kids swimming on a Wednesday night. We have a lot of quality in our club. It’s hard being in the country, there’s a lot of travel to do for events, but we support the children as much as we can.”

Nicole Taylor with medals

Nicole Taylor has won gold medals at multiple events. Photo: Murrumbidgee Regional High School.

Griffith Swim Club, established in 1930, has produced some notable alumni.

Jenny Beer nee Tate represented Australia at the 1976 Montreal Olympics in the 100m freestyle. She now has four grandchildren at the club.

Piper Stewart created a not-for-profit charity called Bambigi at the age of 12, which has taught more than 300 Indigenous children how to swim.

To find out more about Griffith Swim Club programs, you can message the club on their Facebook page.

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