By Claire Ottaviano
HELENA Valley nine-year-old Aaden Kettle was at the top of his game at the 2021 Long Course Junior State Championships winning nine medals over the weekend.
The Guildford Kalamunda Districts Swimming Club member won four gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals across nine events.
His teammate Lucas Nayler also won a bronze medal for the club in the 200m breaststroke 13-year-old age category.
Aaden’s father Paul Kettle said he was extremely proud of his son’s efforts.
“The thing his mum and I were most proud of was his sportsmanship,” Mr Kettle said.
“Before each race, he wished everyone the best and after he congratulated his competitors, regardless of how he went in the race.
“He always supported his teammates from the Guildford Kalamunda Districts Swimming Club and especially thanked coaches Dave Voysey and Brandon Bennier for their help.
“We could not be prouder of how he carried himself over the weekend.”
Club president Trevor Verran said 15 participants competed across 48 events with many personal bests beaten.
“As a club we had quite a good personal best rate, about 75 per cent, which was quite good coming out of COVID in particular,” he said.
“During COVID we had ‘dry land’ training on Zoom, almost more to keep the kids engaged in the club and the sport than anything else.
“It’s been challenging for them, they’ve had a little bit of time out of the pool but we’ve introduced beach swims now which is something unique for the hills to get down to the beach on a semi regular basis.”
Mr Verran also congratulated 14-year-old Caitlin Ludlow who recently qualified for the National Championship in the 100m breaststroke.