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Wednesday Warrior Women

12 September 2019

Wednesday Warrior Women
The Wednesday Warrior Women in their matching Cumulus Funkitas!

The Wednesday Warrior Women from Forster Surf Life Saving Club in New South Wales are brought together by their love of ocean swimming. While some are kept busy working, managing their businesses or looking after their families, this diverse group of women aged from 18 to 75 still make time to swim together every Wednesday. We caught up with the group to find out more about them.

How did the Wednesday Warrior Women start?

In 2005 a few girls who were already swimming together at the local pool decided they wanted to do ocean swimming together at Forster Main Beach. At that time the squad also had three male swimmers and was known as the Wednesday Group. This group soon grew and it was not long before Laura Thurtell joined. As part of the group Laura has helped train women of varying abilities and ages and her expertise has really helped those doing their surf bronze medallion or training for specific swimming events. As members started competing in events we decided we needed a name, so the Warrior Women were born.

What keeps the group motivated to swim every week?

The key is being all-inclusive. We have women of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities swimming together. The motto is nothing formal - from the beginning it's been about keeping things simple, happy and supportive. We also love to have a good laugh and have coffee together after we swim, the famous Beach Bums Café at Forster Main Beach.

How does the Group cater for women of different fitness levels?

We all swim together, some with fins to help with pacing, wetsuits for the cold waters, snorkels to identify any passing marine life, and cameras to make some memories. All the activities are optional, so if some want to work on open water starts and finishes but others would prefer to keep swimming they can do that. The aim is to push ourselves a little at a time while still having fun. Each individual is responsible for her own training and health issues and there is always the option to stop and rest or go up to clubhouse for showers, it's as simple as that.

What other events do the Warrior Women hold?

Every now and then we do a road trip to a water hole or beach. We've been for a surf, stand up paddle boarding, jet skiing, snorkelling, rock diving, mountain climbing and trekking - we are always looking for the next crazy adventure! Laura keeps us very active in the community. We hold Surf Awareness Courses for children in the school holidays and we help with surf schools for children with special needs.

Does the group keep any records?

Suzanne Fiebig is one of our longest standing members and has swum the English Channel (34km) on two occasions. Suzanne has also swam from Townsville to Palm Island in North Queensland (64kms) in 25 hours.

Laura Thurtell is our greatest medal holder and world renowned athlete. Carole Brown, Suzanne Fiebig and many of the girls have numerous medals and race wins. Everyone else is fit and healthy and participate in events that are suitable to their own skill levels.

How can you get involved in the Wednesday Warrior Women Group?

Simply turn up at the Forster Main Beach Surf club on a Wednesday! Come at 9:00am to meet, greet and get ready for a fun-loving morning making new friends and have a good old swim in the surf! There are no joining fees and no paperwork. It's just a group of girls having a swim and coffee and lots of laughs.

Love this story? See more of the Wednesday Warrior Women's adventures on their Facebook page Forster SLSC Warrior Women.

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