Zac Assault A Rocky Mountain Excessive for swimming youngsters on the offered out Breast Clinic in Central Queensland


Zac Attack A Rocky Mountain High for swimming kids at the sold out Breast Clinic in Central Queensland

Zac Stoppel-Koch, Olympic gold around his neck, held 60 youth from Central Queensland in the palms of his famous hands last Sunday in a crowded breast clinic in the city of Rockhampton (4,700 km from Brisbane).

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BRIGHT FUTURE: Big moment for seven-time Australian age gold medalist, Taryn Roberts of Rocky City, to meet one of her idols, Olympic gold medalist Zac Stubblety-Cook. Courtesy photo: Central Qld Swimming.

The 22-year-old – Australia's only male individual gold medalist from Tokyo – amazed the world at the Games with his gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke and in record Olympic time.

This breast clinic was so popular that 60 vacancies were allocated within a day and another 60 or more were placed on a waiting list.

Stubblety-Cook's visit came just three weeks after the two-time freestyle gold medalist in Tokyo Ariarne Titmus had also courted the locals who turned up again in droves in the water center of WWII.

President of Central Queensland Swimming Neal Thomsen said the Speedo-sponsored clinic run by a well-known Olympic trainer and Swimming Queensland development trainer Barry Prime was another big hit with the eagerly anticipated CQ swim community, who had traveled from across the region to see their newest swim hero.

Swimmers from Emerald (270 km west of Rockhampton) traveled three hours to attend the gold medal clinic.

“After Tokyo, these camps were excellent; that's how many children in Central Queensland have seen Arnie and Zac on TV and seen their accomplishments, ”said Thomsen.

“So it's great to have the two of you with you, and they stressed that they were kids like this not so long ago and that it's not that bad to dream big and there is no reason why they can do it can.

"It just takes hard work, focus and dedication and it's great for (our kids) to get the idea that these guys are just swimming kids (like them) who made their dreams come true."

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

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

“The coaches really enjoyed having them with them; Trainers can focus on one thing for weeks or months and it usually doesn't come through with the same voice, ”said Thomsen.

“And someone like Zac or Arnie comes into town and can have one-on-one talk with the kids about things and it just comes up.

“You pick it up and suck it up; It's amazing how fast some of them run with it and take the advice from these guys who are at the peak of what they are doing.

“The trainers meet within the region, which is a very large region, and the trainers do not always have the opportunity to meet with different kids in the region and not just with their own clubs.

“The clinic with Ariarne was aligned at the level of our state and national representatives, so it wasn't as wide open as we left it at that higher level, and it was a broader focus on strokes.

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

“It wasn't specific like Zac's clinic, which was a breaststroke-specific clinic, so we opened up to the JX program that Swimming Australia runs and so the kids have to reach a certain level.

“We had 60 spots left which, within the day the email was sent, filled with a waiting list of 60 and more people to get on so you can see the kids doing this kind of thing just thrive.

“It was taken up surprisingly quickly – we usually don't get that kind of answer if we don't have that kind of representation with me and it was just phenomenal.

“The children get this new vigor for sport and they benefit from it and get this drive when they maybe slack off a little; it brings their focus and interest back – it was absolutely brilliant.

“When it came to autographs, Zac would sign various pieces of equipment and the line started with just four brave kids and then it quickly became a 40 person line and then they just kept going.

"There's definitely the interest out there and they love to see their heroes in the flesh."

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Zachary Thomsen from Caribeae with Zac Stubblety-Cook Photo courtesy of Central Qld Swimming.

And Zac's last word on his day in Rocky.

"Not so long ago, Arnie and I were on the other side and we saw our mentors who are now our colleagues, and the fact that we can inspire the next generation is really special," says Stubblety Cook.

“To be able to do that in the regions is even more special and it is so inspiring and special when children show up and ask for autographs.

“It's really surreal to be completely honest, and to be honest, it wasn't that long ago and it's really special that I can inspire these kids to be their best and get the best out of themselves .

"If it's swimming or something else (in life) or even if it's another stroke … even if I'm a little biased toward breaststroke."

The Swimming Queensland Clinic's next stop is Cairns on Saturday November 27th, when three-time Tokyo gold medalist and Speedo Ambassador Kaylee McKeown will be the main attraction at the Woree Sports And Aquatic Center.


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