July 6, 2012
When the 2012 Olympic Games begin in London later this month, members of the wider St Joseph’s Nudgee College community will be among the competitors.
Leading the way will be Old Boy Brenton Rickard and Nudgee Brothers Swim Club members Emily Seebohm and Brittany Elmslie. They will be joined at the pool by coach Matt Brown.
Brenton (NC 1996-2000), who swam in the Nudgee Brothers swim program under the guidance of Vince Raleigh for nine years before moving interstate, will swim the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and the 4x100m Medley relay. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics Brenton won silver medals in the 200m Breaststroke and the 4x100m Medley and, in 2009, became World Champion after breaking the world record in the 100m Breaststroke.
Also attending her second Olympic Games is Emily Seebohm. Emily has been swimming in the Nudgee Brothers swim program since she was eight. Older brother Tom attended Nudgee College from 2001-05 and younger brother Will is a current student. Emily will swim the 100m Backstroke and 4x100m Medley relay in London, the later being an event she won gold in at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Brittany Elmslie, whose younger brother Josh is a current student, will make her Olympic debut in London when she swims in the 4x100m and 4x200m Freestyle relays. Brittany competed at the 2009 and 2010 Junior Pan Pacs in Guam and Hawaii respectively. She picked up gold in 2009 in the 50m Freestyle and bronze in the 4x100m Freestyle relay.
Matt has been Nudgee College’s Director of Swimming for the past 10 years and coaches Emily and Brittany on the Australian Olympic Team.
In addition to the competitors and coach, Brothers will also be represented in the torch relay when another of their coaches, Suki Brownsdon, carries the Olympic torch in London on Saturday 7th July. Suki was a triple Olympian for Great Britain and is the mother of Old Boy Buster Sykes (NC 2008-10).
Buster and 2011 Senior Jarred Gilliland, who are both Junior Pan Pacific representatives, recently participated in an intensive block of training at the University of Arizona in Tucson alongside Emily and Brittany before meeting up with other members of the Australian Olympic Team to compete against the best US swimmers at the Santa Clara Grand Prix. All swimmers were part of the Australian Team relays which dominated the team events.
Nudgee College will also have a connection in the hockey arena as Hockeyroos Captain Madonna Blyth is the daughter of current staff member Mr Brian Blyth.
Madonna has played over 200 international matches for Australia and made her Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games where Australia finished 5th. She has been captain of the Hockeyroos since 2009, including when the team defended their Commonwealth Games title by winning gold in Delhi in 2010. Madonna was also named in the FIH All-Stars Team in 2007, 2009 and 2010.