Saturday, 1 June 2013

Here's our top six facts about Australia, and our love affair with our beaches & waterways.

Australians have a long history of both swimming for fun, and competitively. You could say we're a swimming nation.

Fact about Australia. Surrounded by sea
Girt by sea!!
Sixth Fact About Australia  Australia has more swimmable beaches than any other country in the world. Russia possibly has more beaches, but many of these are in Arctic waters.

Fifth Fact About Australia  Australia is the largest country in the world to be surrounded by water, though it's not an Island.

Fourth Fact About Australia    Fanny Durack perfected the swimming style the Australian Crawl, which is still used today in freestyle swimming competitions around the world. When Durack perfected the stroke, she shaved seconds off the men's world record!

Third Fact About Australia The world's oldest life saving club was formed on Bondi Beach in 1907. Bronte Life Saving Club in Sydney disputes this, though it's pretty well accepted that Bondi just beat them to it.

Fact about Australia. More pools than any other country
Second Fact About Australia  Despite being surrounded by sea, Australians build more domestic swimming pools (per capita) than any other nation. Australia also has a large number of olympic size pools, though this may decrease, as the trend these days is for councils to build smaller facilities.

Fact about Australia, Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach, where it all began!
First Fact About Australia   Australian men were the first in the world to wear swimming briefs (often just referred to as a Speedo), and were arrested by inspectors on bondi beach. In defiance of international trends, Australian men's swimwear became very small. The design sat on the hip and removed all fabric from the leg. The design allowed for complete freedom of movement, and became a classic cut for men's swimwear.

The designers at Speedo in Sydney were told to make a swimming costume similar to the shorts that had become popular in Hawaii. They ignored their instructions, and came back with the 'brief' design that swept across the nation, and later the world. It is one of the few unique items of fashion that Australia can claim to have given the world.



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