Australian Masters Championships - Day 1

A fantastic start to the Australian Masters Championships with 3 medals on Day 1 at HBF Stadium in Perth.

Alison Johnston took home all 3 medals with Gold in the 400m Freestyle in a season best time, Silver in the 50m Backstroke and Gold in the 100m Freestyle.

Ian Johnston swam a new PB in the 50m Backstroke, and a season best time in the 100m Freestyle, while Peter Johnston swam season best times in all three of his events - 400m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke and 100m Freestyle.

Day 2 tomorrow will see our team hit the water in the 400m Individual Medley, 50m Butterfly, 100m Breaststroke and 200m Freestyle.

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Australian Masters Championships

The Australian Masters Championships will be held in Perth from Wednesday 18th to Saturday 21st April, 2018.

Our club will be sending a team of 4 swimmers to the meet, competing in 36 individual events.

Good luck to our swimmers at the meet. You can follow the team's progress on the Live Results Page, Facebook and Twitter.

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Magical Masters

ENDING their 2017-18 season on a high note, a dozen swimmers from the Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club (MASC) finished the NSW State Masters Long Course Championships with a haul of 15 medals.

Bringing home 11 gold, three silver and a bronze between them, MASC president Graham Edwards said their swimmers also set 10 new personal best times at the two-day event which was held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC).

"Our club also finished second in Division 2 at the meet and won the Executive Trophy for the highest proportion of members swimming at the championships," he said.

"Our coach, Peter Johnston was also named NSW Master's Coach of the Year for the second time.

"He's a very special coach across all the levels from juniors through to the masters. He has been recognised at the highest level for the quality of his coaching."

Mr Edwards said he was extremely proud of all the Club's swimmers.

"For a small masters club competing against some of the bigger squads we do very well for ourselves," he said.

"It's a great family atmosphere and we provide a pathway right through from the juniors which is unique in that respect. That is one of the strengths of our club.

"We also run learn to swim classes during summer and the diversity of those classes is great to see.
"This year for the first time we offered adults classes as well and it was really successful and enjoyable."

He said a couple of people began the classes with a real fear of the water and it was wonderful to see them begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, and to be able to enjoy swimming and to participate in such an important aspect of Australian culture.

Training Breaks

There will be no training sessions for any groups during the April School Holidays (16th to 27th April).

Novice, Junior & Development Squads

  • Last Session: Thursday, 12th April
  • Sessions Resume: Monday, 30th April

Senior, Age, Masters & Adult Squads

The Senior, Age, Masters & Adult Squads will take their annual training break from 16th April to the 6th May.

  • Last Session: Thursday, 12th April
  • Sessions Resume: Monday, 7th May

Presentation Evening

This season's Presentation Evening will be held on Saturday, 2nd June, 2018 at Club Merrylands.

The room has been booked from 6:00pm with the presentation starting at 6:30pm.

You will be able to purchase dinner either before or after the presentation from the club's facilities.

Award selection must be completed by Friday, 13th April.

For more information and to complete your award forms, see the Presentation section.

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Stepping out of your comfort zone

Every person has comfort zones within which he or she operates. Physical comfort zones are easy to identify. If your true AT* pace for Freestyle is 1:30 per hundred, any swim done at 1:40/100 would fall within your comfort zone. On the other hand swimming at 1:20/100 would quickly elevate lactic acid levels to the point of discomfort. Somewhere around 90m you would stray from your comfort zone.

Psychological comfort zones are a little harder to quantify. Most people find talking to a friend or a few friends at once to be no challenge at all. However, the thought of standing up in a room of twenty or thirty people to give a 5 minute speech, even if it is on a familiar topic, is enough to cause goose bumps and moist underarms for the majority of people. Giving a 45 minute speech in front of a live audience of 10 or 20 thousand (or a TV audience of several millions) is unthinkable for all but a tiny fraction of a percent of the human population.

The key to personal growth and increasing success in nearly every endeavour is the willingness to step outside of one's comfort zone. In swimming this might mean doing something physical like swimming a particular set all fly instead of all free, or choosing to go on faster intervals or leading the lane instead of drafting off the leader. It might mean doing something more cerebral like deciding to enter your first meet or setting a goal to swim a personal best time and then training toward it.

Virtually everyone enjoys the feeling they get when leaving their comfort zone results in success. How about asking someone out for a date? This is out of the zone for most people. Yet how wonderful it is when the other person says "Yes."

Yet, fear causes most people to hesitate to step outside of their comfort zone. Fear of failure. And we all know, but rarely admit to ourselves, that the real "consequences" of failure are truly inconsequential and usually short-lived. It just doesn't seem that way at the moment of truth - the moment where we either decide to act or decide to remain quiescent.

It is obvious that enlarging one's comfort zones pays off in many aspects of life. It is not as readily obvious that the persistent and consistent practice of "steppin' out," even a short distance, from the confines of a comfort zone can yield nearly unbelievable results over the long haul.

There is a story about an FFA live stock show where the older boys engaged in a calf lifting contest. Each boy would, in turn, select and lift off the ground a heavier calf than the previous boy. Once a boy failed he was out of the contest. When there was just one boy left and he was about to be awarded the prize one of the younger, smaller boys that had been watching called out "Wait, I can beat that!" The other boys laughed at him, told him to be quiet and ruffled his hair. Undaunted, he walked over to his entry in the stock show, a nearly mature bull that weighed fully three times what the heaviest calf lifted weighed. He proceeded to lift that bull three inches off the ground and immediately was greeted with "Ooohs!", "Ahhhhs!", applause and the prize.

When asked how he managed such a feat, the boy explained that, ever since the calf was born, he would lift the calf off the ground once a day. He never missed a day as the animal grew. The boy's calf lifting ability grew into bull lifting ability. To do this he never had to step very far outside his physical comfort zone. Yet by consistently and persistently taking small steps he managed to enlarge his comfort zone to immense proportions.

I challenge you to define both your physical and psychological comfort zones in swimming (or any other aspect of your life for that matter) and then set upon a course of persistent and consistent forays, outward bound.

*AT = Anaerobic Threshold—The point at which lactate accumulation begins to rise sharply is the Anaerobic Threshold. Swimmers should train with a heart rate 20 to 30 beats below maximum.

NSW Masters Coach of the Year

Peter Johnston was announced as the 2017 Masters Swimming NSW Coach of the Year Award at the Masters Swimming NSW Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on Sunday, 18th March.

Peter was recognised for his achievements as Coach of the Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club during 2017, and for his contribution to, and promotion of Masters Swimming.

This is the 2nd time Peter has won this award, having first won it in 2013. He is one of only two coaches in NSW to win this award twice.

Peter is also a finalist for the Masters Swimming Australia Coach of the Year, having also been awarded this honour in 2013. The winner of this award will be announced at the Masters National Championships in April 2018.

It is fantastic recognition of the work, time and dedication Peter puts into the coaching program for our club and swimmers.

Issue 24, 2017/2018

Masters Swimming NSW Coach of the Year

It gives me enormous pleasure to announce that Peter Johnston was named the Masters Swimming NSW Coach of the Year for 2017 at last weekend’s Masters NSW State Championship meet. This is the 2nd time Peter has won this award, having first won it in 2013 and he is only the 2nd coach in NSW to win this award twice.

Peter is a finalist for the Masters Australia Coach of the Year, having also been awarded this honour in 2013. This award will be announced at the Masters National Championships in April 2018.

I am sure everyone in our club joins me in congratulating Peter on this award. It is fantastic recognition of the work, time and dedication Peter puts into the coaching program for our club and swimmers. We greatly appreciate Peter’s commitment to all of our swimmers and the results achieved are a testimony to his work. Thank you also to Alison & William who allow Peter the time to undertake all of this work.

Trophy Return

If you still have any perpetual trophy’s to return from last season please let Trish Johnston know so you can make arrangements to return them to her. They are needed for our Annual Presentation.

Merrylands Money

If you have Merrylands Money to spend you have today left to make purchases.

Easter Raffle – Drawn today

Thank you to everyone who has donated Easter eggs for our Easter raffle. The raffle will be drawn this morning and we are also holding a club bbq to celebrate the end of the season.

Merrylands Amateur Swimming Club – 50th Anniversary

We are announcing the winner of the Lolly Guessing competition this morning, so see Margaret if you would like to have any last minute guesses.

Swim Meets

Great results from the swim meets held last weekend. Our 12 swimmers at Masters NSW State Championships at SOPAC achieved some great results and medals. We won the Executive Trophy (for the 3rd time in 4 years) for the highest club participation rate at a State Championship and we came 2nd in our Division point score.

Our 25 swimmers at the MSW Sprint Meet at Blacktown also achieved great results with plenty of PB’s & medals won. What a great way to finish the season. Congratulations to everyone who participated in meets throughout the season.

Squad Training

Training moves to Granville Pool on Tuesday 3rd April, 2018. All swimmers who intend on continuing to train in April must complete the Training Enrolment Form by next Friday, 30th March, 2018 so that the coach can determine what time sessions will be held. Squads will also have a training break over the coming months. To complete the online Training Enrolment Form and to find out about the training breaks for your squad visit the club website.

Annual Presentation & AGM

Our Annual Presentation will be held on Saturday 2nd June, 2018 at Club Merrylands (Newman Room). Arrive at 6.00pm for presentation of trophies to commence at 6.30pm. You may wish to arrive at the club earlier to have dinner before presentation starts, or you may want to have dinner after the presentation of trophies has concluded. It is a great opportunity for us to support one of our club’s major sponsors.

The Club’s AGM will be held on Monday 4th June, 2018 commencing at 7.30pm in the club room. We want to ensure the club continues to grow and that it provides a great swimming and social experience for the whole family. To do this it takes a dedicated committee and what better way than joining the committee to help set the direction and steer the club to greater heights. You might also like to nominate a club member for recognition of their dedication and hard work over the past season.

The dates for nominations for committee positions and awards are:

  • Service Excellence Award – closes 31st March, 2018
  • Life Member nomination – 60 days before the AGM (Thursday 5th April, 2018)
  • Committee nomination – 30 days before the AGM (Saturday 5th May, 2018)

See the club website for more information about these and how to submit a nomination. If you would like more information or have a question please see any of our current committee members.


Final orders for winter clothing items such as long coats & hoodies are being taken today. Please see Margaret as an order for these items will be placed at the end of March.

Visit our online store at to place your order & pay for uniform items.

Active Kids Program

For more information see the noticeboard in the club room or visit the MyServiceNSW website at or Swimming NSW website at

Swimming Continues

So what do you do with swimmer’s whilst Merrylands Pool is closed over the next few months? McCredie Park Aquatics Swimming Club run club races on a Friday night at Guildford Pool (races start at 6.30pm). Their winter season commences in April and concludes in September. There are breaks over the school holiday periods in April & July. See Graham for more information.

Season Wrap-up

As it is our last Saturday morning for the season I would like to thank all of our club members for their participation in our club events, be they in the pool, on the pool deck or social activities. It has been great to see the club continue to grow and to have so many people involved. Thank you to our hard working committee, who do a lot of work away from the pool, and everyone who has helped us run club races on a Saturday and helped out at the various meets during the season.

Merrylands Pool will re-open in October 2018 for our 50th season and we will be celebrating all season long.

Fifteen Medals at State Masters Championships

Merrylands' team has finished the NSW State Masters Championships with a haul of 15 medals and 10 new personal best times.

The club had a team of 12 swimmers competing at the 2 day meet at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on March 17-18, 2018.

Our club also finished 2nd in Division 2 at the meet and won the Executive Trophy for the highest proportion of members swimming at the Championships.

Congratulations to our team on their results!

Medal Tally

Gold  11 
Silver  3
Bronze   1

See Also

Sprint Meet Results

Merrylands' team brought home 8 medals from the Metro South West Sprint Meet last weekend.

Our team of 25 swimmers also swam 40 new personal best times.

Our 8 medals came from 6 individual events, and 2 relays:

  • Alison Johnston
    • Gold - 15yrs & Over 50m Freestyle
    • Silver - 15yrs & Over 50m Butterfly
  • Reece Tomkinson
    • Silver - 15yrs & Over 50m Freestyle
    • Gold - 15yrs & Over 50m Backstroke
    • Gold - 15yrs & Over 50m Butterfly
  • Michael Evans
    • Bronze - 15yrs & Over 50m Breaststroke
  • 10yrs & Under 4x50m Freestyle Relay
    • Silver - Helen Macpherson, Niushka Shrestha, Summer Shrestha, Matthew Vicic
  • Open 4x50m Freestyle Relay
    • Gold - Steven Nguyen, Alison Johnston, Michael Evans, Reece Tomkinson

Congratulations to our whole team on their results - a great way to end the summer!