Swim meet draws crowd
THE Gladstone Gladiators are prepared for this weekend's Harbour City Swim Meet which will see them host 242 athletes.
One of the largest meets in the region, coach Caroline Hayes said everything was in place for the influx of swimmers.
"This event has been hosted by the club for a very long time so it is very positive to see such large numbers still in attendance," Hayes said.
"It is an honour to be able to host such an event with swimmers travelling from Hervey Bay, Gympie,
Bundaberg, Gold Coast and Rockhampton.
"The facilities are well prepared for the weekend."
Although numbers are slightly down on last year's event Hayes is happy with the registrations.
"It is such a positive thing to see such good numbers considering the accommodation issue we are faced with," Hayes said.
"Thankfully families and clubs have found accommodation and have been willing to pay.
"This is a big issue for local sporting clubs when they are hosting competitions so it is really pleasing to see our event numbers have not been affected largely."
The weekend's events will start tonight with the warm up opening at 5pm with a race start of 6pm.
Tonight's events will include the distance swims such as the 800 and 1500m, followed by a full day of racing tomorrow and Sunday with relay events being held on Sunday to finish the event.
Gates will tomorrow and Sunday from 7.30am for a 9am start.
Hayes is confident her club will perform well on the weekend.
"We have 48 club members participating on the weekend and I think they are all ready," she said.
"We trained yesterday and they all looked great they were on fire.
"It is always nice to do well in your own events."
Hayes' daughter will be travelling from Miami on the Gold Coast to the event which will add to the importance of the Harbour City Swim Meet.
"Her presence makes this a very special weekend for me," she said.
"It is very important that she be there as it means a lot to me as a coach.
"It is adding to the excitement of the weekend for me."
This meet is a qualifying meet for swimmers wanting to qualify for the 2012 Queensland Sprints in two weeks; this will be there last opportunity to do so.
Swimmers can also qualify for Queensland Championships and Nationals.