Those going to Thirroul pool recently would have encountered more activity than usual in the early mornings and late afternoons. That’s when two to three lanes of kids and adults churn up the pool in single file in coach Ken Thorley’s training squad.
Thorley, whose father Bernie was the first swimming coach at Thirroul over fifty years ago, started the squad last summer because he felt there was a need to improve the standard of swimming in the local area.
“Last year most of the squad members were kids training for school carnivals, plus adults who were swimming for fitness. This year many surf club members have also joined us, and they have been training for Illawarra branch and state championships”, said Thorley.
As Thirroul pool is a seawater pool, the squad starts in mid-December when the ocean temperature warms up to 18C, and continues through until March, when the pool temperature is often around 24C.
“Thirroul pool is unique and beautiful, and we all love being able to train in the saltwater next to the beach with the escarpment at our backs” said Thorley. “But it is eighty years old and badly in need of some investment from council to ensure it is reliably open”.
He hopes to build on the squad’s success in future years. “It has been a real pleasure and privilege to be involved with the local community”, he said.
Ken also recently coached 12 year old Kate Dryden (pictured) to victory as the U13 Ironperson at the Illawarra branch SLS championships at Sandon Point last Saturday.