Olympic Trials await for Macksville Marlin Swimming Club’s Declan Sutton Nambucca Valley Sport News Of The Area by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 13, 2021 Declan Sutton, a member of the Macksville Marlin Swimming Club is ready for his Olympic trials for the 100m Freestyle. LOCAL athlete Declan Sutton has been swimming with the Macksville Marlins Swimming Club since he was six years old. “I just love it,” he told News Of The Area. Over a period of seven years, Declan enjoyed going to swimming meets from Coffs Harbour to Taree with his Club and team mates. These carnivals occurred most weekends through the summer months. By the age of thirteen he started swimming more competitively, qualifying for State and National swimming carnivals. During this time, he swam under two coaches, Renee Pickvance and Tony Kirkadye, who are still training him to this day. “They help work on my technique, endurance and strength,” he said of his coaches. “To become an Olympic swimmer has been a dream since I was twelve.” When asked what his training regime was like, he replied, “I do eight sessions of swimming training a week.” Declan has Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday to relax or attend swimming meets and for the remaining days he puts in a two hour session of swimming at 5:30am and then another hour and three quarters of swimming in the afternoon. These swimming training sessions include sprints for speed, endurance and technique training. “Training for endurance is really hard,” he said. But that isn’t the end of it for this young man, he also hits the gym to build up his strength. “You need to get your technique right, there are so many small things you need to know and get right so you don’t get disqualified. “I even count my kicks and strokes to prepare for my turns,” he stated. With his dream of being an Olympic swimmer in sight, Declan recently attended the Australian Championships in Sydney where he swam the 100m freestyle event in 52.2 seconds. Not only was this his personal best but his time qualified him to attend the Olympic Trials Carnival, where the top two swimmers will represent Australia in the Tokyo Olympic games in 2021. With the Sydney Open Carnival on this weekend Declan will be heading down to see if he can beat his 100m Backstroke PB of 1.00.41sec to make the 58.74sec Olympic qualifying time, as well as his butterfly PB of 57.54sec to make the 56.87sec Olympic qualifying time. “I look at this as an experience carnival,” he said of the upcoming Olympic Trials Carnival. “I am going to be against some really fast kids, and really fast older guys.” When asked why he wasn’t going for Breaststroke as an Olympic qualifier, he replied with laughter. “I can’t do breaststroke, it’s too hard.” Declan is currently attending Charles Sturt University in Port Macquarie where he is undertaking a degree in Physiotherapy. “I am very fortunate to be under the Elite Athletes program,” he said. “The program helps me balance study and the swimming training I need to do to attend carnivals.” And what if he doesn’t make the Tokyo Olympics in 2021? “I will be back into training again for the next three years to try and qualify again for the Paris Olympics in 2024,” he said with a brilliant smile. With the amazing support of his family behind him, there are only wonderful things ahead for this local young athlete. By Tamara MCWILLIAM Declan Sutton with one of his two coaches, Renee Pickvance Declan Sutton in action ready to take to the blocks and swim the 100m freestyle event.