2008/2009 was another historic year for our club as the club celebrated it's 40th Anniversary and 40 years since the opening of Merrylands Swimming Centre.

As the 2008/2009 season began, Merrylands Swimming Centre had unusually already been open for 3 months - the centre having opened on June 30th due to extended maintenance at both the Guildford and Wentworthville centres - allowing our training squads to return to the centre much earlier than usual.

The earlier opening date also enabled the club to attract more swimmers with 114 registered swimmers, the highest number in over 6 years, and a total membership of 159. The club's Learn to Swim program also continued be popular, however with slightly less numbers than previous years due to less instructors being available to teach the program. A new award, the Learn to Swim Volunteer of the Year Award was intriduced to recognise the contribution of members to the Learn to Swim Program, with Steven Nguyen being presented with the award at the Presentation Evening.

The club's Anniversary Celebrations kicked off on Saturday 9th November with a Pool Party from 7am. The party included a BBQ breakfast and various pool games and activities for both the swimmers and Learn to Swim Participants. The celebration activities included the 40th Anniversary SwimFest Meet on March 1st 2009 and culminated with the 40th Anniversary Dinner at the Crown on McCredie Hotel Motel on March 28th. Over 100 guests attended the dinner to celebrate the club's rich history, renew old friendships and re-live their memories from their time at the club.

In the club competitions, a number of new champions were crowned. Steven Nguyen won the Senior Handicap in his first season in the competition while "The Grumpy Old Men" crankily swam their way to the top of the Relay Pointscore, also winning the competition at their first attempt.

Brittany Johnson won the Champion of Champions Award for a record breaking 5th time. Brittany won the Senior and Open Womens Championships, breaking 12 club championship records along the way and also represented the club at the Area and Metropolitan Championships.
From the ranks of our novice swimmers, Fady Farid was presented with the Jack Smart Encouragement Award after steadily improving over the season.

In the Graded Pointscore the long standing Michael Rossek and Ronald Exley trophies which are now full were retired and replace with two new pointscore shields, both trophies were presented to first time winners. Lachlan Stewart was awarded the Michael Rossek Trophy for the highest placed Junior Boy in the Graded Races Pointscore while Charlotte Neill received the Ronald Exley Trophy for the highest placed Junior Girl. The Michael Rossek and Ronald Exley trophies are now on permanent display in the club room.

The club's representative teams had one of their most successful years ever with members competing at all levels up to and including State Open Championships. Our teams again consisted of a mixture of new and experienced swimmers.
Amber Johnson qualified for the State Open Championships for the first time and was our club's first representative at the meet since 2004. The club was also represented by a relay team at the State Age Championships for the first time since 2006 with Simon Johnston, Steven Nguyen, David Johnston, Todd Jenkin, Reece Tulloch, Jonathan Tuivawa, Anthony Ventra, Peter Johnston, David Wang and Mitchell Burt competing in the 10x50m Freestyle Relay.
The club was represented by its biggest team since 2003 at the Metropolitan Championships with 6 swimmers competing at the meet while at the Metropolitan Short Course Championships, Anthony Ventra won the club's first finalist ribbon at the meet since 2006.
At the Metro South West Championships, the club finished the meet with two new Area Champions (the club's first since 2002) and 9 medals with Anthony Ventra, Mitchell Burt, David Wang, Steven Nguyen, Brittany Johnson, Peter Johnston taking home medals. Our swimmers were also finalists in 12 events. The results made this year's meet the club's best team performance at the championships in over 15 years, finishing in 13th place.
At the short course championships our team won 7 medals and with finalists in 35 events and over 80% of our results in the top 10 making the meet the club's most successful Short Course Area Championships ever.
Ten of our swimmer's performances over the season were recognised with selection in the 2009 Metro South West Area Development Squads.

In the Club Championships, 23 Championship records were broken over the season.

Amber Johnson
15yrs Girls 100m Backstroke(Brittany Johnson, 2005/2006)
Anthony Ventra
15yrs Boys 100m Freestyle(Troy Tomkinson, 2003/2004)
15yrs Boys 50m Backstroke(Tim Constantine, 1994/1995)
15yrs Boys 50m Breaststroke(Todd Jenkin, 2003/2004)
15yrs Boys 100m Breaststroke(Todd Jenkin, 2003/2004)
15yrs Boys 200m Individual Medley(Andrew Johnson, 1976/1977)
Brittany Johnson
Senior Womens 50m Freestyle(Leanne Grubba, 2007/2008)
Senior Womens 200m Freestyle(Leanne Grubba, 2007/2008)
Senior Womens 400m Freestyle(Denise Edgar, 1971/1972)
Senior Womens 50m Backstroke(Rachel Johnston, 2005/2006)
Senior Womens 100m Backstroke(Chris Tallon, 1970/1971)
Senior Womens 100m Breaststroke(Carolyn Ellen, 1974/1975)
Senior Womens 50m Butterfly(Leanne Grubba, 2007/2008)
Senior Womens 100m Butterfly(Chris Tallon, 1970/1971)
Senior Womens 200m Individual Medley(Chris Tallon, 1970/1971)
Open Womens 200m Freestyle(Astrid Howton, 1982/1983)
Open Womens 1500m Freestyle(Brittany Johnson, 2005/2006)
Open Womens 400m Individual Medley(Allison Exley, 1982/1983)
Jessica O'Donnell
Senior Womens 50m Breaststroke(Leanne Grubba, 2007/2008)
Mitchell Burt
14yrs Boys 200m Freestyle(Troy Tomkinson, 2002/2003)
14yrs Boys 100m Backstroke(David Wang, 2007/2008)
14yrs Boys 50m Butterfly(Anthony Ventra, 2007/2008)
Rebecca Tuivawa
13yrs Girls 200m Freestyle(Brittany Johnson, 2003/2004)


Our annual swimming meet, the Merrylands SwimFest, was held in excellent conditions with 27 clubs in attendance. Our swimmers won 33 medals and our club won the won the club pointscore, just ahead of Windsor.

Our Winter Competition was held for the sixth time with increased numbers and those attending enjoying some new events. Jacob Killick won the male competition for the first time and Belinda Sloane the female competition for the third year in a row.

As the summer ended, doubt was cast over the future of Merrylands Swimming Centre and the Club, as Holroyd Council commissioned consultants to carry out operational review of its three (3) swim centres. The review which was to recommend works required to maintain each swim centre over the next 10-15 years and advise on the economic viability and sustainability of the swim centres was due to be completed by June 2009, but as yet has not been completed.

See Also
  • 2008/2009 Rankings

  • 2008/2009 Presentation Evening

  • 40th Anniversary Pool Party

  • 40th Anniversary Dinner
  • NSW Metropolitan Championships - Team

  • NSW State Age Championships - Team

  • NSW State Open Championships - Team

  • Metro South West Championships Open & Age Championships - Team

  • Metro South West Championships Open & Age Championships - Results

  • NSW Metropolitan Short Course Championships - Team

  • NSW Metropolitan Short Course Championships - Results

  • Metro South West Open & Age Short Course Championships - Team

  • Metro South West Open & Age Short Course Championships - Results

  • NSW State Age Short Course Championships - Team

  • Metro South West Development Squads

  • Merrylands Pool Re-opens June 30


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    Merrylands Swimming Centre - 1970One of the historic photos donated by the Smart family as part of the club's 40th Anniversary celebrations. Club Members throw a swimmer into the pool at Merrylands Swimming Centre circa 1970.
    Merrylands Swimming Centre - 1970
    One of the historic photos donated by the Smart family as part of the club's 40th Anniversary celebrations. Club Members throw a swimmer into the pool at Merrylands Swimming Centre circa 1970.