Above: Top Australian swimmers Kurt Herzog, back left, and James ‘The Missile’ Magnussen, back right, were in Narrabri on Sunday to put a group of Narrabri Stingrays Swimming Club swimmers through their paces in the pool. The Stingrays pictured are – back, Adison Hartog-Smith, Clare Jensen, Ella Tomlinson, Andrew Coleman, Charlotte Penberthy, Alex Mison, Callie Lawlor, Digby Chiplin, middle, Jono Charles, Isabella Keys, Sienna Wallington, Millie Collins, Maxine O’Connor, Bella Bakhuis, Summer Fernance, Matilda Wallington, Pip Collins, Elizabeth Caton, front, Sofia Perovic-Gamez, Phoenix Malcolm, Frazer Penberthy and Heath Collins.
Narrabri Stingrays Swimming Club swimmers were treated to a memorable training session on Sunday morning at the Narrabri Aquatic Centre that was run by top Australian swimmers James Magnussen and Kurt Herzog.
Magnussen, who has an Olympic silver medal, two Olympic bronze medals and is a World Championships gold medallist, recently teamed up with Herzog, a World Championships bronze medallist, to visit junior clubs and train the stars of the future.
Narrabri was the second stop for the high profile duo.
Narrabri Stingrays Swimming Club head coach Fiona Connell has a strong connection with Magnussen with whom she swam as a teenager in Port Macquarie.
Connell also coached both Magnussen and Herzog when she was the assistant coach at the Port club.
She said that Sunday’s training session was very beneficial for her swimmers.
“It was just so good,” she said.
“I grew up with James and spent my teenage years as a teammate of his.
“We trained together and we understand what it takes to get to that next level in swimming.
“James and Kurt have just started these camps and we were the second club which is exciting.
“It was their second time coaching together but they’ve known each other for 10 years or so.
“They really appreciated coming out to Narrabri, James is so supportive of country swimming, he’s a big advocate for it.
“The kids got a lot out of the session.
“I just saw the light in their eyes which was really special.
“Every single one of them had a smile on their face and just learnt so much extra.
“A lot of things that they did we have touched on in training but hearing it from someone else and it clicks in a different way.”
Connell said that the Stingrays swimmers were motivated following the session.
“The boys asked the kids to write down three things that they learnt from the session and they could take forward in their training, and I’ve already had half the kids come up and tell me their three things,” Connell said on Monday at the Stingrays’ third of four Club Championships nights.
Sunday’s session was open to just 30 swimmers which meant that some local swimmers missed out.
However, following the success of the session, Stingrays club president Danielle Jensen was hopeful that the duo would return to Narrabri in the near future.