Port Macquarie swimming champ Nathan Smith has returned to a rigorous training routine after overcoming a heart virus.
The regional championships swimmer has had strong showings at the state age championships, Swimming New South Wales State Championships and NSW Country Regional Championships in previous years.
Nathan collected two silvers and two bronze medals at the most recent School Sport Australia Championships.
"The last 12 months were shaping up well and I went to state swimming in December with seven finals and three fourths. I was disappointed with that because I thought I'd place better," he said.
"Through January I started having health problems with a virus. That was a bit of a scare but it was over by March.
"I went through March and made my first NSW state hockey team and also nationals for swimming in five events. I was really looking forward to that but because of COVID happening I didn't get to go.
"During the lockdown it was hard to motivate myself to swim and maintain my schooling. I just look at the goal of what I want to do or be next week, next month or next year to motivate myself.
"Knowing that I'd like to go to the next Commonwealth Games, I have put in to go up to Brisbane for year 11 and 12 at boarding school. I'd like to swim for Nudgee College next year in year 11 because they have a good competition there and it's a really professional situation."
Port Macquarie pool head coach Cheryl Neville said swimmers have been working on technique.
"At one stage we were only allowed one person in each lane in each pool. We did that and then it went to three in a lane," she said.
"We've been training and we have a few swimmers who wanted to go to the Olympic trials before it was cancelled. So for many swimmers it feels like there is unfinished business.
"Nathan would probably have been doing four or five mornings a week, at two hours. We have also started afternoon training this week."