Pool tryout proves to be winning move

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Rose Barnett, 9, at the State Country Swimming Championships in Perth.
Camera IconRose Barnett, 9, at the State Country Swimming Championships in Perth. Credit: Brett Barnett

A young swimming prodigy impressed with a strong performance at the 2019 SunSmart Country Championships in Perth last month.

Nine-year-old Rose Barnett competed in eight events during the three-day swimming meet and walked away with six gold medals, a silver medal and seven new personal best times.

Rose said she felt really good about her strong performance in Perth.

“I only started swimming training a few months ago, so winning a few medals down in Perth was pretty cool,” she said.

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“I loved swimming at the beach so my Dad motivated me to give competitive swimming a try.

“It was so different competing in Perth because the pools are much bigger than here in Broome and everything is indoors.

“Hopefully I can keep competing and maybe someday make it to the Olympics.”

Rose’s father Brett said his push to get her into competitive swimming came from seeing her natural talent in the water.

“Our family had quite the scare when Rose’s older sister had an accident in the water and almost drowned, so we decided to take her to the pool to get her more comfortable in the water and Rose joined in,” he said.

“We noticed that Rose was very good at swimming so I thought Rose should try competing and training with the Broome Barracudas.”

Since Rose started competing, Mr Barnett has dubbed her daughter The Beast for showing a completely different side of herself in the pool.

“Usually Rose is a very sweet, quiet, soft-spoken girl, but when she goes to compete, she’s a completely different person,” he said.

“You don’t want to compete against her but if you talk to her before or after a race, she’s very lovely.”

Broome Barracudas president Naomi Findlay said she was impressed with Rose’s efforts, as well as the rest of the swimmers who ventured to Perth. “Several of our swimmers achieved personal bests over that weekend and a total of 29 medals were won by the seven swimmers at the Country Championships,” she said.

“Daniel Ralph was also named as one of the top achievers of the meet alongside Rose.

“Obviously our swimmers were not used to competing in a 50m pool, but it gives them great experience and exposure to big events.

“We also had swimmers compete at the SunSmart LC Rookie Meet, where five competitors achieved 11 personal bests, and the WP Kemp Memorial Sprint on the Gold Coast, where three of our swimmers achieved six personal bests.”

Findlay also acknowledged the dedicated coaching staff of the club for their tireless efforts.

“We are privileged to have a great coaching staff at the club, including head coach Toni Smith, and Mark Hubbard and Ricinda Cook,” she said.

“They really motivate the swimmers to give it their all.”

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