Regional sport hurt in slip-up

LOCAL swimming club coaches say controversies with the Australian swim team have some local ramifications for the sport. 

Members of the men’s freestyle relay team which competed at the London Olympics will be investigated over misbehaviour and the use of sleeping pill Stilnox prior to the Games. 

Bendigo East Swimming Club coach Tony Rodda said the controversy would make all sportspeople more cautious. 

“It’s certainly tarnished the sport,” he said. “I would hope it doesn’t have a local impact.

“From a local point of view, we can only be positive with our outlook and stress to the youg swimmers coming through that drugs in sport is not on. 

“We try to teach our kids to have respect for not only our fellow competitors but officials, parents, and anyone else involved in the sport.” 

Bendigo Hawks Aquatic head coach Ash Wain said local coaches would probably think twice about how they prepare their athletes for competitions. 

“It’s about respecting the opportunities being given and understanding the ramifications such choices can make on a team,” he said. “You’ve got to instil that professionalism early if they’re going to reach the pinnacle of their sport. 

“You’ve got to behave and respect everybody else; that’s what being part of a team is about.” 

Both coaches said the sport was growing in popularity and said that often related to how the national team was performing. 

“It was quite big here in Bendigo in the past,” Mr Wain said. “This incident would certainly make parents a bit more aware of the behaviour they don’t want to see if they were to join a swimming club.

“We meet before we go away and all our athletes understand we don’t accept bad behaviour.”

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