KANGAROO Flat swimmers are ready to test themselves against the state's best when they compete in the Victorian State Age Swimming Championships beginning on Thursday.
The championships will be held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and will run until Monday.
"We are confident in the training our swimmers have put in and their ability to perform at their best at the championships," Kangaroo Flat Swimming Club coach Tyson Jelbart said on Wednesday.
"We are racing some of the best age group swimmers in the nation, so the swimmers will have to give everything they have to each of their races.
"While our team is small, I've been able to individualise the training programs in preparation for the event.
"I'm hoping our swimmers will be able to come back with some new personal best times and be hungry for more training with more competition coming up fast."
Jett Bird, Cody Bird, Elliot Bird and Ashton-Thompson Hall will represent Kangaroo Flat, while Ebony Start and Heidi Start had also qualified.
The championships will be Kangaroo Flat's first meet since the Victorian Country Championships held earlier this year.
"We had a very successful meet at the Victorian Country Championships coming back with multiple top-10 swimmers, finalists and medallists," Jelbart said.
"It was a great preparation for the upcoming state titles, while for some it was a great learning curve and they've bounced back stronger than ever ready for the state titles."
The Kangaroo Flat Swimming Club is based at the Gurri Wanyarra Wellbeing Centre.
"While we are a predominantly junior-orientated club where we prioritise enjoyment of swimming, our ability to train hard as a team has been a big key to our team's success," Jelbart said.
"We cater for swimmers wanting to swim for fitness, social or medical reasons as well as those who choose to swim for competition in hopes of being Bendigo's next Olympian."
Jelbart has been coach of Kangaroo Flat Swimming Club for 12 months, during which he has had to navigate the challenges of COVID lockdowns.
"While we have been back in the water full-time for about six months without lockdowns, our club has had its fair share of struggles, including athletes being unable to train due to family or themselves coming down with COVID," Jelbart said.
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