FIERCE rivals in any sporting contest, Bendigo and Ballarat face a new challenge this Sunday in the water.
The first leg in the inaugural Bendigo-Ballarat duel in pool will be fought out at Bendigo Aquatic Centre.
Bendigo's swim stars, such as Zoe Deed (pictured) will be aiming to capitalise on home-water advantage against many of Ballarat's best.
Coach at Bendigo Hawks, Ash Wain is one of several key players in the formation of the series.
"This challenge is all about building our sport's profile, and providing more competition for our cities swimmers," said Wain.
For many years it's been the Braves and Miners who have played out many memorable showdowns on the basketball court.
Throw football, cricket, lawn bowls, rugby union, soccer, darts and other pursuits into the mix and there's plenty of bragging rights at stake when Bendigo takes on Ballarat.
Sunday's meet will be a key build-up for some swimmers ahead of the Australian Age Titles.
Racing at this historic swim meet starts at 9am on Sunday in Bendigo's Olympic-sized pool where many champions have and still compete.
This challenge is all about building swimming's profile and providing more competition for our cities swimmers