Saphron Davis, from Emerald, Qld, is collecting national medals for swimming butterfly.  

Story Ken Eastwood  Photo Rockhampton Girls Grammar

When she gets up at 4.30am to attend training on many school mornings, year 10 student Saphron Davis has a school staff member waiting to give her a lift. It’s just part of the excellent encouragement that the national butterfly champion says she gets from the school where she boards, Rockhampton Girls Grammar.

“They’re very supportive,” she says. “They take us early in the mornings when some boarding schools don’t. And we can get dinner later than the other girls when we are back late from training.”

Saphron, from Emerald, Qld, began swimming competitively in 2019. Under Shane Kingston, head coach at Rocky City Swimming, she has focused on butterfly, and in August this year placed first in 100m butterfly and second in 50m butterfly at the National Schools Championship, held in Sydney.

“She’s a very powerful athlete – probably one of the most powerful athletes I’ve coached in 23 years. She’s very explosive and is one of the best starters in her age group,” Shane says. “Anytime you can win a national championship, whether school or club based, it’s definitely something to be proud of. The school has worked really closely with us to facilitate these results. Her next step would be to try and medal at the club nationals next April.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #152

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2024