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Family bound through swimming

FAMILY ties run strong in the Smith family, with Eastern Shore young guns Matilda, Bonnie and Olive returning from the School Sport Australia (SSA) Swimming Championships in Melbourne with a swag of medals.

The sisters competed for Tasmania against swimmers from across Australia in a number of events and categories.

Bonnie and Olive competed in the 10–12 age group while Matilda competed in the 15–16 age group.

Matilda, who raced in the event for the third time, was chosen as co-captain for year 13 and above.

She said one of the highlights of the championship was the support and comradery among the team, along with holding the Tasmanian flag at the opening ceremony.

“I was very proud to have been chosen as captain,” she said.

“I tried my best to motivate the team and be a good role model for the younger people.”

Having trained nine times a week in the lead up to the competition, the hard work paid off for 15-year-old Matilda as she collected three medals and set a number of record times.

Despite getting bronze in the girls 100-metre breaststroke and silver in the girls 50-metre breaststroke, it was Matilda’s favourite event of the 200-metre breaststroke that she won gold and set a SSA championship record time of 2:31.99.

This time was also a new state age record, as well as a new state open record.

Not to be outdone by their older sister, 12-year-old Bonnie and 10-year-old Olive were members of the 10–12 200 metre freestyle handicap relay that received bronze.

“It means a lot to be able to represent Tasmania with my younger sisters,” Matilda said.

“It was the first time all three of us have been there together, so it was very special.

“I’m already looking forward to next year’s SSA Championships in Queensland.”

Caption: From left, Olive, Bonnie and Matilda Smith returned home from the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships with a swag of medals.