Zac Attack A Rocky Mountain High For Swim Kids At Sell Out Central Queensland Breaststroke Clinic

Zac and Kids Rocky edited
ZAC's PACK: Swimmers and coaches came from far and wide throughout Central Queensland to meet their gold medal hero Zac Stubblety-Cook. Photo Courtesy Neal Thomsen Central Queensland Swimming.

Zac Attack A Rocky Mountain High For Swim Kids At Sell Out Central Queensland Breaststroke Clinic

Zac Stubblety-Cook, Olympic gold around his neck, held 60 Central Queensland youngsters in the palms of both his famous hands at a packed breaststroke clinic in in the city of Rockhampton (615 km north from Brisbane) last Sunday.

Taryn Roberts and Zac

BRIGHT FUTURE: Big moment for seven-time Australian Age gold medallist, Rocky City’s own Taryn Roberts to meet one of her idols, Olympic gold medallist Zac Stubblety-Cook.  Photo Courtesy: Central Qld Swimming.

The 22-year-old – Australia’s lone male individual swimming gold medallist from Tokyo  –stunned the world at the Games with his gold medal swim in the 200m breaststroke and in Olympic record time.

Such was the enormous popularity of this specialist breaststroke clinic the 60 available spots were snapped up within one day and another 60 or more were placed on a waiting list.

Stubblety-Cook’s visit came just three weeks after dual Tokyo freestyle gold medallist Ariarne Titmus had also wooed the locals who again turned up in their droves at the 2nd World War Aquatic Centre.

Central Queensland Swimming president Neal Thomsen said the clinic sponsored by Speedo and led by noted Olympic coach and Swimming Queensland Development Coach Barry Prime was another huge hit with the eagerly awaiting CQ swimming community who came from far and wide throughout the region to see their latest swimming hero.

Swimmers from Emerald (270km west of Rockhampton) travelled three hours to be be part of the gold medal clinic.

“Coming off the back of Tokyo these camps have been excellent; so many of the kids in the Central Queensland region have watched Arnie and Zac on the TV and seen their achievements,” said Thomsen.

“So it’s great to have them both around and they emphasised the fact that they were kids like these guys not too long ago and it’s not too bad to dream big and there is no reason why they can achieve that as well.

“It just takes some hard work and focus and commitment and its great for (our kids) to get that idea that these guys are just swimming kids (like them) who achieved their dreams.”

Thomsen said the local CQ coaches were thrilled to have someone like Zac in Rockhampton.


Samuel Prasad from Caribeae with Zac Stubblety-Cook. Photo Courtesy: Central Qld Swimming

“The coaches have really enjoyed having them around; coaches can be focusing on a certain thing for weeks or months even and it tends to not get through from that same voice,” said Thomsen.

“And someone like Zac or Arnie come into town and can talk to the kids about things in a one-on-one and it just sinks in.

“They take it in and soak it up; t’s amazing how quickly some of them run with it and take on the advice they have got from these guys who have reached the pinnacle of what they do.

“So the coaches are getting together within the region which is a very big region area wise and the coaches don’t always get an opportunity to get together so things like this really brings together the best coaches in our region and allows them to work together with different kids in the region as well and not just their own clubs.

“The clinic with Ariarne was focused on our State and National representative level so it wasn’t as wide open as we kept it to that higher level and it was a broader stroke focus.


Jaxon Pambid from Emu Park with Zac Stubblety-Cook. Photo Courtesy: Central Qld Swimming.

“It wasn’t specifically like Zac’s clinic which was a breaststroke specific clinic so this one we opened up to the JX Program that Swimming Australia runs and so the kids have to achieve a certain level.

“We had 60 spots available and that filled up within the day the email went out with a waiting list of another 60 and more people wanting to get in so you can see the kids just thrive on this kind of stuff.

“It was taken up amazingly quick – we don’t normally get a response like that when we don’t have this kind of representation at I and it was just phenomenal.

“The kids get that renewed vigor for the sport and they get something out of it and get that drive if they were maybe waning a bit; it sparks their focus and interest again – it’s been absolutely brilliant.

“When it came to autographs, Zac was signing various pieces of equipment and the line started with just four brave kids and then it quickly became a 40 strong line and then they just kept coming.

“There is definitely the interest out there and they love seeing their heroes in the flesh.”


Zachary Thomsen from Caribeae with Zac Stubblety-Cook Photo Courtesy: Central Qld Swimming.

And Zac’s final say on his day out in Rocky.

“It wasn’t so long ago that Arnie and I were on the other side of this and we saw our mentors who are now our peers and the fact we are able to inspire the next generation is really special,” s aid Stubblety Cook.

“Being able to do it in the regions is even more special and it is so inspiring and special when kids do come up and ask for autographs.

“It’s surreal really to be perfectly honest and truthfully it wasn’t that long ago that I was doing that and it’s really special that I can inspire those kids to be their best and to get the best out of themselves.

“If it’s in swimming or something else (in life) or even if it’s a different stroke….even though I might be a bit biased towards breaststroke.”

Next Swimming Queensland Clinic stop is Cairns on Saturday, November 27 when triple Tokyo gold medallist and Speedo ambassador Kaylee McKeown will be the star attraction at  the Woree Sports And Aquatic Centre.