Years of dedicated early morning training in the pool will come to a head this week as five Katherine students gear up to compete in the Arafura Games.
For 13-year-old Talisha Jarrett, the competition is one step closer to her goal of swimming in the Olympics.
Competing in six events across the four days, she is aiming for a 29 second swim in the 50m freestyle - her best race.
"I am better at sprints over long distance," she said.
Training more than eight hours per week on top of school, extra curricular activities and work commitments is a tough gig for the five swimmers.
But well worth it for the chance to compete in a multi-sport event that attracts participants from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
"It is fun, you get to meet new people and learn new skills," Talisha said.
"We have been training really hard for this weekend, eating well and getting enough sleep.
"We all want to do really well this weekend, so that it puts us in a good position for competitions down the line.
I know how hard it is to get to the Olympics, but I am willing to put in the effort to get there.Talisha Jarrett
Coach Pru Ducey has been instructing for 13 years and has high hopes for the young Katherine swimmers.
Heading to Darwin this week, they will be competing from Saturday until Tuesday at the Parap pool in pursuit of record breaking times.
"The swimmers met the qualifying times for the events they are swimming in," the coach said.
"Each will be competing in about six to seven events across the four days.
"They have been training hard in preparation, not only long swim sessions every day, but they've been going to the gym as well."
While the swimmers have long been competing in meets across the NT, for some the Arafura Games will be a first.
"It is a big step up especially to have international swimmers to compete against," coach Ducey said.
"I am hoping some of them will get personal bests, I hope they make finals and just enjoy the whole experience."
The Arafura Games return to the Territory this year after being axed by the former NT Government.
The revival of the games after eight years is in an effort to boost trade with Australia's Asian neighbours.
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