THE weather is cold, football is on the TV and hot chocolates taste just that slightest bit better - winter is in full swing - but some young athletes still can't keep out of the pool and their dedication has been rewarded with great success.
The Muswellbrook Amateur RSL Youth Swimming Club is still running throughout the cooler months, and they've recently enjoyed an incredible medal haul which displays the advantages of their commitment.
Securing 12 golds, 8 silvers and 5 bronze at the New England and North West Swimming Championships in Armidale, the team showed off their rare talent, and coach Tom Mitchell couldn't be prouder.
"It's one our biggest groups to go up to an area championships in the last three or four years, so I think it's a great sign of what's to come with our club and the depth we've got coming through the ranks," he said.
While there were over 30 members of the squad during peak swimming season, there are still approximately 20 athletes giving their time during winter which is a strong indication of the sport's popularity.
Mitchell, who picked up four medals himself at the event, only joined the club in January after becoming involved through his niece Lacey Mullard, although he was part of it as a junior as he grew up in the area.
His impact has been felt immediately as the team has enjoyed a stellar 2019, and the 29-year-old believes the positivity he has delivered and emphasis on grassroots learning is a key factor behind their progress.
"It's been fantastic, our numbers are growing month on month and we're starting to grab kids from surrounding areas like Scone, Singleton and Denman which is a great testament to what the club is achieving," said Mitchell.
"And also the reputation and brand we're growing which is really focusing on the positivity of swimming and taking that love of a sporting and really putting an emphasis on kids enjoying what they do."
He relishes the opportunity to lead by example and show his pupils what he teaches by still competing himself, which is perhaps yet another reason behind the club's recent spike in results.