CONGRATULATIONS to Noelle Pugliese who, on the 18th of February 2012 won the opportunity to enjoy lunch and a one on one training session with Libby Trickett! Libby has been Noelle’s idol since she was a little kid and I must admit she is definitely one of mine as well. I was fortunate enough to tag along for the day as I sold the winning ticket to Noelle’s mother, Alina.

The afternoon began with a training session held at the Kelvin Grove Health Centre’s 25 m pool. Libby acted as our coach during the session. We each swam a couple of laps and then she pointed out what we were doing really well and what we might like to improve on in our strokes, and how to do so. Even though the errors in my stroke seemed minor to me, I could tell I was more efficient in the water by the end of the session!

As the session began to wind down, Noelle and I thought it would be a great idea to show Libby just how good we are by having 4 consecutive races – one for each stroke. Noelle had actually raced in a swimming competition earlier that day, so I thought I had a very good chance of winning!

…Unfortunately not. Not only did Noelle beat me, she won every single race! I was blown out of the water and Libby seemed very impressed with Noelle’s stamina.

After training, we quickly got dressed and headed over to the Normanby Hotel at Spring Hill for a well deserved lunch. This sit-down meal was a great opportunity for Noelle, her parents, and I to ask Libby some questions about her own training sessions and swimming achievements. Questions were asked, banter was exchanged and the relaxed atmosphere made it feel as though you were talking to your best friend, not Queensland’s ‘Golden Girl’!!

We also conducted a mini interview, with Libby telling us some secrets on her favourite foods, racing rituals and even how she deals with nerves before her race.

With over 500 entrants in this competition Noelle is very lucky to have won this once in a lifetime experience which is sure to leave a lasting impression on both Noelle and Libby and most certainly on myself.



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