ON HIS way to swimming one million metres in the pool, veteran swimmer Roger Dietrich has been breaking club records and finishing on the podium.
The Old Junee resident returned to the pool in late 2009 by joining a masters swimming club after being away for 30 years and hasn’t looked back.
Returning to the pool has meant Dietrich improved his health and fitness and his return to familiar techniques has seen him in the winner’s circle.
Since joining the masters club, Dietrich has swum more than 700,000 metres and is closing in on the magic million.
When he reaches his goal, Dietrich said he’d simply aim for two million metres.
While his return to swimming has been focused on fitness, Dietrich has also competed at several NSW long course events and championships.
Organised for veteran swimmers, Dietrich said his focus was on his own personal best times and not those of his competitors.
“You’re not really swimming against others, mainly against your own times,” Dietrich said.
In addition to a goal of one million metres, Dietrich has also been striving towards his personal best time which he set 30 years ago.
“I’ve been out of it for a long time and I’m not as fast as I used to be,” he said.
Last year Dietrich was 10 seconds off the pace, but this year reduced it to seven seconds.
“I’d like to be going faster than that,” he said.
During a February long course meet Dietrich claimed one of Tuggeranong Masters Swimming Club’s records for the 100 metre breastroke, swimming the distance in 2:02.81 minutes.
On May 26, he improved further, bringing the record below two minutes (1:57.56) and aims to lower it again.
During the NSW State Long Course championships at Olympic Park in Syndey, Dietrich was part of a relay team which came third in a 50 metre breastroke and swam personal bests in the 200m freestyle and 50m breastroke.
Members of masters clubs vary greatly. Some swimmers start after they’ve retired, while other clubs have former olympic-level swimmers.
More information about masters swimming clubs can be found at www.mastersswimmingnsw.org.au.