Last week, Snowy Mountains Grammar School held its annual swimming carnival at the Berridale Pool.

The swimming carnival is a school-wide competition, with each student competing for one of four houses (Twynam, Cascades, Mowamba or Kiandra). The Berridale Pool grounds were filled with the vibrant house colours of red, green, blue or white as students proudly adorned themselves with their respective house colour.

Of his first SMGS swim carnival experience, Principal Andrew Leslie said, “The Swimming Carnival was a celebration of everything that is good about Snowy Mountains Grammar School. It was wonderful to see the continuation of school traditions and the demonstration of the school values, Challenge Belong and Explore, alive and well in our students.”

At the end of the day, Cascades took home the House Swimming Championship with Twynam 2nd,  Kiandra 3rd and  Mowamba 4th.

Running in parallel to the swimming races, the House Spirit Trophy was also hotly contested. The spirit trophy is voted upon by the staff in attendance, with Cascades topping the voting list, Twynam 2nd, Mowamba 3rd and Kiandra 4th.

Head of Sport, Mr Tim Bland, was proud of our school community and school spirit exhibited at the pool that day, saying, “The weather was kind and the students were amazing. The participation levels were outstanding and it was great to see all students getting involved. A big thank you to the staff and parents who helped out on the day and made it such a huge success.”

One of the highlights of the day are the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2  buddy races with Year 12. These events include a kick-board race and a piggy-back race. Kindergarten student, Cailynn Moore, was all smiles after her events, stating that the “kickboard race was really fun”.

SMGS English teacher, Anne Jones, is a wealth of information about the history of SMGS. When asked about some of the swimming records at SMGS and if any had been broken in 2017, she reported, “At the end of the 2017 swimming carnival the oldest records were still intact. The 18 years and over Girls 50m Breaststroke record is still retained by Rowena Bright, who set a time of 37.68 seconds in 1998, when she was the first School Captain and the first carnival was held at Jindabyne Pool with students from Year 7 to Year 12.

(On leaving school, Rowena became the first SMGS student to represent Australia in Olympic competition as an Alpine Skier at Salt Lake City in 2002.)

Three other pre-21st century records still stand from the 1999 carnival, all set by renowned swimmers at the time. Ryan Shearman holds the 12 year old Boys Breaststroke record at 44.00 seconds. Chris Hunter started a series of record-breaking swims with 27.63 seconds for the 16 year old Boys 50m Freestyle, while Jean-Monique Hawkins, who attended the 2017 carnival in Berridale on Wednesday, still holds the record for 15 year old Girls 50m Butterfly (34.02 seconds).

The school has seen many siblings succeed in swimming over the years. Multiple records are still held by Amy and Jason Frost, Jo and Matt Windeatt, Georgia and Freya Woodhouse, and Annabelle, Molly and Sophie Nicholl, the current SMGS Sports Captain.

The swimming carnival remains a much anticipated event on the calendar for our school community and there is no doubt it will continue to be a highlight for years to come.