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April 26, 2013

Fresh from competing at the Swimming Australia Nationals Age Championships, Traralgon Swimming Club members Caiden Gill and Taylah Da Ros are also two of the region’s latest Local Sporting Champions.

Both Caiden and Taylah have been congratulated by The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester and received $500 grants from the Federal Government as a reward for their achievements.

The championships were held in Adelaide two weeks ago.

Caiden came home with a silver medal in the 50 metre freestyle, breaking the boys 14 year-old Victorian age group record of 24.11 seconds set by Olympic Bronze medallist, Andrew Lauterstein. He also won a bronze medal in the 100 metre freestyle, setting a new boys 14 year-old out of Gippsland record of 53.57 seconds.

Taylah set personal best times in the 50 metre freestyle, 100 metre backstroke and 100 metre freestyle relay swims.

Mr Chester said the grants would assist both swimmers and their families with the costs of participating in the sport at the highest level.

“Caiden and Taylah are two talented local sportspeople putting in the hard work to be the best they can be,” Mr Chester said.

“Taylah’s swimsuit alone costs $450 which is a significant amount when you combine it with the cost of the rest of the required clothing and equipment.

“In a sport like swimming there are also car expenses getting to and from training sessions in the early morning and after school, as well as local, State and National competitions.

“While it’s only a small amount towards these costs, it’s important that our next generation of athletes are supported.”

Traralgon Head Swimming Coach Brian Ford said Caiden and Taylah are two fine ambassadors of Gippsland swimming.

“It is terrific that both Caiden and Taylah were successful in their applications for funding,” Mr Ford said.

“Every bit of assistance helps, particularly when qualifying for National Championships as they are invariably held outside of Victoria each year.

“Both swimmers were outstanding at the meet with Caiden winning two medals which is a reward for hard training, and Taylah improving in every swim, particularly in the 50 metre freestyle where she improved her Australian ranking from 56th to 13th.”

Mr Chester has encouraged any other young Latrobe Valley sports stars competing at the highest level in their chosen sport to apply to the Local Sporting Champions program.

$500 grants are available to individuals aged 12 to 18 years who travel more than 250km to compete at a State, National or International level championships with teams who travel the same distance to compete at the highest level eligible to apply for $3000 grants.

Anyone interested in the program should contact Mr Chester’s office on 1300 131 785 or apply online at

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