Posted on Wednesday 12th April, 2023

Swimmer Profile – Ashleigh Eskdale

Ashleigh Eskdale of the Gympie Gold Fins Masters recently competed at the MSQ State Championships in Mackay. Ashleigh was awarded the trophy for Best Swimmer 18-29 years. Congratulations Ashleigh! Thank you for sharing your inspiring swimming story.


How did you first become involved with swimming?

I have always loved swimming. My mum put me in the backyard pool at just 4 weeks old because of the hot summer heat. I became involved in learn-to-swim classes at a young age and seamlessly transferred to squads. Eventually, at the age of 6, I joined in doing swim meets with my older siblings.

What do you love about swimming?

I love swimming for the fitness and the invigorating feeling I get from it. More so, I love swimming for the friendships I make along the way, which are filled with support and laughs. Belonging to the swimming community and having people I can connect to has always been special to me.

When did you first join Masters Swimming?

I joined Masters Swimming in November last year for the 2022 Pan Pacific Championships. My older brother, Declan, encouraged me to get involved and I swam beside him with the Gympie Gold Fins. It was a great experience for my first Masters swim meet.

Gympie Gold Fins at 2022 Pan Pacific Games

Most memorable swimming moment?

Reflecting on my swimming, I’m very happy with all that I’ve achieved. I think a most memorable moment would be my swim in the 13 years 1.25km at the Queensland Open Water Championships. I was neck and neck with another swimmer the whole race and I’m very proud I was able to take home my first-ever individual gold State medal. Another special moment for me was when I qualified for the Australian Age Championships at 15-years-old after I had come back from many months of working through a shoulder injury.

13 Years 1.25k Queensland Champion

Favourite events?   

My favourite events are 100m fly, 200m fly, 200m IM, and 400m IM. I really enjoy doing medley and mixing the strokes up, and I love having a diverse program of events at meets.

How often do you swim, and where?

I swim 4 times a week at The Swim Academy Bayside at Ormiston, Brisbane.

What motivates and inspires you?

My main motivation comes from swimming well and feeling good. Being a part of a team and having inspiring teammates certainly lifts me up and allows me to train with intent and reach my goals. Being new to Masters swimming, I have found new inspiration from all the new faces I have come across at competitions and I aspire to do what they’re doing.

2022 Pan Pacific Masters Games

Have you had setbacks to overcome?

I would say the main setbacks were my shoulder injury, Covid-cancellations and pool closures. These definitely hindered my motivation and I debated whether to keep swimming. I’m really glad I overcame them and kept going.

Favourite things? Likes and dislikes?

Likes – GYG, Beach, Mario Kart

Dislikes – Assignments

What upcoming events are you swimming in?

I am swimming in the Australian Swimming Championships at the Gold Coast this month. Also, I will be swimming at the UniSport Nationals in Sydney this May.

Can you share a little about your family?

I am the 5th oldest of six children. All my siblings have swum and competed at some point.

Your Career?

I’m a second-year pre-service teacher studying Primary Education at the University of Queensland. I also currently work as a Learn to Swim instructor at the swim school where I learnt to swim. I love it and it’s a great opportunity to work with children.  

Other interesting/little-known facts about you?

I played the flute and the cello in school. Also, I live with 1 cat, 2 dogs and 2 guinea pigs.

Philosophy on life? Favourite saying?

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. This quote is printed on a large banner right next to the pool where I train.   

LC Qld Champs Mackay 2023

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

Definitely do it! The Masters swimming atmosphere is uplifting and encouraging. Giving it a shot is worth it, and everyone behind you is there to cheer you on. Progressing from the age-group competition, I have felt a huge difference in my feelings of enjoyment of the sport.

Best Swimmer 18-29 years Award – MSQ State Championships 2023.
LC Qld Champs Mackay 2023