Fiji Ocean Swim series for Naomi's 40th birthday
Posted on Tuesday 29th September, 2020

Naomi McGilvray – 2 Million Metres

Congratulations to Naomi McGilvray of QNS North Mackay Sinkers Masters for achieving 2 Million Metres! You can read about Naomi’s swimming journey here.

How did you first become involved with swimming?

Mum took us for learn to swim lessons in Moranbah from a very young age, and she likes to tell the story that I was a turd to teach but I went on to swim competitively for the Moranbah Highlanders. I later coached the Highlanders and had a Learn to Swim school for 15 years where I got some pay back for my early years.

Naomi diving in around 1983

What do you love about swimming?

It’s my quiet time in a hectic mum life, where all my good and ridiculous ideas come from. The lifelong friendships are cherished.

Naomi at Rockhampton States 2018 – return to pool racing

When did you first join Masters Swimming?

Way back in the early 00’s I joined the fun loving Humpbacks while living in Hervey Bay and working at the pool. We returned home to Moranbah where I was on the other side of the stop watch for a few years and returned again to swimming to help with PND after having my eldest son. He is now 11 and I’m still swimming. I joined the North Mackay Sinkers while in Moranbah and since moving to Yeppoon I have stayed a Sinker.

Most memorable swimming moment?

1.5km and 5km OWS at World Masters Games, NZ 2017: We had a disaster with an expired passport – oops!  We only found the mistake at the airport ready to fly. Half the family was left in Australia to work on an emergency passport. I was able to swim and hoped I was able to make up for it by swimming well.  Still can’t laugh about it, but hoping one day we will. Always check the passports!

Naomi swimming along Yeppoon beach.

Favourite events?

Open water long distance and team relays are always so much fun.  

How often do you swim, and where?

I’m lucky to live right on the beach and swim along the beach front with my husband paddling on his days off. I pool swim at Emu Park pool with the Parkie squad kids. If any Masters are in the area, more than welcome to come join in – the Capricorn Coast is a beautiful area. I swim 3-4 times a week around rosters, kids, work and life.

Naomi at Pan Pacs 2018

Have you had setbacks to overcome?

A couple of years ago I was sick with tonsillitis for the first time and also developed my first allergy to the medication and I suffered bad hives. I rarely get sick but this began 6 months of testing which in the end resulted in me being allergic to water! I had to stop all swimming and learn to swim lessons until we were able to get the body sorted and life back in balance. 

Favourite things? Likes and dislikes?

Favourite things: Red frogs, Ice-cream, funny jokes

Dislikes: Sprints, running and snakes

What upcoming events are you swimming in?

I have just swum 20km around Great Keppel Island which was great motivation to continue training while pools where closed. Most planned events (States, Masters Pan Pac’s) have been cancelled, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what exciting things 2021 will bring.

Swimming around Great Keppel Island 2020

Can you share a little about your family?

I have a husband, Darren who loves daggy dancing and two full-on boys Oram and Henry.

Your Career?

I am a Teacher Aid with Education Queensland at North Keppel Island Environmental Education Centre where I get to swim, explore and snorkel while at ‘work’. I am also part time junior coach for the Emu Park Swimming Club – Go Parkies! – and volunteer as water safety coordinator for Yeppoon Surf Life Saving Club Nippers.

Other interesting/little-known facts about you?

My husband and I eloped to Canada. We had the ‘Simplicity Package’ at Niagara Falls. Best day ever! 

Naomi with coach Paul Connolly and 2 Million Metre shirt thanks to Vorgee

Philosophy on life? Favourite saying?

The sea is where I find and loose myself.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Masters swimmer?

Don’t think, just do!

Congratulations to Naomi for reaching 2 Million Metres!