Club change gives Belinda Hocking new heart

BELINDA Hocking is feeling rejuvenated.

After spending seven years with the AIS, the former Wangaratta star decided she needed a change in direction and joined the Nunawading Swim Club in Melbourne 12 months ago.

She hasn’t looked back.

“It’s going really well,” Hocking said yesterday.

“I made a pretty big decision to move from the AIS after seven years as I felt I needed to do something different.

“It was more of a life change.

“It’s been a whirlwind.

“I was only with my coach Rohan (Taylor) for six months when I got a silver at the world championships which was pretty surprising.

“I did some great things with Shannon (Rollason) and the silver medal gave me faith that I had the ability to go that next step.

“It’s exciting.”

Hocking, who clocked two minutes and 6.66 seconds in the 200 metres backstroke final at the world titles to finish behind American star Missy Franklin, performed strongly at the Victoria championships last weekend and will contest the Aquatic Super Series in Perth later this month.

Swimmers from Australia, China, Japan, South Africa and Brazil will compete for prizemoney.

“I was 2.07:99 in the Vic state champs at the weekend so to be already back there with those times is really exciting,” she said.

“I’m feeling good, but I learnt at London not to get my hopes up too high as there’s a long way to go.”

Hocking will return to the Border today to promote the Funkita training suits at the Victorian Country Swimming Championships at WAVES in Wodonga.

About 750 swimmers will take part over the three days.

Hocking took part in the championships as an 11-year-old and remembers competing in Kerang, Albury and Bendigo as a youngster.

“I think it’s really important for country kids to be able to have that competition without having to travel to the major cities,” she said.

“It’s always in an outdoor pool and a real family event.

“You want families involved — it’s more than just competing.”

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