EMERGING swimmer Josh Brien has been recognised by Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club for his achievements in the pool.
Brien is the 2014 recipient of the Mick O’Neill Encouragement Award.
The award is presented annually to an up-and-coming Ballarat swimmer in memory of Ballarat Sportsmen’s Club past president Mick O’Neill, who died in 2001.
O’Neill was also a driving force behind the formation of Ballarat Swimming Club.
The award recognises a young swimmer who demonstrates ability and determination to succeed.
Brien, 12, is a Ballarat Gold Swimming Club member.
He specialises in backstroke and butterfly and over the past year has produced a series of personal bests and medal performances at various levels.
He competed at the Victorian age championships in December, earning two silver medals and qualifying for the 12-13 year 100m and 200m backstroke at this week’s national age championships.
He also had the distinction of breaking the 100m backstroke country record twice in one day.
Brien was a shining light at the state country championships in January as well, collecting gold medals in the 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 100m freestyle, and a bronze in the 100m breaststroke.
This earned him the title of best swimmer for his age group.