Two-time Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes has thrown his support behind the inaugural Swim League and the emphasis it places on team building.
The five-team, 10-week, hour-longcompetition hits close to home for the Hunter-bred Australian representative, who remains focussed on making next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and he helped launch the event at host Coughlin’s Swim Centre on Friday.
LAUNCH: Two-time Olympian Thomas Fraser-Holmes with team members of the inaugural Swim League starting in the Hunter next weekend. Picture: Josh Callinan
“It’s changing the culture in Australia of how we look at swimming,” he said.“We’re so focussed on number one and all about yourself and not so much the team, but this concept is different.”
The first meet will be at Warners Bay on May 13.
Newcastle Royalty, Lake Macquarie Wizards, Hunter Valley Vipers,Port Stephens Pirates and Central Coast Heat are the five entities.
Heat ambassador Cassandra Van Breugel, 23, recently returned from the Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane with her maiden two final appearances and two personal best times for the 50 and 200 metres breaststroke.
“I think it will help the coast and valley area bond better,” Van Breugel said.
“And it will be so much fun with all the teams. You normally only get that type of atmosphere at nationals when there’s a final and the top eight swimmers competing for a spot [on the national team.”
Van Breugel will use Swim League to continue racing throughout the winter months before preparing for nationals, which double as Commonwealth Games trials in February.
“I’ve got a lot of work to, but I want to give it a go,” she said.