Chairman Brian Burch introduced Libby Mitchell, mother of Phoebe whom we sponsored for her WDSSC trip to Italy representing Australia. Libby thanked us for our monetary support and showed a PowerPoint of photos from the Loana venue. Previous games have been held in England, South Africa, Ireland, Portugal and Thailand and will be in Mexico next year, with 21 countries represented. Libby described Loana as a beautiful setting, a riviera-like town with perfect weather. They stayed in Athletes Village, all teams were in uniform and as captain, Phoebe led the Oz team and proudly carried the flag for the opening ceremony. The team had 3 days pre-training, then 3 days swimming, 1 day rest, 3 days swimming. Supporting family members stayed close by and all ate together, becoming a close group of friends. The Oz team won many medals including 5 gold female relays, 18 silver, 15 bronze and clocked up 5 world records. Phoebe’s achievements were 11 gold, 2 silver and 4 WR. The team members endured up to 14 heats or 14 finals in a day and were understandably often exhausted. Australia won the championship and Italian speaking male team captain Patrick was able to please the locals with his final speech. Since her return to Oz, Phoebe has been awarded the Lee Troop Award for sporting excellence through the Barwon Sports Academy.
Libby has been asked to become the next Team Manager and in thanking her on the night, Brian agreed she would be an excellent choice. We presented Libby with a bottle of wine on her second night as guest speaker for Bayside.