BATHURST Swim Club is expected to field one of its largest teams of competitors as they squad hopes to make a splash in their home carnival this weekend at the Manning Aquatic Centre.
More than 60 members of the home club will jump in the pool in a bid to set personal bests and qualifying times for upcoming state and country carnivals.
Bathurst Swim Club head coach Josh Stapley said it's a big moment for the team to be fielding such impressive numbers.
"We have 64, which is just massive," he said.
"In keeping with our theme for this season, I believe that's the biggest club representation we've had at our carnival. It just shows how good our growth has been and what a strong position we're in at the moment.
"Bathurst is a carnival which has thrived over the past few years. Our brilliant facility and the dedicated committee behind the club and our central position helps the carnival be so heavily supported.
"Thanks to the lifting of COVID restrictions over the past month we've been able to run our numbers as normal, so we're not down on entries compared the last few years and we're fully booked out."
COVID-safe measures, such as multiple entry gates and self-marshalling protocols, will still be put in place to ensure everyone's safety.
Stapley said after all the work both in and out of the pool it will be satisfying to see the first race get underway.
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"It's been a busy week of preparation. There's a lot more work that goes into running an event in a modern COVID world. There's been a lot of behind the scenes work to make sure that we can run things safely
"It's our first race back of the year after a little break and everyone's excited for it. It's starting to sink in now that it's close. It's snuck up on a few of them too."
The carnival is the first opportunity of 2021 for swimmers to chase qualifying times for major Swimming NSW events, such as the Country Championships (held February 19 to 21).
"For the older guys it's a chance to get a feel for where they are after the Christmas break. A couple of the older guys are still chasing national times and those who are close to them will be chasing those at this meet," Stapley said.
"The experienced younger swimmers are starting to look towards the country and NSW Junior State Championships over the next few months.
"We also have a lot of swimmers for who this will be their first carnival, so for them it's all about getting experienced and seeing what a major carnival is all about."