Student set for Commonwealth Games

26 June 2014

By ANU Sport contributor David Bennett

ANU student Ben Treffers will represent Australia in swimming at next month’s 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after being named in the Australian swimming team.

Ben, 22, will compete in the 50m and 100m backstroke.

Ben’s selection for Glasgow follows several heartbreaking previous attempts to qualify for the Australian swimming team.

In 2009 Treffers failed to gain selection for the Australian team for the World Championships by less than a fingernail - 0.01 seconds. The same tiny margin prevented his selection in the 2010 Commonwealth Games team.

In 2012, Ben narrowly missed a place for the London Olympics by 0.11 seconds in his pet event, the 100m backstroke.

However, Ben made his long-awaited breakthrough at the Commonwealth Games trials in April this year, securing second place in the 100m backstroke and with an astonishing first place in the 50m backstroke, smashing the Australian record.

Ben believes the near misses have helped him mature as an athlete.

“I have become a more resilient athlete, which has meant I can go out there and compete with less fear about the results,” he said.

Ben is currently in a period of heavy training leading up the Commonwealth Games in late July. He spends up to 20 hours in the pool each week, and does three weekly gym sessions. The Australian Swimming team is currently at a training camp in Cairns.

There are a number of factors which have led to Ben’s success, including his ability balance swimming and a social life with his study for a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

“I definitely wouldn’t want to be just doing sport. And same goes for university. I wouldn’t want to just do that,” he said.

With less than two years left of his Bachelor of Commerce, Ben has started thinking what he is going to do after both university and beyond swimming.

“I plan on talking to some of the ex-swimmers who were once in my position and working now. Getting advice on what my options are and what will compliment my degree,” he said.

ANU Sport would like to congratulate Ben on his chance to represent Australia at the upcoming Commonwealth Games. We wish him the best of luck in all his future sport, university and life endeavours.