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2024 Rotto Squad - Testimonials

Testimonials from previous eSWIM Rotto Squad members



Writing this I still cannot believe I swum solo to Rotto!!  Joining eSWIM Rotto Squad I expected to be physically ready but what I didn’t realise is that there’s so much more to a crossing than that.  You prepared me mentally, trained my gut, taught me about recovery, helped with race suits, talked nutrition, kayaked for me, helped me prepare my support crew and so much more.  There was absolutely nothing that happened on the day that you hadn’t prepared me for! My crossing was such a positive experience and I honestly believe that is thanks to you.  So, thank you for helping me achieve something so big!
Casey, Swimmer of the Squad 2023, successful solo swimmer

Flynn swam magnificently and I found my Rotto pace which was such a great feeling, this is all thanks to you for your encouragement and the great swim squad you run at eSWIM. Once again thank you so much Elena. I am hoping to have a go at a solo next year and I would love to continue swimming with eSWIM through winter and again in the Rotto squad.
Brooke, successful 2023 duo swimmer

I wanted to say thank you for having me in the 2023 Rotto Squad and for your time and effort spent on me as a swimmer!  Prior to starting the squad, I only swam occasionally throughout the year and I did not enjoy it most of the time. The Rotto Squad that you have created not only has made me enjoy my swimming again but challenged my swimming abilities in a safe environment, which has made me a stronger swimmer.
Jye, 2023 Rotto Squad participant

Thank you for everything you do for us in the squad, including all the little things that could go unnoticed but don’t!  Let’s do it all again!!
Kristy, 9th female overall 2023 Rottnest Channel Swim, 1st Female Port to Pub 20km


Thanks so much for all the wisdom and support in helping me get to Rotto. Thank you so much for everything you do, even the really little things which can go unnoticed but make a huge difference for the swimmers. I couldn’t do it without you….this year more than any other! Whatever magic you worked on that boat made all the difference and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
Kristy, 4th female overall 2022 Rottnest Channel Swim

Thanks so much for all your support this year and last year. Such a well-structured and supportive program. Wouldn’t have made it without that. Thanks so much to Siobhan and Katya for their watchful eyes, tips and encouragement. 
Super happy I completed it!! I was very philosophical about it as it approached.  Good prep, enjoyed training and did all I could do so honestly felt if I didn’t make it, it was fine.   Super relaxed at the start it was almost comical…at least in my head.
Loved the training phases and the support everyone gave. Will definitely miss it but mostly the crew.
Gordon, successful 2022 solo swimmer

Thanks for helping me achieve my goal Elena, Siobhan and Katya: The stroke  correction, swim fitness, nutrition and stretching sessions, ocean swims, coaching advice and learnings along the way, positive swim culture. I am pleased and I enjoyed it!
Dani, successful 2022 10km swimmer

Thank you for all your hard work, organisation, dry wit, encouragement and support over the course of the Rottnest Swim season. Can’t wait to do it all again!!
Rob, successful 2022 solo swimmer

Thanks Elena.  Pretty happy with my time (first 60+ solo over the line!) particularly when I compare myself to others in the squad and where I sat at training.  Had a great support team which really helped in the challenging conditions.
Bastiaan, successful 2022 solo swimmer

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What can I say?  You continue to be such an amazing source of strength, wisdom and support. I truly apprecaite all you do to get me to the island in one piece, and there is no way I'd get there without your help.  Thanks again for an amazing year.
Kristy, first female 2021 25km Port to Pub, 7th female 2021 Rottnest Channel Swim

Thank you for all your help, guidance, wisdom and patience!  There’s no way I would have even thought I could possibly do this without your help.
Chris, successful 2021 solo swimmer

Thanks Elena for the whole program. It was incredible.
Peter, successful 2021 solo swimmer

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for this season. I think it’s fair to say that at the beginning of the season I was all over the place. My stroke and comfort in the water was shocking. Moving to eSWIM was the best decision I made. The squad I was at for a month or so before the season did not give any technical advice and left me to my own (seriously lacking) devices. I am shocked and proud that I am in a position where I may swim a solo to rotto tomorrow. This experience has been very special and I have you and your other amazing coaches to thank for it. Thanks again for all your work over this season. One of the best experiences of my sporting life so far. 
Henry, successul 2021 solo swimmer

Thanks again for everything. I never would have made it swimming with my old britard stroke 😂. We got there by 3pm. The last 5K was TOUGH. No amount of training could have prepared me for that weather. Anyway, all’s well that ends well. Bit sore and sunburnt this morning but so worth it. 
Oli, successful 2021 duo swimmer

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I'd just like to give you a big personal thank you for all your time and efforts over the last 4 months.
Your program was extremely well laid out and your regular feedback and communication was excellent. Well, I've just achieved something I didn't think was possible for me!!! I've really enjoyed every minute of training, even the early mornings. I've also met some really cool people through your squad, what a nice group!!!!! (particularly the crazy lane 3)
I feel a bit lost without eSWIM already so you'll most likely see me again next September!!!
Andrew, successful 2019 solo swimmer

You continue to amaze me with the dedication and care you provide in our swimmers. We feel truly invested in, which has such a massive impact on our chances of success.
Kristy, successful 2019 solo swimmer

Thank you for making me believe I could achieve something that seemed impossible at the start of the season. The training was thoroughly enjoyable and challenging but incredibly rewarding.
Karen, successful 2019 duo swimmer

Another amazing squad and an incredible experience to enjoy their support. I knew that everyone was supporting me during my epic 25km crossing and to be greeted by squad members on the beach at Rottnest was incredible. I can’t imagine a summer with the eSWIM Rotto Squad.
Tom, successful 2019 25km Port to Pub swimmer

Thanks ……honestly, I am loving the challenge and the acquisition of new knowledge. However, the benefit for me is the people. There is a great culture in eSWIM and everyone is great. They are welcoming and inclusive…I really like the comradery.
I rarely socialise with people outside of training but I love going for a coffee afterwards with these crew at the pool or with others after an ocean swim.
Credit goes to you creating that environment, taking no shit, and leading effectively …all qualities of an awesome coach.
Ian, successful 2019 duo swimmer

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Thanks for another greater season. The squad seems to be going from strength to strength.
John, member 2019 squad and previous solo swimmer

I just want to thank you for all your support and amazing coaching throughout my Rotto journey. It’s been an amazing experience, not just swimming to Rotto, but being a part of your squad. Not only did it prepare me well, it was great to be a part of such an amazing group of swimmers to share the experience with.
I admit, I was nervous hearing about the excessive mileage other squads were swimming compared to what I was doing, however I’m so glad that I stuck with it and trusted the process. For so many years I’ve seen people crawling up the finish line, barely being able to walk and collapsing at the end. That was how I pictured my Rotto crossing. I thought I’d have mental breakdowns at 15km, I thought I’d hit a wall that I’d never pass, I thought that if I’d finish I’d swear that I wouldn’t put myself through that torture again. But alas, not only was I able to run across the finish line I enjoyed almost every minute of the crossing, and I am incredibly proud to say that.
Thank you for helping me to achieve my goal. You’ve created an amazing squad that prepared me incredibly well for Rotto and your consistent support through every stage was above and beyond. I definitely want to complete another solo soon, but due to year 12 this year and starting uni next year, it’s unfortunately going to have to wait until 2020. I will definitely be coming back to the squad next season though!
Hannah, successful 2018 solo swimmer

I wanted to pass on another message of thanks. You, and eSWIM, played an such an integral part in assisting me to make the crossing. I’m stoked with this achievement, and thanks again for assisting me to do this!! I’ll be back for the next squad starting soon.
Luke, successful 2018 solo swimmer

I just wanted to make sure you know how much I appreciate the eSWIM Rotto squad.
It’s been a fantastic couple of months and have loved (almost) all of it.
Thank you for the fantastic swim program.
Thank you for your informative emails.
Thank you for technique advice and stroke corrections.
Thank you for your calm, professional manner.
Thank you for answering any queries we may have had.
I have never felt so calm and relaxed 2 days before an event.
Looking forward to seeing you on the beach at Rottnest.
Grant, successful 2018 solo swimmer

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Just wanted to thank you and Lockey again for all your help and tips and encouragement over the squad trainings. I got so much out of it and was thrilled to achieve what I set out to achieve. Could not have done it without you guys, it's a great squad and have already been recommending eSWIM to anyone that asks.
Gemma, successful 2018 duo swimmer

New stroke technique, new coach, new squad, new lease of life. I’ve enjoyed every minute and have you to thank for it.
Megan, successful 2018 solo swimmer

Just another amazing experience in a great squad. Lovely bunch to swim and socialise with and to improve on my PBs from last year speaks volumes of your guidance.
Alex, successful 2018 solo swimmer

I have had time to reflect on my recent solo Rottnest crossing and thought I would share my biggest learning, the value of a squad.
Having previously completed 5 solos, this was the first time I actually joined a squad. What I now realise is the importance of preparation outside of just physical swimming. Through the squad, details of dietary requirements, race plan, tapering were clearly laid out well before the day. The time to be able to evaluate different food groups and try them out was invaluable to ensure I didn’t fall into the trap of sea sickness.
In addition the way the squad was structured through the weeks, it really gave me the sense that it was building to race day and we were going to be prepared as best as we could possibly be. Through the regular emails and updates no stone was left unturned to ensure we were all set up.
The day itself was just a pleasant surprise to me (and others) and I am very happy to say it was my best crossing.
I would highly recommend this approach to others.
Chris, 2017 solo swimmer

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Thanks again for your brilliant support and reassuring words. You are by far the BEST swim coach I’ve ever had . And FYI, your email to me actually did enter my head when I was feeling a bit low at some stages during the crossing – and helped me believe that I would indeed make it…. (“If Elena thinks I can do it, then I can…. cos she seems to know what she’s talking about…”)
Jess, 2017 solo swimmer

What can I say except thank you. Without your coaching and support I could never have made it to Rotto, especially not on a day like we had. I love your attitude to swimming and coaching, appreciate your technical expertise and have enjoyed your humour on deck. Thank you so much.
Mel, 2017 solo swimmer

Thank you so much. The torture has been an absolute pleasure
Alison, 2017 solo swimmer

Thank you for your knowledge, patience, wisdom & encouragement. We have loved being a part of your squad.
Joe, 2017 duo swimmer

Thanks once again for all the advice, encouragement and support. And of course, the hard kick up the arse when needed.
Lesley, 2017 solo swimmer

Just stuck for words! An incredible journey for me and proud to be associated with you, Lockey and the group. Have to be one of, if not the highlight of my life to date!
Alex, 2017 solo swimmer

Thank you for helping me with the most important part of my stroke, my confidence.
Tom, 2017 solo swimmer

2018 Tom1 2018 Tom2

Thank you so much for all your advice and support. The squad has been awesome.
Anna, 2017 solo swimmer

Thank you so much for everything! For making swimming so enjoyable. I’ve never enjoyed swimming so much in my life! I now feel like a real life mermaid. I cannot believe how much I have improved in such a short amount of time and all your wonderful sets built my endurance. You have built such a wonderful supportive squad full of wonderful people and it is just so lovely to be part of it.
Hannah, 2017 solo swimmer

The constant feedback by email exchange was priceless. You were way too busy at sessions to field everyone’s questions, but sure as hell made up for it with the extreme detailed and very quick responded emails. Best part of the training. Looking back on it now, people ask me how hard is it to do a solo. Now I say not too hard. I had a coach who tells you what to do. Do what she says, and you'll make it. I think you can definitely and confidently tell / sell the fact if swimmers listen to your EVERY detail they will make it. But EVERY detail. The camaraderie from Lane 4 was like something I have never had. I absolutely loved spending time with my team mates and sure hope we are all together next year. This is something I didn't expect. Man oh man! The selling of your quote, "Your support team has to be better at support then you are a swimmer" was HUGE. Another one that I think of every day....even in my marathon run training....If you don't change your pace, you won’t change your pace! I guess I could go on forever, but those are the key thoughts I think of when anyone asks me about eSWIM and doing Rotto. Thanks are truly the best!
Dan, 2017 solo swimmer

Your hours of support, advice, wisdom and positive feedback have had such a huge impact on me. It's been an amazing summer under your guidance, and because of you I'm achieving more than I ever expected.
Kristy, 2016 solo swimmer

Group photo

Thanks very much for your great coaching over summer. I really enjoyed it. You run a very professional operation.
John, 2016 solo swimmer

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your training, advice and commitment. I truly believe that the training I received from you guys got me over the line on Saturday. I wish you every success for your future Rotto squads and I know they are going to be very successful because I am going to tell anyone that is doing a solo that they have to train with you guys. Thanks again, what an amazing feeling.
Andrea, 2016 solo swimmer

I just wanted to say thanks for your help, coaching and encouragement, it made a real difference to me.
Jeff, 2016 solo swimmer

Just wanted to say thank you very much for your wonderful coaching, advice, encouragement and general words of wisdom over the past 9/10 months to help me achieve the channel swim team event on Saturday. I had a ball and feel so proud of myself for coming as far as I have, thanks to you.
Susan, 2016 team swimmer

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Thank you so much for your support and guidance during the Rotto training season. I felt great and by the end of the swim I thought I could swim it again! So, thank you Elena and Lockey for getting me fit ready for Rotto as it made it all that more enjoyable. Definitely want to try it again next year.
Gabi, 2016 team swimmer

I just wanted to say a very big thank you to you and Lockey. The training squad, the sessions have been fantastic, my swimming times over distance have improved dramatically. Just think, I could not swim over 3km properly, now I feel good, strong and my times on the ocean swims compared to previous years have improved dramatically - the best ever . You should be really proud of your program, it has been rewarding, well structured, informative, engaging, bloody hard, quality people, but importantly good fun!
Michael, 2016 duo swimmer

What can I say? You have been amazing the past few months. I have really enjoyed getting back into the water. It has been your help and support.
Charlotte, 2016 duo swimmer

I have absolutely loved the training program. Probably the best training I have done for years. You are terrific and inspiring coaches.
Jenny, 2016 duo swimmer

Thank you so much for unending encourgament.
Bruce, duo swimmer

Your training was inspirational and instructive. Your respect and care has given me a new view of myself and for this I thank you very much.
Carmen, 2016 team swimmer

Thanks so much for a fantastic summer. I've never enjoyed my swimming so much and I've improved so much under your guidance.
Alessia, 2016 duo swimmer



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