TAMARA Bruce has experienced the highs and lows of swimming but her decorated career is set to be recognised on the international stage.
The Lathlain resident and Somerset Swimming Club coach will be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame on April 22.
Among her accomplishments is swimming the English Channel in 7 hour and 53 minutes as a 17-year-old in 1994, which is tied for the 14th fastest swim ever.
As a 14-year-old she won the solo category at the Rottnest Channel Swim with a record-breaking time of four hours, 13 minutes and 58 seconds.
Her swimming career came to an end in her early 20s after a car crash.
Ms Bruce said it was a very big deal to be voted by her peers from around the world into the hall of fame.
“I’m still very overwhelmed, shocked but very excited, I received a certificate of merit in 1994 from IMSHOF and that was special but receiving this honour is amazing,” she said.
“I found out in December, I kept getting missed FaceTime calls from Ireland and I thought I don’t think I know anyone living in Ireland anymore, but was very shocked when I did answer and was told the news.”
“My career seems another lifetime ago but I received so much in return, some say don’t you think you missed out on being a “normal” kid or teenager but really what’s considered normal anyway, I trained hard it’s what I wanted, I got to travel the world and experienced so much and I’m very grateful.”
Ms Bruce said among her swimming career highlights was missing out on making her first Australian team in 1992 because she was too young but making friends at a USA training camp in Colorado Springs.
“My English Channel swim was also memorable, I went from being disappointed in missing Australian team selection to making one of the fastest ever crossings in world at the time,” she said.
“Only less than a handful of other people in history had been under eight hours at the time and I ended up being second fastest ever male or female and the first was also female.”
These days, Ms Bruce coaches with her father Roger Bruce at their family business Brucey’s Squad.
“It’s a business we’ve had in the Victoria Park area for 35 plus years, we’ve had numerous successes over that time,” she said.
“Dad being on the Olympic Team as a coach in 2004 with his swimmer Jennifer Reilly being a highlight but we are still coaching and showing swimmers the swimming way.”