SWIMMING SENSATION: Bailey Harm with coach Andrew Fidge (left) and his three gold medals. Picture: contributed
SWIMMING SENSATION: Bailey Harm with coach Andrew Fidge (left) and his three gold medals. Picture: contributed

RISING STARS: Young guns turn setbacks to success

SPORTS: No strangers to hard work and determination, Warwick’s young gun athletes have overcome a season of setbacks to shine in the highest levels of their sport.

After starting 2020 with a number of gold medals and record-breaking races, young swimmer Bailey Harm was forced to slam the brakes on his season when coronavirus struck.

The 12-year-old has only just been able to return to training, but mum Donna-Maree Willett said the youngster’s natural talent and down-to-earth attitude would set him up for success at his first Queensland Championships in December.

“States (in March) were called off two weeks beforehand, and Bailey was swimming and looking at medals for maybe five events, so it was a pretty devastating season to have called off,” Willett said.

“He’s so laid-back thought and doesn’t overthink anything – he keeps telling us he hasn’t swum his fastest yet, and there’s still plenty left in the tank.

“It’s a tricky time though. As far as swimming goes, he can’t go to nationals until he’s 14, so there’s not much except state championships for him for another two years.”

Caitlin Skaines in action as wing-defence for the Darling Downs Panthers regional side against Brisbane North Cougars in 2019. Picture: Nev Madsen
Caitlin Skaines in action as wing-defence for the Darling Downs Panthers regional side against Brisbane North Cougars in 2019. Picture: Nev Madsen

Also undeterred by the pandemic, 18-year-old Warwick netballer Caitlin Skaines was named in the Darling Downs Panthers representative side for the third consecutive year.

The selection could put her on the fast-track to state selection.

“It was nerve-racking not knowing whether we were going to go back, and now we play day-to-day not knowing when our next game would be, or whether the season would get cancelled,” Skaines said.

“It was a longer pre-season, so I’ve had a lot more time to prepare for selection. We have the state school girls’ comp, then in a couple of weeks’ time we have state Panthers, as well as regionals.

“It’s become something I’m very passionate about – I’ll definitely keep playing when I leave school, because I love it so much, and I think I’ll just see where it takes me.”

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