Calling Sydney Home, Bronte Campbell Itching To Get Back Into the Pool But The ISL Will Have To Wait

Bronte Campbell 2018 com games
ON THE MOVE: Bronte Campbell has settled in Sydney but the Covid lockdown has curtailed her training routine , forcing her out of the ISL. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Calling Sydney Home, Bronte Campbell Itching To Get Back Into the Pool But The ISL Will Have To Wait

Australian swimming fans who have fallen in love with the Campbell sisters over the last two decades will be happy to know that Bronte, like big sister Cate, also has the itch to keep on swimming.

And sitting back watching the recent AFL and NRL football grand finals in Australia re-ignited her love of representing her country – something that is often referred to down under as “GREEN AND GOLD MALARIA – emphatically brought to life in this patriotic poem written by Australia’s Brisbane born and bred poet laureate, Rupert McCall (OAM).

Bronte Campbell smile

ITCHING TO GET BACK: Bronte Campbell now a Sydney girl. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

And it sounds like Bronte Campbell, dual Olympic gold medallist, triple Olympian, a five-time World and Commonwealth Champion has that rash, described by McCall as “good old Aussie pride…and there isn’t any cure.”

“I wasn’t sure what I would feel like after returning from Tokyo – winning that gold medal in the relay with the girls on the opening night was a good moment….it was a huge moment, I loved it and I couldn’t believe it was happening,” Campbell told Swimming World.

“It felt like the Olympics may not happen right up until they did and looking back now it was an incredible moment.

“Then watching Cate winning the bronze in the 100m freestyle after what she has been through and similarly with Em Seebohm finishing third in the 200m backstroke as well.

“Everyone will (of course) remember all those gold medals but knowing what it took for those two girls to be there was amazing.

‘Seeing your team mates step up and absolutely crush it; it was such a high and I honestly think it was probably bigger than the high I got from (winning) the relay…just being able to be part of that swim team and something really special that was happening.

“And initially it was great to come home and have a break and sit back and not have anything that I needed to achieve.

“But that little itch came back and it came back around the AFL and NRL grand finals and looking at all these big sports events you remember how great it feels when you are there.

“So the itch is still there and I just need to figure out the best way to scratch it…”

But while Campbell isn’t quite ready to hang up her racing suit just yet, she has had to make some of the toughest decisions of her career and has revealed to Swimming World that due to shoulder management challenges she has had to withdraw from the up-coming International Swimming League (ISL) finals in Eindhoven in The Netherlands where she was contracted to the LA Current.

Bronte Campbell dripping

THIS CAP FITS: Bronte Campbell so proud to wear the green and gold. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Her decision to withdraw from the ISL comes after succumbing to the Covid-19 lockdown in Sydney where she has been unable to fulfill her proper preparation.

Campbell, who moved to Sydney in 2019 and then back to Brisbane to prepare for 2021, will now pursue her immediate swimming career back in Sydney.

And that means with her life long coach Simon Cusack deciding to stay in Brisbane after the Olympics and sister Cate also re-locating back to Brisbane, she will have to find a new coach for the first time in 20 years – and she won’t have big sister Cate eye-balling her in training down every lap.

“With Simon moving back up to Brisbane, he’ll be staying up there and Cate will be staying up there (too) so it was a big decision coming back down to Sydney but I love it down here,” said Campbell.

“Simon has been my coach for 20 years…he has taken me from a little seven-year-old, right throughout my career which has been pretty incredible; it’s been a big decision for me coming back down and now I have to figure out how it all works for me down in Sydney..

“It is my second home now…I have got a beautiful support network down here; there are many people who help me out, I’m sure it will be great…it’s a new adventure for me.

“I have not been able to trial with any coaches because none of the pools have been open…and I now need to get a good place to train; get strong in the gym, get the shoulder right.

“I know how to build back into training, it’s when I get into the specifics…that I’ll have to work out what coaching looks like.

“I was planning on going to the ISL but with all the pools being closed in NSW and the gyms also being closed for so long I haven’t really been able to do enough training to get my shoulder in a good place.

“I have tried to increase the load over the last few weeks but it’s really started playing up so unfortunately I’ve had to make the call that I won’t be joining my team mates in the LA Current which is a real shame.

“The advice I’ve had is to stay back here in Sydney and get into the gym now that we can and build the strength back and that will give me the opportunity to go to the ISL next year if I want but this gives me the option.

“If I went to ISL and destroyed my shoulder not only would that not benefit my team it might close off my swimming career and that’s not the way I would want it (my career) to end…”

Jul 25, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Cate Campbell (AUS) celebrates after anchoring Australia to a gold medal during the women's 4x100m freestyle relay final during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Network

LOVING WHAT YOUR BIG SISTER DOES: Special  moment when Cate Campbell touches to win relay gold and greeted by little sister Bronte. Photo Courtesy: Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports

And 2022 is also a big year for international competition with the World Championships and Commonwealth Games – and Campbell is a former world champion in both the 50 and 100m from Kazan in 2015 and the defending champion in the 100m freestyle from the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

“I am yet to make a hard and fast call (on 2022), it depends on how I end up with (my) coaching and what that looks like,” said Campbell.

“This decision now makes it is a possibility, so it’s more on the cards than not.; but for the moment my shoulder unfortunately would not have been good enough to compete at the ISL.

“It’s a shame because I was really looking forward to spending some time in Europe with my team, doing some fun competitions…unfortunately it’s not to be but hopefully I’ll be able to use this time to re-build…”

But there’s no cure for the itch..she was born with it…and if Bronte Campbell gets her way it just might keep the next generation of Aussies youngsters at bay for a little while longer yet….

w 4x100m free relay walk on

LEADING THE WAY: Bronte Campbell leads the gold medal-winning Aussies girls Meg Harris, Emma McKeon and sister Cate onto the pooldeck in Tokyo for the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay.Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

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