Home > News and Publications > Archive > MAY19 > Max Stretched By Australia Stint

Max Stretched By Australia Stint

Overseas Training Camp

By Maximillian Ang Wei
DSLM Year 2, Swimming Academy

I must really love to swim, to wake up at 5 am every morning for training with the Brisbane Aquatic Centre swim team. This three-week training stint with High Performance Coach Vince Raleigh was recommended by Singapore Swimming Association and sponsored by my spexScholarship from Singapore Sport Institute.

From 13 April to 5 May 2019, I trained with the likes of Zac Stubbletycook, Liam Hunter and Jack Mccloughlin – all of whom had represented Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and are aiming to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

All three are older than me – Zac is 20, Liam, 22, and Jack, 24 – and there was much to learn from them, be it pre-training routine, rest patterns, mental strength.

During Week 1, I felt like dying after every training session. Training was twice a day – once in the morning and another in the afternoon. Used to the routine and pace, my training mates looked comfortable even after a hard workout of 5 to 6 kilometres, while I was exhausted and continued to feel lethargy the rest of the day, right up till the next training session. But I was determined not to waste my opportunity to be sharpened by Coach Vince, well-known for raising six Olympians to Beijing 2008, who won a combined 8 medals among them in that edition of the Olympic Games.

Week 2 went better. I struggled less, even during the “hard sessions” on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Being able to keep up and swim well for between 3 and 5 hours in the tough training sessions, has given me confidence that I can take more “punishment” from my Singapore Sports School Head Coach, See Puay Kheng, who went to Brisbane during Week 3 to check out my training and training programme under Coach Vince.

It was a rare opportunity, one that I cherish, to be able to train with some of the fastest 200m breaststroke specialists in the world. My long-term goal is to medal at the Olympic Games. In the meantime, there’s the Philippines 2019 Southeast Asian Games to train for.

I would like to thank Sports School and Republic Polytechnic for granting me leave of absence from school, SSA for helping me choose a challenging training stint and SSI’s spexScholarship for funding me. I am also grateful to the Sports School Swimming Academy for putting a zero towards becoming a hero. I still have some way to go, and I’ll get there.