Thursday, February 29, 2024

Penrith to host Olympic swimmer in young athletes forum

Budding young Penrith swimmers will get the chance to hear from an Olympic athlete when local swimmer, Matt Wilson, takes part in an online event on Friday.

Penrith City Council’s Ripples Aquatic and Recreation centre will host Matt, a 22-year-old swimmer from Springwood who recently made his Olympic debut in Tokyo, competing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events.

In an online statement, Penrith City Council said Matt would join up to 100 junior squad members and the Ripples team for a highly-anticipated question and answer session.

The wider Penrith community has also been invited to go online and join the free event, which will be accessible via a Zoom link, to be published on Ripples’ website and social channels.

The interview will be hosted by Ripples’ new head coach, Kaz Suzuki, as part of a program he has implemented to keep the squad members active, engaged and motivated while Ripples facilities remain closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Meeting virtually, the activities include group and individual goal-setting lessons, twice-daily fitness sessions with a Ripples exercise physiologist, and Kahoot! learning games focused on swimming.

Penrith Mayor, Karen McKeown OAM said the Friday event was a great opportunity for the city’s aspiring swimmers.

“Council is so pleased to see the staff at Ripples organising a fantastic event that will hugely benefit the many children and families of our squad teams,” Mayor McKeown said.

“We could all use some positivity at this time and holding a Q and A session with an Olympic athlete, who was born right here in Penrith, is a wonderful way to help these young swimmers and the wider community gain some insight, inspiration and continue on their journey as they set out to achieve success.

“Under the guidance of skilled coaches, our Ripples centres in St Marys and Penrith are well-equipped to nurture swimmers from those in our Learn to Swim program all the way up to Squads, and I’m sure we will see many of them represent the LGA, our state and even the country as they grow.

“Well done to all involved in organising this event and a big thank you to Matt Wilson, he will be a big inspiration for our young athletes.”

While the event is targeted at squad members, Ripples is opening the virtual session up to the wider Penrith community.

Visit ripplesnsw.com.au to find out more and register for the event.

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