BENDIGO Hawks swimming club has lured the skipper of a rival country squad back to her home region as a new assistant to head coach Ashley Wain.
The appointment of Geelong captain, national junior representative and former Kerang resident Kahlia Marsh is seen is a recruiting coup for the club.
Marsh, 19, is a champion whose achievements over the past decade include multiple state and national medals, sportsmanship and results-based awards and swimming for the Australian Junior Flippers in a Trans Tasman meet against New Zealand.
She was a member of the Victorian schools representative team for nine consecutive years between 2004 and 2012 and has won the prestigious Bruce Carter Memorial Award for most outstanding swimmer at the Victorian country championships three times.
She has collected state medals in breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle and more recently won 10 medals, including eight gold, at the Victorian country short course titles in Wangaratta.
Outside of the pool, Marsh has made track-and-field and cross country state teams.
She will continue swimming competitively, training under Wain in the Hawks' national squad, while acting as an assistant coach to junior squads.
Bendigo Hawks media officer Anthony Davies said securing Marsh's services was "a recruiting coup of the highest order".
He said she was a delightful young lady well known for her caring nature and her fiercely competitive instinct.
"It is our hope and expectation that she will prove not only a great addition to the club as a coach, but also an inspiration to our swimmers.
"She will swim and lead by example - that's guaranteed."
Marsh takes up her role in early October and will also work for a local sports management company.