Swimming 101: no champs, no chance
16 January 2009
Former champion swimmer Max Mowen has provided me with some clues as to why we didn't see many indigenous Papua New Guinean swimmers of South Pacific or Commonwealth Games standard in the 1960s into the 1970s. He notes that until the 50-metre Sir Donald Cleland pool was built for the 1969 South Pacific Games there were just three Olympic-sized pools available in Moresby. These were at the Army facilities at Taurama and Murray Barracks and at the private Badili Club.
Toby Tovitolon's father and the father of the Mae Verave sisters from Marshall Lagoon in the Central Province were both Army men. This allowed their children could train in the pools at either Taurama or Murray Barracks. "So it pretty much restricted anyone who wasn't a private member (at Badili) or part of the Army from competitive swim training," Max recalls.
He fondly remembers the 20-metre salt water pool at Ela Beach, which was available to the general public. "We used to race there on Sunday mornings," he says. Max was a noted butterfly swimmer back in the late sixties and early seventies and now works in a managerial role for a finance company in North Sydney.
I swam with Max in the South Pacific Games in '69 and Commonwealth Games in '70.
The pools at the Taurama and Murray Barracks were only 25 metre pools. Unfortunately that didn't help my tumble turns.
I remember many training sessions at the Badili club with Joe Kuth where the biggest problem was dodging all the other club members while we tried to do laps
Posted by: Neal Bostock | 27 April 2009 at 08:26 AM
I remember taking the kids from Korobosea school to Murray Barracks to teach them to swim.
Posted by: Diane Bohlen | 16 January 2009 at 06:38 PM