Junior Excellence Awards

Fourteen members have received awards in the 2024 Swimming Australia Junior Excellence Program.

The Australian Junior Excellence Program, recognises, rewards and encourages junior swimmers who, through their development of aquatic skills and fitness, achieve a high standard of swimming excellence.

Congratulations to the following members who have received awards this year:


Lillian Zhu


Joseph Assi
Tomas Dlesk
Jay Shrestha
Daniel Vicic


Aisha Abdelraheem
Damien Chan
Hudson Darwich
Atlas Goroglu
Patrick Hannan
Coralie Havea
William Johnston
Lisa Shrestha
Samantha Terry

All our club's previous recipients can be found in the Development section of our website.

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Presentation Evening

Our swimmers and supporters celebrated the success of the 2023/24 season at our annual Presentation Night.  This was held at Club Merrylands, one of our club's generous sponsors.

Club President Graham Edwards kicked off proceedings with a summary of achievements and a heartfelt thank you to all those who volunteer for our club.

The Graded Pointscore was presented and it was great to see so many swimmers eligible for an award.  There was a lot of excitement from swimmers young and old to see who earned lots of points by improving their times throughout the season.  Congratulations to Gabriella Assi for the highest point score and also for winning the Junior Girls Pointscore.  Lily Palise was Junior Girls Runner-Up. Jude Johnston took out the Junior Boys Pointscore, a tight competition with 3 points separating the top 3 placegetters.  Patrick Hannan was Runner-Up Junior Boy. Ian Johnston and Alison Johnston won the Senior Mens and Senior Womens Pointscore respectively, with Varant Jambazian and Kylee Murray in 2nd placings.

The Relay Pointscore was won by the Grumpy Old Men team, consisting of Graham Edwards, Alireza Farshad, Varant Jambazian, Ian Johnston, Peter Johnston and Ian Wilson.  We hope more teams will enter and swim consistently next year to knock the smug smiles off the Grumpy's faces.  Ian Wilson also won the Senior Handicap and believes he has finally worked it out.

Coaching Awards were presented for squad members' consistent effort, improvements and attitude towards their training throughout the year.  Congratulations to Gabriella Assi, Jokubas Urbonas and Ian Johnston who all received a prized beanie.

The Age and Open Pointscore were awarded to swimmers based on championship results, with some very competitive age groups and close results.  Congratulations to all our Age and Open Champions.  

The P-Plate Award recognised the "Silly Mistake of the Year" and was awarded to Margaret Edwards for swimming with the protective film on her goggles all season.

The Jack Smart Encouragement Award is in memory of Life Member, Jack Smart.  This was awarded to Tomas Dlesk for his progression from 25m races up to 200m races throughout the season.

The Jim Pye "Minties" Development Award is in memory of Life Member, Jim Pye.  This award is presented to a Junior Swimmer who has swum consistently over the season, steadily improving and representing the club at various swimming meets.  William Johnston was the recipient of this award.

Representative Awards and club shirts were presented to Joseph Assi, Daniel Vicic, Matthew Vicic and Leo Zhu for their representation of the club at Swimming NSW Events.  This was the first time Daniel and Leo had received these awards.

The Lions Award was presented to Peter Johnston for his services to the club over the past season.

The Masters Swimmer of the Year was awarded to Alison Johnston for her performances at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships and 2024 National Championships. 

The Champion of Champions Award is based on performance in Graded Races, Championships, and representative swims for the club.  Matthew Vicic won this award, gaining many of his points for his dominance in the Club's Open Championships, setting five records throughout the season and his attendance at Area and Metropolitan Meets.  Congratulations to Joseph in 2nd place and Alison in 3rd.

Thank you to Margaret Edwards and Tricia Johnston for organising the trophies and to Denise Assi for being the official photographer for the evening.

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Metro South West Short Course Championships Results

Merrylands' team of 12 had fantastic results at the Metro South West Short Course Championships over the weekend.

As a team, Merrylands achieved 27 new Personal Best times out of 32 individual swims, with 7 finalist placings and a Bronze medal! 

Damien Chan took home merch for all his swims, with a bronze medal and 3 finalist placings.  Damien amazingly achieved 6 personal best times in his 4 swims, including a 50m Butterfly PB in the 200m IM.  Damien' was unstoppable in his 100m Breaststroke, achieving a bronze medal from Lane 8 and 2 PBs in the one race!

Gabriella Assi had a ripper of a 100m Backstroke and achieved a new PB dropping over 8 seconds.

Joseph Assi smashed his 100m Freestyle time with an almost 3-second PB.  Joseph managed to equal his 50m Breaststroke time and picked up a finalist ribbon in his 100m Breaststroke, the very last event for the team.

Tomas Dlesk put in a top effort for his first-ever Area Championships and first time swimming at Sydney Olympic Park and swam his 2nd fastest 100m Freestyle.

Patrick Hannan achieved huge new personal best times in his 100m Breaststroke and 100m Backstroke with his backstroke splits being executed like a pro!

William Johnston was a pocket rocket and beat his 50m Backstroke PB in his 100m Backstroke and also bettered his 100m Freestyle time.

Alison Johnston picked up 2 finalist ribbons in her 50m sprints, happily dipping back under 30 seconds in the Freestyle.

Jay Shrestha did the double with 2 personal bests in the 100m Breaststroke and his 100m Freestyle was just outside his best.

Samantha Terry was on fire slashing 20 seconds off her 100m Breaststroke and also took a chunk off her 100m Freestyle.

Matthew Vicic started his meet with a classy personal best in his 200m Backstroke.  He then swam a gutsy 100m Butterfly, with a sneaky 50m split PB on the way to a new 100m PB.

Leo Zhu achieved his first sub 27-second swim in his 50m Freestyle with a 26.99.  Leo also achieved a new personal best in his 50m Breaststroke and 100m Backstroke where he also picked up a finalist ribbon.

Lillian was 3 from 3 with new personal bests in her 50m Freestyle, 50m and 100m Breaststroke and was just outside the finalists with an 11th place in the Open 100m Breaststroke.

Also special mention to Coralie who had qualified for this meet but unfortunately was unwell over the weekend and unable to attend.

Thank you to our parents for supporting our swimmers and also to our coaches - especially navigating the stairs all weekend!

Well done to the whole team on their performances!

Metro South West Short Course Championships

Merrylands will be represented by 13 swimmers at the Metro South West Short Course Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre this weekend.

Our team is competing in 36 individual events over the 2-day meet, and consists of:

Gabriella Assi
Joseph Assi
Damien Chan
Tomas Dlesk
Patrick Hannan
Coralie Havea
William Johnston
Alison Johnston
Jay Shrestha
Samantha Terry
Matthew Vicic
Leo Zhu
Lillian Zhu

Congratulations to all our swimmers on qualifying, especially to Damien, Tomas, Patrick, Coralie and Samantha who have qualified for the first time. We wish the whole team well for the meet.

Due to the recent fire at the Aquatic Centre, the western grandstand remains closed. All swimmers and spectators will be required to use the Eastern Grandstand.

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10 Medals at Australian Masters Championships

Merrylands' team has finished the 2024 Australian Masters Championships with 10 medals, 12 personal best times and 10 season-best times.

Alison Johnston won 8 medals at the meet, taking home 3 silver and 5 bronze. Alison also swam 1 new personal best time and 2 season-best times. Ian Johnston took home 1 bronze medal and also swam 5 season-best times. Varant Jambazian also took home a bronze medal and swam 10 personal-best times. Kylee Murray swam 1 new personal best time and 3 season-best times.

As a team, our club finished 2nd in the Life Member's trophy point score (awarded to the highest average point scoring club with 5 to 20 members) and finished 29th overall out of 88 clubs.


Alison Johnston
   50m Freestyle  (Silver)
   100m Freestyle  (Bronze)
   200m Freestyle  (Bronze)
   100m Backstroke  (Bronze)
   200m Backstroke  (Bronze)
   50m Butterfly  (Silver)
   100m Butterfly  (Bronze)
   200m Butterfly  (Silver)
Ian Johnston
   200m Backstroke  (Bronze)
Varant Jambazian
   400m Freestyle  (Bronze)

Personal Best Times

Varant Jambazian
   50m Freestyle
   100m Freestyle
   200m Freestyle
   400m Freestyle
   100m Breaststroke
   200m Breaststroke
   50m Backstroke
   100m Backstroke
   50m Butterfly
   200m Individual Medley
Alison Johnston
   100m Backstroke
Kylee Murray
   50m Backstroke

Medal Tally

 Gold 0
 Silver 3
 Bronze 7

Congratulations to our team on their results! A big thank you to our supporters at the meet, Peter, Tricia and William, and also to our coaching team of Peter and Alison for the work they have done with our squad.

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 4

Day 4 of the 2024 Australian Masters Championships saw our team collect 2 medals, swim 2 all-time personal best times and 3 season-best times.

Varant Jambazian swam another 2 personal best times with a PB in the 200m Individual Medley and finished off the meet with a PB in the 200m Freestyle.

Alison Johnston picked up another 2 medals on the final day, with bronze in both the 100m Butterfly and 200m Freestyle. Alison's Freestyle time was her fastest in 3 years.

Ian Johnston swam a season-best time in the 200m Freestyle which was also his fastest time since 2019 while Kylee Murray swam her fastest 100m Butterfly time since 2020.

Well done to our team on their swims and a great finish to the meet!

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 3

Day 3 of the 2024 Australian Masters Championships saw our swimmers collect another 2 medals and swim 4 new all-time PBs.

In a new personal best time, Varant Jambazian took home his first medal of the championships with a bronze in the 400m Freestyle and swam new PBs in the 100m Breaststroke and 50m Backstroke.

Alison Johnston picked up our second medal of the day with silver in the 200m Butterfly and Kylee Murray achieved her first PB of the meet with a new personal best time in the 50m Backstroke.

Ian Johnston had to withdraw from his 3 events with soreness from the first 2 days of competition and hopes to return for the final day of pool competition tomorrow.

Well done to our team on their results today. Day 4 will see the team compete in the 100m Butterfly, 200m Individual Medley, 4x50m Medley Relay, 50m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle to round out the meet.

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 2

Fantastic results on Day 2 of the 2024 Australian Masters Championships in Darwin with 4 medals, 2 new all-time personal best times and 5 season-best times.

Varant Jambazian picked up another 2 new personal best times with big PBs in the 50m and 100m Freestyle.

Alison Johnston took home another 3 medals with silver in the 50m Freestyle, bronze in the 100m Freestyle and bronze in the 200m Backstroke in a season-best time.

Ian Johnston also took home his first medal of the meet, with bronze in the 200m Backstroke. He also swam his fastest 100m Freestyle since 2018 and a season-best time in the 50m Freestyle. Kylee Murray also swam a season-best time in the 50m Freestyle.

Lastly, our Mixed 4x50m Freestyle team improved their entry time and ranking to finish in 8th place with some very fast split times.

Well done to our team on their results today! The team will be back at the Parap Pool for Day 3 tomorrow for the 400m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly and 50m Backstroke.

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Australian Masters Championships - Day 1

An excellent start to the 2024 Australian Masters Championships with 2 medals, 4 all-time PBs and 3 season-best times on a long day 1 that finished well after sunset.

Varant Jambazian swam new PBs in all 3 of his events with excellent swims in the 200m Breaststroke, 100m Backstroke and 50m Butterfly.

Alison Johnston took home the club's 2 medals with bronze and a PB in the 100m Backstroke and silver in the 50m Butterfly.

Ian Johnston swam 2 season-best times and his fastest times since 2018 in the 800m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke while Kylee Murray swam her fastest 50m Butterfly this season.

Well done team! Day 2 tomorrow sees our team competing in the 100m Freestyle, 4x50m Freestyle Relay, 200m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle.

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Australian Masters Championships

The Australian Masters Championships will be held in Darwin from Friday 3rd to Tuesday 7th May, 2024.

Merrylands will be represented by a team of 4 swimmers, competing in 41 individual events and 2 relays over the 5-day meet. Our team completed their pre-meet training session today, are ready and raring to go and consists of:

  • Varant Jambazian
  • Ian Johnston
  • Kylee Murray
  • Alison Johnston

Good luck to our swimmers at the meet!