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Tameeka makes a splash

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Tameeka Johnson hits the pool as she trains for competition. The Year 11 student from Bethany College in Hurstville learnt to swim before she could walk. Photo: Supplied
Tameeka Johnson hits the pool as she trains for competition. The Year 11 student from Bethany College in Hurstville learnt to swim before she could walk. Photo: Supplied

By Tasmyn Haynes

Have you ever wondered what success feels like? Tameeka Johnson describes it as “the feeling you get once you touch the wall at the other end of the pool, it’s such a relief and such a good emotion. It’s really nice knowing you’ve done your coach proud and your family is up there watching.”

Tameeka has made a name for herself in the swimming community.

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After continuously conquering the 100m and 200m backstroke events at various national meets, her sights are set on a future as an Australian representative swimmer.

The Year 11 student from Bethany College Hurstville learnt to swim before she could walk.

Her passion for the sport saw her competitive swimming career take off from as young as 7 years of age. Now 16-years-old, and having the expertise of Olympian Craig Stevens on her side as her coach, it is only fitting that Tameeka’s dreams are in reach.

“She has made a splash over the last 12 months, competing at elite events such as the NSW All Schools Swimming Championships.”

“It would be nice to go to the Olympics, but just making the Australian Dolphins or Junior Dolphins at the moment would be ideal” said Tameeka.

She has made a splash over the last 12 months, competing at elite events such as the NSW All Schools Swimming Championships, the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships in Brisbane, and even attended the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials.

She is a force to be reckoned with as a backstroker, gliding her way to countless gold medals at these carnivals for the 100m and 200m events.

But Tameeka was not content with only winning first place, this year she went on to break the record at All Schools for the 100m backstroke and set a new time of 1.04.12.

Tameeka proudly displays her medals at the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships in Brisbane. Photo: Supplied
Tameeka proudly displays her medals at the School Sport Australia Swimming Championships in Brisbane. Photo: Supplied

The prestigious Olympic Trials was an experience Tameeka will never forget after being ranked around 20th in all of Australia for her event.

“I beat the qualifying time and it was a really good experience. All the top athletes going to the Olympics were there” she said. Her dedication is evident by her training schedule.

With 9 swimming sessions and 4 gym sessions a week, Tameeka explains that she has it all figured out with a balance between sport and school.

“The teachers are aware I have a lot on but I’ve figured out a good routine. I make it work with organisation. Obviously school is a main priority and I’m pushing it in whenever I have time.”

But she doesn’t credit all her success to her hard work. “I am a bit superstitious” she admits, “I wear my socks inside out on race day and I click my fingers behind the blocks up against my ears. I’ve just done it ever since I was young.”

“The name Tameeka Johnson needs to be remembered. It won’t be long until this speedy swimmer is representing her country with adoring fans cheering her on.”

The advice Tameeka gives emerging athletes is to “trust your coach, they are your best friend.”

“Decide if you want to do it, it’s not easy and you have to be really persistent in training. Your head needs to know where you want to go and what you want to do.”

The name Tameeka Johnson needs to be remembered. It won’t be long until this speedy swimmer is representing her country with adoring fans cheering her on.

The opportunities and pathways provided by Sydney Catholic Schools has given her an amazing foundation which she can build upon and have like-minded younger swimmers following in her footsteps to climb the ladder to success.

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