High achieving Woogaroo swimmer Poppy Wilson is preparing for a national development camp next month after her exceptional effort at the state titles.
High achieving Woogaroo swimmer Poppy Wilson is preparing for a national development camp next month after her exceptional effort at the state titles.

Poppy heading to national camp after amazing 11 medal haul

HAVING won 11 medals and achieved six personal bests from 13 swims in three days, Poppy Wilson deserves a short break.

However, the Woogaroo swimmer couldn't resist a Christmas Eve session in the pool and a 5km run a day earlier after such a massive workload at the latest Queensland championships.

Wilson, who turns 17 in January, produced another fantastic series of swims in her 15/16 multi-class events and open competition.

The outstanding competitor won age group gold medals in the 400m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200m individual medley.

She added a silver in the 100m butterfly and bronze in the 50m freestyle.

In open competition, she contested seven finals, winning four bronze medals.

They were in the 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 200m individual medley and 400m freestyle, a timed event.

"I'm pretty tired,'' Wilson said, reflecting on how she felt after the biggest program of events she had tackled in five years at state championships.

"It took me maybe three days to recover.''

That epic effort came after she won eight medals at the 2019 state championships.

"I just chill really,'' she said when asked how she relaxes following this year's Queensland titles.

Born with cerebal palsy, Wilson has always been a fiercely determined person who doesn't like to be told she can't achieve something.

When she was six, she sat in her room for four days teaching herself how to tie shoelaces so she didn't have to wear velcro shoes to school.

"Poppy is a true inspiration showing that with hard work and determination you can achieve your dreams no matter your disability,'' her proud mum Veronica said.

She has been swimming at Woogaroo for five years.

Woogaroo medal-winning swimmer Poppy Wilson
Woogaroo medal-winning swimmer Poppy Wilson

Poppy was delighted with her latest state titles performance as she prepares for a Swimming Australia Para Development Camp in Canberra next month.

She will join other elite multi-class swimmers from January 10-16 in the lead-up to Tokyo Paralympics trials in June.

The Redbank Plains swimmer is planning to contest the June trials for experience and to test her international prospects.

"I'm kind of hoping that if not this year, maybe in Paris (2024 Paralympics),'' she said.

Wilson swam at the 2018 Commonwealth Games trials as she looked to get involved in higher level competition.

After that, Wilson was selected in the 2019/20 Australian Para Development squad.

She holds more than a dozen Swimming Queensland multi-class long course records.

After next month's Australian camp, she has the national titles in April at the Gold Coast.

At the latest state titles, Wilson was most satisfied with her 400m freestyle and 400m individual medley efforts.

Her previous programs had featured about 10 swims so adding another three provided a huge test.

However, the national age champion conquered that, setting a four-second personal best in the 200m freestyle.

Wilson trains with Woogaroo coach Stephen Ballhause.

"She did exceptionally well,'' Ballhause said, having worked with Wilson for five years.

Ballhause said her work ethic and attitude at training set a fine example for other swimmers in the group.

Wilson was one of the 17 Woogaroo swimmers who combined to help the club ranked 45th out of 103 teams in Queensland.

The Woogaroo Club swimmers resume training on January 4.



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