Noosa masters star across three states

Noosa Masters team in Cairns

Brian Hoepper

It seems Noosa Masters swimmers have answered Kipling’s call to ‘fill every unforgiving minute with 60 seconds’ worth of distance run.

In one crowded month, the Noosa flag has flown at the national championships in Sydney, the Australian Masters Games in Perth and the Queensland state championships in Cairns.

Shrugging off the lockdown mentality of recent years, Noosa took on challengers from clubs across the nation, all eager to embrace the new normal of post-pandemic life.

The results were impressive. In Sydney, the nine Noosa clubmates won 27 individual medals, while two relay teams also medalled.

They competed in the famously fast Sydney Olympic Park pool, awash with memories of the smashing guitars relay at the 2000 Olympics. Perhaps prompted by that history, most of the Noosa team swam personal bests (PBs) in favoured events.

The Sydney celebrations had barely finished when Noosa’s Jo Mathews – world-ranked butterfly exponent – boarded the red eye plane for Perth. She was Noosa’s sole representative in the west, but made a mighty impact. In nine events Jo collected five gold, a silver and three bronze medals.

Wearily packing medals in her bag, Jo began the 5000 kilometre journey to Cairns. There, 18 Noosa teammates were already warming up in the superb Tobruk Memorial pool.

Notably, on day one of competition, the Tobruk heritage was invoked in a moving speech by Miami Masters’ Jay Neville.

Jay drew attention to the words emblazoned on the poolside pillars – courage, mateship and sacrifice – and commended their value in life beyond the fields of war.

Over three days of competition, the Noosa tally grew to 88 individual medals, while 13 relay teams achieved podium finishes. Perhaps most gratifying was the fact that every Noosa swimmer medalled at least once. A fine finale to a month of competition across the continent.