It was 10 years ago when young swimmer Ryan Gowty took out the junior section of the Nagambie On Water swimming event.
Ryan not only won the junior category, but placed third-fastest overall for all the males in the event.
As a senior, he stood on the podium numerous times, narrowly missing being the fastest overall swimmer in 2015 by just seconds. But at 20 years of age, a tragic camping accident on the Murray River at Christmas took the life of the promising swimmer.
Ryan will be honoured with a memorial event at this year’s Nagambie On Water after his uncle approached the committee. The committee was eager to honour his achievements as the family had stayed at the Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park for many years.
According to a NOW festival spokesperson, the Gowty family is part of the extended Nagambie family and the committee looked forward to the Gowtys’ participation in the festival each year.
‘‘Ryan made the most of his talent and time at Nagambie,’’ the spokesperson said.
‘‘The festival offers our deepest sympathy to the extended Gowty family.’’
The fastest male and fastest female at this year’s event will be awarded the inaugural Ryan Gowty Memorial Trophy, sponsored by Nagambie Leisure Park.
Ryan’s family and friends have been provided a discounted swim entry price.
Contact the NOW festival for more details if you would like to ‘‘Swim In Memory of Rhino’’ and help his family celebrate his success at Lake Nagambie.
The festival begins on Friday, March 1, with a community pizza night, then goes into full swing on Saturday, March 2. Activities will be centred around the lake, Jacobson’s Outlook and High St.
NOW has also teamed up with the Longwood Beer Wine & Cider Festival on March 2 from 2pm. Shuttle buses will ferry people to Longwood.
For more information, visit www.nagambieonwater.com.au