By Justin Flynn
Despite never having competed at a swimming event, Memphis Johnson is through to the final at the primary schools’ State Swimming Championships.
Mem, as she prefers to be called, swims two times a week and has never competed in swimming events before. But after progressing through the schools, district and regional championships she is set to compete in the state championships next week.
She will compete in the 50-metre breaststroke event.
The 11-year-old Ocean Grove Primary School pupil is something of a sports nut.
Mem plays netball for Ocean Grove on Friday nights, football for Ocean Grove Cobras on Sundays and is a keen surf lifesaver with the Ocean Grove Surf Lifesaving Club’s Nipper program.
She has also dabbled in cricket, soccer and cross-country running.
According to mum Cara, Mem is the first local to compete at the event, on April 26 in Melbourne.
“The PE teacher (Richard Hughes) at the school said he couldn’t remember anyone getting through to that particular round,” she said.
“She is a swimmer but a lot of the kids competing are swimming five days a week so she’s more of a multi-sport [person] doing lots of different things.
“There are no heats, you just go straight to the final for the state swimming.”
Mem loves Nippers most of all and is not particularly nervous about the state championships.
“I probably like Nippers the best because it has a mix of running and swimming,” she said.
“I don’t know what it [the event] will be like because I’ve never been there before. I’ll just see what it feels like to do it and then maye go further if I want to as I get older.”