At just 13 years of age, athletes Alix O’Bryan and Alice Small are already turning heads in the pool. 

Local girls Alix and Alice have swum their way to National level competition, diving head first into the Hancock Prospecting Australian Age Swimming Championships held in April. 

The dream team came home smiling with Alix achieving personal bests in both her races and improving her rank in the 200m Individual Medley and Alice improving her rank in the 100 and 200m Breaststroke.

“It was a great feeling to compete because others who have been swimming longer than us didn’t even qualify,” Alice said.

Proudly representing the Singleton Amateur Swimming Club, the girls hard work during training sessions has really started to pay off, training 5-6 times a week for 2 hours at a time. 

When asked if training was hard, both girls started to giggle. “It’s good to have mirrored goggles in case you actually need to cry,” Alix joked, “It gets hard, but you’ve got to put in the work.”

The promising teens starting swimming almost from birth and have since developed a competitive passion and determination for the pool. “I love the thrill of racing, looking up at the board and seeing a good time and impressing my coach,” said Alix. 

“I’m really competitive and always want to beat or impress my older brother because he’s awesome, not doing personal bests is definitely the worst part of swimming,” Alice added.

Both girls are eager to participate in future competitions as they continue to compete with hunger and enthusiasm and train at their loved small-town club.

Travelling a whopping 45 minutes to each training session from her hometown in Muswellbrook, Alice said it’s worth each drive, adding “It’s nice being part of a small club, it’s like a second family, you get more one on one time with the coach.”

“You get more quality time with the coach yelling at you,” chuckled Alix.

At only 13, the girls are already set on a career in or around the water. The young women want to keep swimming competitively throughout school to try and make it to top level. The young guns have even started planning their futures past their competitive career.

“I’d become something to do with swimming, I’d love to do physiotherapy and travel with the Australian swimming team or even a polo or diving team, as long as it’s got to do with the water,” Alix said.

“I wouldn’t mind being a learn to swim teacher,” added Alice.

One thing is clear, Alix and Alice have a flood of support from their friends, family and club behind them to help them be their best.  

This is just the beginning of a long career in the water for these passionate swimmers. Look out Olympics, the A Team is coming.