Southside Aquatics Swimming Club was established at Redeemer Lutheran College in 2001.
Before 2001, the Club had its beginnings at MacGregor State School in the south Brisbane suburb of MacGregor, where it was established by Peter Carswell in 1992. Peter remained as Head Coach until 2000 when he left to pursue a coaching position in Victoria. At that time, the Club was looking for a new home. Peter came to an agreement for the Club to settle at Redeemer Lutheran College, Rochedale, in the following year, 2001. In the meantime, Dean Pugh took on the role of Head Coach and the Club was briefly based at Runcorn and then Salisbury, before settling at its new home at Redeemer Lutheran College in 2001.
Later in 2001, Dean registered the Club with Brisbane Swimming/Swimming Queensland as a competitive Club under the name “Southside Aquatics”. The name Southside Aquatics was created by former Head Coach Peter Carswell who was friends with both Dean and soon-to-be incoming Head Coach Michelle Morris.
Dean moved on to other coaching opportunities and Michelle, whose daughter was swimming at the Club at the time, took on the role of Head Coach from the start of 2002 at the invitation of the Club Management Committee. Michelle had previously coached swimmers to national level. She subsequently took the first team of Southside Aquatics swimmers to National Championships in 2002, and continued a 13-year stint as Head Coach of the Club until her retirement as a silver-licensed coach at the end of 2014. In that period, the Club’s reputation developed as a small to medium-sized club in the Brisbane area punching above its weight with swimmers at International, National and State level and achieving Premier Division level with Brisbane Swimming.
The Club became an incorporated body in 2003.
In response to a move by Brisbane Swimming for all clubs to have a character logo, the Southside
Aquatics “Stingray” logo was developed by Michelle working with one of the founding families of the Club at that time, the Vasil family, who initially located the sketch of the Stingray and developed the character digitally for use on Club documents.
The Vasil family also hand-made the original Southside Aquatics banner.
Early swimmers at Southside Aquatics included Natasha and Shane Mulquiney, Matthew and Christy MacArthur, Daisy and Michael Ng, Bonnie and Albert Cheng, Brock and Montana Ashcroft, Nicole and Anna and Kate and Emily Vasil, Stephanie Gerderts, Brice and Keryn McMaster, Lucas Allan, Kathlein Rein and Hannah Wixted.
In those early years there was no pool heater which made training through winter a real challenge!
At the end of 2014, Michelle retired from coaching competitive swimmers and left Southside Aquatics, ensuring the Club was in capable hands with her successor Head Coach Lachlan Staples. At that time Lachlan was an experienced bronze-licenced coach and had a successful history as an international-level swimmer with Australian swimming, having toured on many Australian teams — including the 2009 Rome World Championships. Lachlan transitioned from athlete to full-time coach in 2012, drawing on his own swimming career in applying the tools and processes needed to develop successful swimmers. Since 2014, Lachlan has gained his silver-licence and the Club has grown to almost 100 competitive swimmers.
The Club’s first website was launched in November 2016 using Swimming Australia’s approved format at that time.
In 2017, Southside Aquatics achieved a Top Ten listing in the Swimming Australia Club of the Year Awards – an achievement of which the Club is very proud and which indicates commitment to the success of the Club by a large number of people within our swimming community.
By the end of 2018, Southside Aquatics had four members who were technical officials with Brisbane Swimming and Swimming Queensland – Stuart Gibbs, Sharon Kennedy, Vicki Gibbs and Kymbalee Gibbs – one of the largest numbers of any club in Queensland.
At the commencement of 2019, the club expanded to a second venue at nearby John Paul College, Daisy Hill. Together with Learn-to-Swim partner Absolute Aquatics, Southside Aquatics participates in a contractual arrangement as the aquatics program manager of each college and offers a competitive vehicle for swimmers.
About the construction of the pool at Redeemer Lutheran College
The pool at Redeemer Lutheran College was constructed in 1988, eight years after the establishment of the school in 1980 at Rochedale in what was then a very rural setting in the outer suburbs of Brisbane, Queensland.
One of the greatest experiences of Redeemer’s Parents and Friends Association is remembered to be fundraising for the building of the swimming pool. After much planning and engineering by parent, Bob Cambridge, these images from 1988 show the successful progress of the large project which was completed later that year.
The following extract is from the College’s history book, ‘River of Hope’ by founding Principal, Robin Kleinschmidt:
“The strength and capacity of the P&F association during the presidency of Ben De Jong encouraged it in 1987 to undertake its largest project, the construction of the swimming pool. The planning and engineering was done by parent Bob Cambridge. Under the energetic leadership of new president David McKenzie the cost of approximately $200,000 was paid off in less than three years, as well as a further $20,000 for tiling. Even before the pool was filled, alarming buckling of the floor was noticed. Investigation revealed a problem caused by the acidity of the ground water.
A layer of ‘no fines’ concrete (concrete without any fine aggregates or sand) had been laid below the floor with a system of valves to relieve the pressure of subterranean water and prevent movement of the pool when it was emptied. However the high acid level in the ground water reacted with the calcium in the concrete layer to form a chalky substance which clogged the valves, and the pool base began to move and buckle even before it was finished. The pool was at risk of being pushed out of the ground by water pressure. When core holes were drilled in the pool base, water shot about three metres into the air. Swift remedial action by Bob Cambridge resolved the problem, which has never reemerged.”