Australia turns to Albany Creek trio

Published 5:00pm 6 July 2023

Australia turns to Albany Creek trio
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Australia call-up for Tobi Rinaldi, left, coach Brendan Dowling and Summer Short at Albany Creek Swim Club.

Three members of Albany Creek Swim Club are preparing to cross the Pacific and represent Australia at major international events.

Tobi Rinaldi, 14, is in the Aussie team going to Argentina for the World Deaf Swimming Championships on August 14-20.

Joining him will be Brendan Dowling, head coach at Albany Creek, who is in charge of the six-strong Australia team for a training camp and world titles.

The following month, Summer Short will fly to Canada for the 2023 Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth Life Saving Championships on September 13-17.

It will be Summer’s second time in the Australian life saving team, but Rinaldi and Dowling are making their international debuts.

Australia turns to Albany Creek trio
Tobi Rinaldi and Summer Short looking forward to international competition.

“It’s an amazing achievement for Tobi,” coach Dowling said, “a testament to the hard work and commitment he has displayed over the past two competitive seasons.

“Tobi was also a surprise. We had plans for this season, a progression regarding results and number of qualifying events at nationals. Getting an (Australian selection) email was beyond those plans.

“It's really good. Same with Summer. She has multiple competitions throughout the year. To make it this year and make another team, is hitting our expectations.”

Rinaldi will be the youngest member (by two years) of the Australian team in Buenos Aires and has up to 10 events against more than 30 other nations.

The teenager is in the 50m,100m and 200m freestyle, 50m and 100m breaststroke, 50m backstroke, 50m butterfly and relays. Being open events, he will face some swimmers in their 20s.

Australia turns to Albany Creek trio
Summer Short preparing for Canada in September.

“All I knew was it’s an email about an event coming up for the World Deaf Championships. I wasn’t sure if I made the qualifying times,” Rinaldi said.

“I’m not worried about the workload. I think competing and getting in the top 20 would be good enough for me.”

Short is no stranger to representative teams having been in the Australian Commonwealth Lifesaving Championship squad in England in 2019 and Queensland's team at the national pool surf rescue titles for the last seven years.

That experience will help when she is with the Australian team going to Windsor, Ontario in September. “I’m very excited,” she said.

“I’d love to win a gold medal in my prime event 200m obstacle. With my training I think I can.”

Australia turns to Albany Creek trio
Tobi Rinaldi putting in the hard yards in training

Short, a member of Albany Creek Swim Club for more than a decade, does pool swimming, pool life saving and surf life saving and says: “I think they complement each other.”

Brendan Dowling is already preparing for the trip to Argentina by liaising with coaches and clubs to map out preparation before and during the world championships.

“Being given the opportunity to support the Australian Deaf Swimming Team as a coach is incredible,” he said.

“I look forward to working with all the athletes and being alongside Tobi for his first of many international competitions.”

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