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'Special' family first in strong swim squad

Posted: 19-May-2019 by PanAm Games 2019

If you’ve ever had anything to do with Maccabi Swimming, chances are you’ve come across the Goodridge family.

Anthony Goodridge has coached the green and gold at eight Maccabiah Games, while his wife Daniella and daughter Gabi have also enjoyed a long link. July’s upcoming Pan-American Games brings a special first for the first family of Maccabi aquatics.

For the very first time, all three will be on the pool deck together in Mexico.

“I’m being convinced to dust off the cossie, just so that we can all swim,” Anthony said.

“The format of PanAms is really good in that way, they have the same events all the way through the program, the 50 freestyle they’ll have the juniors, then the opens then the masters, so we’re all swimming on the same day. We’re all at the pool together, which is different to Maccabiah, so in some ways that’ll be the fun part about it, is all of us being on deck together in our cossies.”

Anthony, Gabi and Daniella Goodridge will all be on pool deck together

However, while the competition brings a special family moment, Goodridge has his sights firmly on coaching yet another group of Aussie youngsters to glory. Falling in the centre of the Maccabiah Games cycle, this event doesn’t see huge quantities of swimmers pulling on the Aussie cap, but it does bring quality.

Three of the nine junior competitors (4 boys, 5 girls) swam at the National Championships earlier this year – Ben Potash, Gabi Goodridge and Canberra native Zak Levine. And they’ll be joined by four Masters swimmers, headlined by a silver medallist at the World Masters Championships back in 2017, Barry Carp.

These games will also bring a special family tie for the veteran, who will swim in the same team as niece Asia Carp. She was the baby of the squad – aged just 12 - at the most recent Maccabiah in Israel but has grown into a seasoned competitor and will be ready to represent her nation with gusto once again.

Having attended so many Maccabiah Games himself, Goodridge will attend his first Pan-American Games in 2019 – an event he sees as a stepping stone to yet another strong squad in Israel in two years’ time. In fact, planning has already begun.

After decades involved in the sport, there’s a special reason that keeps bringing the highly credentialed coach back.

 “I’m doing it for Australian Jewish kids to be able to go over there,” Goodridge said.

“I do it for somewhat selfish reasons, for the Aussie kids who get a chance to compete for Australia for the Australian Jewish community. There’s a lot of boxes that that ticks.”

Pan-Am swim squad members (L to R): Noah Abeshouse, Ben Potash, Gia Berman and Noam Antonir

While his mind will be firmly on coaching his junior stars to their full potential, he’ll also once again be flanked by his wife Daniella. She’ll swim as a member of the masters team and relish the opportunity to compete alongside her daughter.

 “She’s incredibly talented and the last seven-and-a-half years, eight years she was managing our business, bringing up our three kids and managing a household,” he said.

“That’s the wonderful thing about Masters swimming, when you see Masters who try and balance a lot of achievement out of the pool and they also step up and get a nice swim out in the pool.

“Really for her it’s a little bit of the chance to share this moment with Gabi, to go away with her on a team is something special for her. Gabi is our competitive swimmer, the other two they swim but not competitively, to be able to share it with her is a bit of fun.”