Leigh Nugent, a well-known legend in Australian Swimming and former Olympic Coach was at the National Aquatic Centre, Bukit Jalil for the DSA Swim Team Clinic on 12th October, 2019. Currently the State Head Coach of Western Australia & South Australia, Leigh had earlier retired from his position as Head Coach of the Australian Swimming Team in 2013. He was the team’s Head Coach at the 2004 Athens Olympics where Australia garnered its second-best swimming medal tally – 7 Gold, 5 Silver and 3 Bronze medals – the best being the 1956 Melbourne Games.
Leigh was recently honoured to have a trophy, the L M Nugent Trophy instituted after him, and awarded to the Champion team at the State Teams Championships at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. Very recently Leigh was also part of the #lookafteryourcoach campaign, an initiative launched by the Brisbane based M5 Management Group. Leigh along with Kareena Lee, the first swimmer to be named on the 2020 Olympic Team for Australia, joined the push to think about the coaches and consider the sacrifices they make and thank them for their contribution.
The clinic consisted of 3 sessions for the different age groups and open to all the members of the DSA Swimming Club and DSA swimmers. Focusing on technique and stroke enhancement for better results, the clinic was aimed at improving the performance of budding champions at competitive levels. A majority of the swimmers who participated in the Clinic were from the DSA Junior Swim Squad aged between 8-12 years old. It was a great step to guide these swimmers at this young age to direct the skills and development in the right direction. Leigh ran a series of swim drills and skill work to improve the stroke techniques and spend time with the DSA coaches also, imparting his extensive knowledge in the field during the sharing sessions that followed. The young swimmers were visibly enthused by the presence and guidance of Leigh and very attentive of the knowledge development. It was greatly satisfying to see results almost immediately with swimmers making visible changes to their performance.
An additional highlight of this clinic was the training camp for seven promising young athletes of the Swimming WA team at the venue. This was part of a new initiative formed by Swimming WA with the assistance from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Australia to create a sports development relationship between neighbouring nations. The focus of the training camp was to simulate what athletes would face when qualifying for an Australian Team. Placing the swimmers in a foreign country enabled them to experience and adjust to changes in climate, culture and diet.
DSA extends its thanks and well wishes to Leigh Nugent and the Swimming WA team for being with us on the special occasion. DSA also thanks all the young swimmers of the Junior Squad team and the parents who have participated in the event to make it a great success.