International swim star says Gympie pool the best he's seen
SWIMMING: The Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre's newly appointed coach rates the region's new $20 million facility as the best he has seen.
Rahul Dahiya has been a swim coach for about five years in various clubs in Melbourne and hopes to grow swimmer numbers in Gympie.
"I worked in various roles at different clubs in Melbourne but these are the best facilities I have seen in my years," he said.
"These facilities will allow me to try and take swimmers to state and finally to nationals.
"But any swimmer is welcome and I will try and take them to their full potential.
"We have about 60 swimmers, which is a good number but my aim is to expand the program here in Gympie."
Belgravia Leisure's struggle to find a permanent coach left prominent Gympie swimmers without a coach for months.
The swimmers have lacked structure, which is what Dahiya aims to restore.
"Since I took over two weeks ago I have noticed (the swimmers) lack a structured program," he said.
"If we can put that into place, these children can achieve huge results.
"The management at the centre is very supportive and in terms of resources they are happy to provide that for me."
It was at school in India he first learned to swim, going on to win three silver medals.
"My friends used to swim and they taught me how to swim when I was 14 years old, and I started competing with them in their squad and really got involved," Dahiya said.
"I did well at state level, then represented my state at nationals and won the medals in backstroke."
The Gympie Gold Fins sprint meet will be held today, which will be the first major carnival to be hosted in the region.
Racing will start 8.30am Saturday and finish 3.30pm, $2 entry fee.