Small Corey aims high in swimming
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
WHAT 13-year-old Corey Brown lacks in size he more than makes for up in heart.
Brown, a member of the Gladstone Gladiators Swimming Club team, will today line up in the 13and-under boys 100 metre breaststroke event at the Australian Age Championships in Brisbane.
Speaking at his final light training session at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre on Monday, the lightly-framed youngster admitted to being excited ahead of his first national carnival.
"Hopefully I can make a final ? that's as high as I expect to go,'' Brown said.
The 13-year-old Tannum State High student said he first took up the sport as a seven-year-old at the suggestion of his mother Susan because he "wasn't that good at sport''.
However, he soon proved he had talent in the pool and that, combined with a dedicated approach to training, has proved enough to take him to the national level despite giving away size to a majority of his opponents.
His coach Caroline Hayes said Brown's achievement is a credit to his determination.
"The thing about Corey is that it's a huge achievement for him,'' Hayes said.
"At this age kids make big advances in their swimming career because they grow quickly.
"Corey hasn't grown, so achieving the number of PBs (personal best times) he's done all season is a sign of his mental strength.
"He's also very good technically.''
Hayes said Brown thrived on the team aspect of the sport even though it is as an individual that he competes.
She pointed to the swim in which he qualified for this week's championships, recorded at the Central Queensland Championships earlier this year, as an indication of the strong club spirit.
"The swim he did to qualify for the nationals, he had the backing of the whole Gladstone squad,'' Hayes said.
"Everyone was shouting and cheering. It was the most exciting swim at the championships.