MSQ State Championships 2021 Summary
Planning for the MSQ State Championships began in late 2020, with a large and capable team of Sunshine Coast Masters ably lead by president, Clare Somerville and secretary, Michelle Stonehouse, working together with MSQ on all facets of this event. Much time was invested over many months to coordinate a fabulous return to racing at the Kawana Aquatic Centre. A new timing system was acquired and tested over several weekends, a tireless team coordinated program development, entry management, officials, volunteers, merchandise, sponsorship, catering, social functions, bands, photographers, massage therapists, awards, raffles, COVID-compliance and the list goes on.
With a COVID shutdown and days of torrential rain and flooding in the preceding weeks, all involved were extremely relieved to see restrictions eased, and the sun shining brightly to welcome everyone to the Sunshine Coast for the MSQ State Championships on 9-11 April 2021.
Just over 300 swimmers entered, with teams travelling from NSW and Victoria to join in. With a year of little competition due to the pandemic behind us, swimmers were extremely grateful to be back racing and catching up with friends once again. Times may have been a little slower, but the smiles were definitely bigger!
Thanks go to Meet Recorder, David Findlay, the Sunshine Coast Masters, MSQ officials and all the volunteers who worked together to achieve this fantastic event enjoyed and appreciated by all.
MSQ President, Cheryl Brodribb:
After a year of no swim meets Masters Swimming Queensland were pleased to be able to host the 2021 State Championships at Kawana. A special thanks to member for Kawana Jarrod Bleijie for opening the Championships and to our Patron Jessicah Schipper for presenting the awards. To Funky Trunks and Funkita thank you for your sponsorship which is gratefully appreciated. An excessively big thank you to Sunshine Coast Masters, as the host club, for all your work prior to and during the meet. The organising committee excelled in their preparation for the meet. To all who helped in any way thank you. Our volunteers are an important part of our swim meets and we are incredibly grateful for your assistance. Thank you to the following: our Officials for your long days on pool deck, our recorder David Findlay who worked tirelessly to have results posted quickly, photographer, videographer, and Emma for her massage.
To the competitors, a big thank you for your support of the event and the wonderful competition you all provided.
We look forward to seeing you all in Cairns for the 2022 MSQ State Championships.
QSC President, Clare Somerville:
As President of the Sunshine Coast Masters Swimming Club (QSC), I’d like to thank everyone for attending the recent State Championships held at Kawana. We were amazed at the number of people who entered, which I believe matched or even beat the numbers for the last Championships held in 2019. We couldn’t have achieved such a successful meet without the help of Masters Swimming Queensland (MSQ), our QSC club members and helpers. We only had a relatively short time to prepare for the Championships, having been given the go ahead by MSQ in mid-October 2020. However I was especially impressed that at each planning meeting, every member of the Meet Committee had done what was asked of them and had an update for us, ensuring the momentum of organising the meet wasn’t lost. COVID of course added extra complexities to the planning, but again the committee members pulled together to overcome these.
I purposefully haven’t mentioned any specific names here, just in case I forget anyone, but you know who you are and the special efforts you have gone to, so please give yourselves a pat on the back for what we, and therefore our club has accomplished! We will celebrate further soon, with the voucher MSQ has given to thank us for organising the meet. Thanks again to everyone and well done QSC!
MSQ Director Recording, Martin Banks:
This was the first major meet with new Director Recording, Martin Banks. Planning commenced with selecting an appropriate venue and developing a suitable meet program. These aspects needed to align with the ability to allow the meet to be run in some form if lockdown restrictions were in place, and to attempt appropriate physical distancing regardless of the status. There were some compromises applied regarding relays and long distance events, but the biggest restriction placed was around the entry numbers – six only individual events per entrant. With collaboration from our Risk Management Director it was hoped the meet could be kept to a slightly lower number of entrants and allow people to swim one or two events per day, and then leave if required to do so. However, the numbers were high and the swimmers were keen, and nothing was going to prevent the running of one of the largest state meets in some years.
Some other considerations and new features for the meet included:
- The use of Quick Entry for a championship meet
- The use of the Wylas timing system with Meet Manager
- 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay added to the program
- New club relay trophy
- The first use of reverse order heats at a State Championships – fastest to slowest order
- Showcase 50m Freestyle events – Heat 1 for top 8 fastest men and Heat 2 for top 8 fastest women with full introductions
- Starting the meet with a 50m event
- Self-Marshaling – no seating and no more than one to four heats at marshaling
- Allowing interstate entrants to score points and be eligible for all awards
- The use of “(V)” in the meet program to denote a visiting swimmer
Despite all the new features and the threat of restrictions imposed, or cancellation, or bad weather, the meet ran smoothly with great success, and generally to the timeline. Many were excited by the buzz around the pool at the start of the meet, with most entrants at the venue for the 50m Freestyle. The reverse order heats and showcase heats gave the meet a great and exciting start after the opening. Fast to slow heats allowed people to see the faster and more experienced swimmers in the water before they had to get up there. It gave the less experienced and older swimmers a visual queue that their heat was coming up. People enjoyed using a timing system with stopwatches that looked like mobile phones (they were mobile phones) that told you the name of the swimmer in their lane. Self-marshaling proved to be easy with nobody missing their race, and where there were race issues, swimmers were easily and seamlessly provided another lane in a later heat. Our interstate visitors loved the meet and performed very well winning a number of the awards on offer.
The only comments were generally regarding the Wylas timing system, and these have already been fed back to the Wylas company. Other comments related to this being a championship meet not hosted in a facility with an automatic timing system. A world record was broken in one of the relay events but could not be ratified due to the timing system. The Quick Entry system will undergo more enhancement work with the goal to make it more stable and provide an easy user experience providing all the information required to enter swimming meets.
Bring on the next meet!
Photo credit: Wade Brennan (Wade JB)
MSQ State Championships video – Filmed and produced by Nicole McCuaig