New swimmer loving sea


Cassie Hatley, with husband Daniel, has become a more confident swimmer. Picture: Martin Kennealey        d451169
Cassie Hatley, with husband Daniel, has become a more confident swimmer. Picture: Martin Kennealey        d451169

Cassie Hatley (22) and 35 others aged eight to 60 took part in a five-week swim program led by open-water swim coach Paul Newsome over summer.

Her husband Daniel said while he was an experienced swimmer, qualified teacher and lifeguard, his Sydney-born wife had not grown up near the beach.

“Cassie never understood why I loved the water so much, and at the most she would only ever dip her feet in,” he said.

“We would go to the beach to walk the dogs out at Quinns Rocks – I would take them in the water for a swim.

“She really enjoyed it, but she wouldn’t come in the water.”

Mr Hatley said they reinforced the lessons learnt through the program offered by Swimming WA and Shorehaven developer Peet with swimming sessions at Arena Joondalup.

“Now she wants to get her scuba ticket and take up surfing,” he said.

“The program has been great and enjoying the beach is another thing that we can do together.”

The couple, who married last December, have bought an apartment being built near the beach in Alkimos and expect to move into in late 2016.

Natasha Tolley enrolled her daughter Mikayla (11) in the program, and was delighted with the progress she made. “Mikayla got a lot from it,” she said.

“She could swim, but wasn’t super-confident in the water.

“The head coach, Paul Newsome, was brilliant.

“He helped her overcome some of her fears and she’s now confident swimming in open water.”

Although he was already a strong swimmer, her husband Jason also enjoyed the clinics and built up extra fitness doing the exercises on the beach and running on the sand.

Coaches said most of the participants were beginners – some had never even put their head under water – but now all were comfortable swimming at least 200m in the ocean.

The three-year partnership between the developer and Swimming WA also brought one round of WA’s Open Water Swim Series to Shorehaven’s beach in January.