Swimming coach in star search

PETER Gartrell has left his family and his home on the Sunshine Coast to pursue the chance of mentoring a Tasmanian swimmer capable of winning a gold medal.

Swimming coach Peter Gartrell is in Tasmania searching for future superstars of the pool.

Swimming coach Peter Gartrell is in Tasmania searching for future superstars of the pool.

The esteemed former coach of Olympian Samantha Hamill and Olympic bronze medallists Julie McDonald and Justin Lemberg said his first day at the Launceston Aquatic Club had delivered three promising students.

Gartrell said there was still plenty of work ahead in his search for Tasmania's next top swimmer.

He said he hoped for three gold medallists by 2020 but would make a decision at the end of the year as to his future in Launceston.

``I'll be giving the appropriate training but there are obstacles to overcome in the process,'' Gartrell said yesterday.

``There's 500,000 people in Tasmania, there's gotta be one out there.''

He said Launceston pupils must up their training from 12-and-a-half to at least 20 hours a week to achieve top standard.

The process required commitment from parents, students and the community, he said, a quality not lacking in the dedicated ex-school teacher.

Gartrell studied in Hobart and last coached students in the state in the 1970s.

He said he had long hoped to return to Tasmania to help the state deliver superstars.

``My main focus is the national level kids . . . I'm very concerned about how they develop at various stages.

``Kids from Tassie are tough kids . . . [but] people have problems here they don't have on the mainland.''

Gartrell said he hoped for a visit from his Commonwealth Games competitor Remy Fairweather later in the year.

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