STAWELL - Stawell Stingrays Swimming Club members had an amazing opportunity recently when they travelled to Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre to meet Paralympian Ellie Cole.
It was a great thrill for many to meet the four-time Olympic gold medallist, who brought along one of her medals for the Stingrays to look at.
Ms Cole spoke to the 29 members who made the trip to Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre for an hour about her career and having her right leg amputated because of cancer, when she was just three years old.
She outlined her road to recovery after the amputation and talked about setting personal goals and how she worked hard to achieve them, plus her dedication to training.
Following the motivational speech, Ms Cole conducted an hour long training session with the club.
Members were able to take advantage of what Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) had to offer, including the 50 metre swimming lanes and diving blocks that differ from the ones at their Stawell Leisure Complex training base.
President of the Stawell Stingrays, Megan Warren, said the day was well received.
"It was fantastic and really beneficial," she said.
"We used trains and trams, to give kids the big city experience.
"Also, to be able to practice off the diving blocks down there, it was really, really good for the kids."
Mrs Warren said another positive for the day was that it didn't cost members, who were aged from eight years through to adults, to attend.
"It was partly funded by a Stawell Gold Mines community grant, so the hire of the lanes, the room, travelling and entrance into MSAC were all covered. It's one of those nice things to be able to do for the club."
The day concluded with a two hour swim in the wave pool and rides on the water slides.
Stawell Stingrays have been back in the pool training since August 1.
The club has now resumed after enjoying a break through the school holidays.
The first official competitive Wimmera region swim meeting will be held at the Stawell Leisure Complex on Saturday, November 30.