Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 – 2025 Asian Youth Games Headed to Uzbekistan
At an Executive Board meeting in late September, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has awarded the 4th edition of the Asian Youth Games to the nation of Uzbekistan. Set for the year 2025, the Games will take place in Tashkent, the capital city. The city already houses venues that can be utilized for the event, without new construction.
OCA’s honorary life Vice President Wei Jizhong said of Tashkent, “We spent two days in Tashkent and we visited 21 places including sports facilities. Our conclusion is that Tashkent is ready with the existing city infrastructure and sports facilities to host the Asian Youth Games.” (Inside the Games)
#2 – Lani Pallister Up for Women’s Health Women in Sport Award
Australia’s 9th annual Women’s Health Women in Sport Awards have opened their public voting ballots, giving readers of the magazine the ability to help decide which Aussie athletes should be honored for their achievements over the past year. Voting is open through October 13th, with the award ceremony taking place on October 18th.
17-year-old Aussie swimming standout Lani Pallister is among the nominees within the One to Watch category. Already a 3-time Junior Pan Pacific Championships gold medalist from last year, the teen has been making her mark throughout 2019.
She produced a new lifetime best of 16:06.84 in the 1500m freestyle at the Aussie World Championships Trials for bronze and went on to blast that apart at the World Junior Championships, claiming gold in a new Championships Record-setting effort of 15:58.86. Pallister also won the women’s 400m and 800m free titles in Budapest as well.
#3 – Stephanie Rice Opens Swimming Academy in India
Australian Olympic icon Stephanie Rice has not been resting on her laurels since having won 3 gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Instead, the 31-year-old Brisbane native has been keeping busy within the swimming community, even opening her very own swimming academy at the Padukone-Dravid Sports Centre in Bengaluru, India.
Rice says, “This has been a dream for several years. I believe India has some excellent swimming potential but the training doesn’t match global standards. If put through the right paces, I am sure Indians will do very well on the global platforms, such as the Olympics.”
The IM specialist has traveled to India on many occasions in her adult life, for both leisure and for work. She was also part of the Star Sports commentary team and covered India’s performance during the Rio Olympics.
“No Indian has even made it to the top 16 in the world or the semi-finals at Olympics. That is because there just isn’t any kind of infrastructure to train them right,” says Rice. She has a vision of helping an Indian swimmer make an impact via her academy come the 2028 Olympics.
“The pool is excellent at the centre in Bengaluru; it is of global standards. I am investing not just my time but even my reputation; this is the only academy I have anywhere in the world that will train potential champions for professional swimming competitions. We are looking at even sponsoring some swimmers to compete at several levels internationally, which is what they need to handle stress at a competitive level.”
#4 – Swim England Targets Future Para Swimming Stars
Swim England has announced the expansion of its Star Para Swimming program, with an additional 8 centers in London agreeing to join the initiative.
Following successful pilots in City of Manchester Aquatics Center and Plymouth Life Center, additional sessions will be delivered by Swim England-qualified coaches and teachers with the hope of ‘forming a key stepping stone in introducing swimmers to the Para swimming pathway.’
Swim England Para-Swimming Development Manager, Martin Lees, said: “We will continue to work with swimming clubs across the country to create more Start Para-Swimming centres.
“We hope many more young people with an eligible impairment, like Abi, can develop their skills and become para-swimmers who may one day be invited on to the Talent Programme.”
New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt is seeing his list of accolades grow, as the 20-year-old swimmer has just been named Sportsperson of the Year at the 2019 Victoria University of Wellington sports awards. Clareburt has won this award for the 2nd year in a row, this time for his game-changing performance at the 2019 World Championships.
Presented annually in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA), the Blues Awards are the highest sporting accolade the University can give to students who have brought credit to the institution through their sporting achievements or contribution to sport.
Clareburt swam the 400m IM race of his life in Gwangju, Korea to land on the podium with the bronze. His time of 4:12.07 lowered his own New Zealand National Record as he became his nation’s only medalist at this year’s multi-national competition. Lewis also qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo with his performance.