Look who's swimming in 2017 - Aaron Ellis-Kerr
Pilbara-based Aaron Ellis-Kerr will compete in the Port to Pub as a solo swimmer in 2017. Training in a hot climate and in an isolated town has its challenges, but as Aaron is proving, it’s far from impossible. Here’s his story:
Work brought me to the Pilbara in 2010. I joined local football clubs in Newman and Port Hedland. Looking for ways to maintain my fitness during the football off-season, I decided to revisit swimming. Growing up in Perth, being involved in swimming clubs and surf clubs as a little tacker, I loved to swim; it had just been a while. Years, in fact.
In 2014, I organised a team to partake in the Virtual Rottnest Swim in Karratha. At that point, it was a couple of lads trying to keep fit during the off-season of football, swimming twice a week. This was the motivation I needed to get back swimming again. Since the Virtual Rottnest Swim, I have completed a Rottnest duo crossing and a Rottnest Solo crossing. I have also completed a number of WA Open Water Swim Series events.
This year I have yet again decided to take my swimming to the next level. I am currently training to complete the 8km solo Cocos Keeling Island Swim, held in November each year, and the solo Port to Pub in March 2017. Teaming up with Red FM's Breakfast Show I will doing the10km swim at Lake Argyle, in Kununurra in May 2017. The Breakfast Crew are planning on joining me in the event. This will be my first freshwater marathon swim.
Swimming in Port Hedland has presented some challenges. Some of my long swim sets are commonly swum in 45 degree heat, during the wet season. Cyclone events close the pool for extended periods. Each time, water samples are sent to Perth for testing; the process takes a minimum of a week to gain re-opening clearance. The most recent maintenance issues closed both pools in the town for three weeks. These have been ongoing over the year. Massive tidal movements make open water swimming extremely unsafe and therefore virtually impossible in Port Hedland.
To help me achieve my swimming goals I have sought the help of swim coach Ceinwen Roberts. Ceinwen sends me challenging daily swim training plans. My wife has also recently started swimming. Swimming with my wife makes it more enjoyable as we can train, meal plan and organise to take part in swimming events together. I am really glad that it is a hobby we are both thoroughly enjoying.
I am planning to continue my swimming and look forward to seeing where it takes me in the future.