AQUAROBICS KING: M'boro instructor's top award
JOEL Sweeney was almost knocked off his feet when he was crowned best in the state for water aquarobics.
Mr Sweeney, who works as an aquarobics instructor at the Maryborough Aquatic Centre, was presented with the Austswim Award for for Queensland Aquarobics Instructor of the Year.
The award, presented in front of his class at the pool yesterday, is a recognition of his efforts to rebuild his life after a fight with bowel cancer.
"Five years ago when I was recovering from bowel cancer I was told I wouldn't have a normal life and probably not be able to do these types of things,” he said.
"This shows you that you can overcome.”
Originally from Monto, Mr Sweeney moved to Maryborough in the 1990s and has been coming and going from the city for a while.
He started as a casual at the Aquatic Centre three years ago.
He was a bit shy and had trouble looking at his students, fellow instructor Jackson Saintly said.
To cap off Mr Sweeney's week, he was told on Wednesday that he'd been appointed to a full-time position with the Fraser Coast Regional Council as the aquatics co-ordinator at the Maryborough Aquatic Centre.
"In the past three years I've done a bit of everything from lifeguard, running the kiosk, swim instructor and aerobics instructor,” he said.