Western Melbourne Propulsion Swim Club began in 2007 as Propulsion Swimming Club under the guidance of Sebastian Bettiol. In 2014, Propulsion affiliated with Melbourne University to provide competitive opportunities for swimmers at the University and its surrounds, primarily operating from the University’s pool. At that point, the club changed its name to Melbourne University Propulsion Swim Club.
Today, the club continues to operate from the pool at Melbourne University, but due to expansion in swimmer numbers, the club now also provides training through facilities at Penleigh & Essendon Grammar School in Essendon and the Broadmeadows Leisure Centre. As of January 2020, WMP also provides a pathway to the MSAC squads program. (See below for further details on this). These facilities provide access to numerous swimmers across the North-Western region of Melbourne, and include training in a 50m indoor long course pool, as well as access to elite gym facilities for dry-land training. As a result of our expansion, the club's name was changed to Western Melbourne Propulsion Swim Club in 2019, to better reflect our geographic focus.
Our club also emphasises the importance of community work and support. We pride ourselves on our club’s initiatives in this respect. Find out more about how we make a difference via our Community page.
Our club is run by a committee of volunteers, comprising both parents and young adults who have come through our swimming programs. We believe this is a valuable pathway to learning leadership skills and a sense of community. We have been fortunate to have our young people represent us as president, vice-president, treasurer and registrar. One of our past presidents and national swimmers, Ella Keogh, was awarded Swimming Victoria’s Young Leader of the Year Award in 2016 and was elected as a Director onto the Board of Swimming Victoria in 2018 at the age of 21. A remarkable achievement, and one of which our club is extremely proud.
Our club works in conjunction with the Swim Academy Network (SAN), of which our Head Coach, Seb Bettiol, is the director. SAN provides our coaches, venues and training programs. Our club provides swimmers from the SAN swim program with a competitive pathway.
As of January 2020, Seb was offered the role of Head of Swimming Programs at the State Sports Trust operating out of MSAC. As part of that position, our squads now have the opportunity to train in these elite facilities. This opportunity not only allows our athletes to have access to the best resources in the state, but also allows Seb to continue to develop his own coaching ability alongside the High Performance Swimming Australia squad.
This also allows our club to work with both SAN and the MSAC squads to develop a pathway for elite performance. This is a unique structure and an exciting development for our club. Not only is Seb's appointment a vote of confidence in his coaching abilities, but also in our swimmers' achievements. It is also an endorsement of WMP's philosophies regarding elite performance, coupled with social responsibility and the leadership opportunities we strive to give our swimmers.
This pathway also provides swimmers in the western suburbs with an elite performance pathway, while still maintaining their connection to their home club - WMP.
You can find out about our current and planned initiatives, and our values and goals, in our Strategic Plan.
2021 Swimming Victoria Top 10 Club: The Top 10 Club Awards ranks the performances of Clubs throughout the Victorian Championship season to determine the overall Victorian Championship Club and the Top 10 Clubs. WMP achieves 7th place, and makes the Top 10 for the second time.
2021 & 2020 Open Water success: Noah O'Donnell receives Victorian Open Water Age Group Swimmer of the Year 2020; Robbe Dilissen receives Victorian Open Water Swimmer of the Year 2020 & 2021; Seb Bettiol receives Victorian Open Water Coach of the Year 2020 & 2021.
2021 Swimming Victoria Volunteer of the Year 2021: Luka Zubcic
2021 Australian Swimming Trials: 8 swimmers qualifying - Baden Coxsedge, Liam Laidlaw, Will Middleton, Ray Oo, Adam Selwood, Lushavel Stickland, Johann Stickland and Luka Zubcic. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only 3 swimmers were able to compete. These 3 swimmers, Adam, Liam and Luka, each produced significant PBs. Liam improved his ranking in the 100FR from 78th to 53rd. Luka qualified for the B Final in the 50FR, having produced a PB of 22.78. Adam smashed his PB in the 200BR by 2.52 secs, 2.15.44, landing a place in the A Final.
2021 Australian Swimming Championships: 13 qualifiers, 9 finalists and 3 medallists: Adam Selwood - Gold 50BR (20/21); Will Middleton Gold 400IM (20/21) and Liam Laidlaw Bronze 200IM (20/21).
2020 Swimming Victoria Top 10 Club: The Top 10 Club Awards ranks the performances of Clubs throughout the Victorian Championship season to determine the overall Victorian Championship Club and the Top 10 Clubs. WMP achieves 7th place, and makes the Top 10 for the first time.
2020 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships: Noah O'Donnell, competing at his first National event, made history for the club, claiming a silver medal in the 14 year old male 5km event. He becomes the first national open water medallist for Western Melbourne Propulsion.
2020 Appointment as Head of Swimming Programs, State Sport Trust (MSAC): Sebastian Bettiol
2019 Swimming Victoria Touring Team selection: Luka Zubcic, selected to the Victorian representative team of only 10 swimmers travelling to America to compete at the 2019 Phillips 66 US National Championships held at Stanford University, California.
2019 Hancock Prospecting World Swimming Trials: Four swimmers qualifying to attend these trials – Liam Laidlaw, Thomas Pearson, Adam Selwood, Luka Zubcic. Luka produced a significant PB in the 50m freestyle heat, placing him in the A final against the top swimmers in the country, including Kyle Chalmers and Cameron McEvoy, where he placed 7th overall.
2019 Hancock Prospecting Australian Championships: Five swimmers qualifying to attend this meet - Liam Laidlaw, Thomas Pearson, Adam Selwood, Lushavel Stickland and Luka Zubcic. Adam Selwood medalled in all three 18/19 year old breaststroke events, including placing first in the 100m breaststroke. This is the first national meet at which we had two medallists, as Thomas Pearson picked up the bronze in the 100m breaststroke event.
2019 ASCTA Victoria Achievement for Placing a Swimmer on an Australian Team: Sebastian Bettiol
2018/2019: Election to the Board of Directors Swimming Victoria: Ella Keogh
2018 Junior Pan Pacific Australian Team Selection: Thomas Pearson, selected to swim the 100m and 200m breaststroke, where he placed 7th and 6th respectively. He was also selected for the 4x100m Medley Relay, where the team placed 4th.
2018 Oceania Swimming Championships: Lushavel Stickland, representing Samoa, picked up two silver medals for 50m and 100m backstroke.
2018 Commonwealth Games Samoan Representative Team: Lushavel Stickland was selected to compete in the 50 and 100 Freestyle, and the 50 and 100 Backstroke.
2018 ASCTA Coaching Scholarship: Sebastian Bettiol, provided to participate in a one year gold class swimming coach program, working alongside Australian team coaches.
2017 Swimming Victoria Young Leader of the Year: Ella Keogh, for her community initiatives while at Western Melbourne Propulsion, particularly for the development of our women’s only program for culturally and linguistically diverse women from refugee backgrounds.