State champion - twice in four weeks

Published 7:00am 21 April 2021

State champion - twice in four weeks
Words by Nick Crockford

It has been a long and “difficult road”, but Redcliffe teenager Tom Voigt has become a state champion – twice in four weeks.

The 13-year-old from Southern Cross Catholic College won gold at the Queensland Schools Swimming Championships in Brisbane last month.

He also collected silver and bronze medals in the SB14 multi-class events at his first state titles, all were in personal best times.

State champion - twice in four weeks
A close look at Tom's medals from the Queensland Schools Championships.

Clean sweep

Tom then had another gold, silver and bronze racing for Special Olympics Moreton North in the Queensland Games at Burpengary over the weekend.

He struck gold at 100m freestyle division two, silver in the 50m breaststroke division one, bronze at 100m breaststroke division one and was fourth in the 50m freestyle division one.

“I felt proud,” said Tom, who also trains with Australian Crawl at the Emily Seebohm Aquatic Centre in Fitzgibbon, “I put a lot of work into this.”

State champion - twice in four weeks
Tom Voigt after winning gold at the Special Olympics Queensland Games in Burpengary at the weekend

Golden touch

He won gold in the Boys 13-15 50m breaststroke winning in 43.3 seconds, six seconds ahead of the runner up.

There was silver in the 100m breaststroke in one minute 45.48 seconds and bronze in the 50m freestyle in 33.66 seconds.

“I rang his coach and cried when they were giving him his medal,” said mum Katie. “He smiled for the first time he was five.

State champion - twice in four weeks
Top prize - Tom's gold medal from the schools championships.

So proud

“He has tried and tried for so long to get under 35 seconds (50m freestyle). He finally got there and didn’t realise it. We were very proud.

“It has been a difficult road for Tom, swimming with autism. The opportunity he was given to swim at school has had such an impact on his self-esteem.

“This was our first time at these championships. It was more about being with other families who have the same ability with their children and sharing the moment with them.”

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