August 2018

Our 2019 Competitive Calendar

Below you'll find our 2019 Swimming Waikato Calendar.

Pulling this together has been some task - juggling our club hosted meets, development programmes, regional meets, out of region meets, zonal meets and national championship meets !!  Thanks to our senior coaching group for their input into this.

The good news is it’s all come together and when you have a look, you’ll see we’ve got a pretty full year of swimming ahead !

While the calendar is based largely on this year, there are a few things I’d like to make you aware of–

  • Our Swimming Waikato Relay Championships are being held in February 2019.  This is to give our summer only clubs the opportunity to take part, ensuring that those swimmers have plenty of time in the water before they join the rest of the region for this event.  We’ll circulate the flyer in a few months’ time.
  • Our Caro Cup meet has been moved to November.  A key reason for this change is to ensure the date doesn’t clash with other winter sporting codes.  In addition, we’re introducing a ‘Bruce Whinnery Inter District Challenge’.  The exact format for this is still to be finalised but it’s a dual meet challenge against Auckland for our senior swimmers (aged 14+) and provides a great pathway for our swimmers as they grow out of the Caro Cup format.  Being held on the same day means we can expect a lot of vocal support for all the swimmers as they compete for regional pride.
  • You’ll also see that the 2019 New Zealand Secondary Schools Champs is being held in Hamilton so we’re expecting in excess of 600 swimmers checking out our newly renovated pool.
  • From a swimmer development perspective, the calendar includes the camps for swimmers who have qualified for our 2019 squads, plus our 2019 Kick Start Camp and clinics for our XLR8 Club members who have achieved 2,500+ points.  These activities all provide coach development opportunities also.
  • From a club perspective, and because of how congested the calendar is, it’s not possible to make significant changes to the date of your club hosted meet.  If you’d like to change your club meet from a Saturday to a Sunday, or vice versa, please let me know.  Or if you’d like to swap meets with another club on the calendar, please also let me know.
  • Attached is the 2019 Duty Club Roster for your info, along with an outline of the Duty Club responsibilities.
  • To help simplify the types of meets on the calendar, I’ve attached a summary document which many of you will have seen previously.  It clarifies which level of swimmer each of our types of meets are best suited for.

Any questions, please ask.

Banning Technical / Performance Race Suits for Swimmers Aged 12 and Under

You may be aware that a number of swimming regions, both internationally (states in Australia and the US) and throughout New Zealand (Swimming Otago, Canterbury West Coast and Swimming Auckland) have banned the use of Technical / Performance Race Suits for their junior swimmers (swimmers age 12 years and under).

As a result of those decisions, the Board of Swimming Waikato has looked into whether banning these suits was also the right decision for the Waikato region.

After researching this issue, and after having discussions with a number of our Coaches and with Club representatives at our 2018 Annual General meeting, the Board of Swimming Waikato will introduce a ban on these suits, for swimmers aged 12/U, at all swim meets hosted in the Waikato. Please note that this ban does not include “Jammers” (knee length swim suits/togs).

This ban will come into effect from 15 December 2018 (our Waikato Christmas Meet).

What is a Technical / Performance Race Suit ?

  • A technical / performance race suit is a specialized swimsuit designed with bonded/meshed seams or kinetic tape. In simpler terms, tech suits don’t even appear to have seams.  These suits have water-repellent properties that add little textile weight and help mature swimmers cut through the water. The conforming carbon fiber cage (and other approved textiles) give the biggest performance benefit: compression. Extreme muscle compression streamlines the body in order to reduce drag, thus leading to greater improvements in performance.

Our Rationale –

  • Very good research suggests that there is no determinable speed advantage for a young person 12 years old and under.
  • These race suits are expensive and have a short life span.  Whilst we recognise that this may not be an issue for everyone, we want to encourage participation in our sport and the cost is likely to be a barrier for some.  Swimming Waikato does not wish to place unnecessary financial pressure on parents or create an environment where it is thought to achieve at this level, a technical / performance race suit is required.
  •  At the junior level, refining technique and skills is more likely to contribute to improved race performance, rather than the swimwear the young person is wearing.

Over the next few weeks, we will provide more information about how this ban will be enforced.  The purpose of this ‘heads up’ is to ensure that our families do not purchase new technical / performance race suits for their young swimmers in the meantime.

If you have any questions, please direct them to cherie@swimmingwaikato.co.nz.

It's looking sensational

We're talking about the Waterworld upgrade - of course !  A deeper pool, new pool deck flooring, new air conditioning, new filtration, new blocks, new soundsystem, new acoustic tiles, new lane ropes, improved viewing, even a new marshalling area.  To all intents and purposes, the 50m pool at Waterworld will feel like a brand new venue when it opens later this year.

The first meet we'll be hosting in this almost totally renovated venue is our annual Waikato Christmas Meet and with teams confirmed from as far south as Canterbury, we're looking forward to christening the new venue with two days of awesome racing.

This meet doubles as our Reverse Distance Championships (for competitive swimmers) but the main meet is open for all our club and competitive swimmers, no restrictions !  So if you'd like to dive into the deeper water from the flash new blocks, hear your name called over the new soundsystem, maybe even have a little dance on pool deck to some Christmas tunes, put the dates in your diary today.  Entries open at 11.00am on the 16th of October !

Waikato Christmas Meet
15-16 December 2018
Hamilton's Waterworld
Garnett Avenue
Hamilton

Capturing our Club Memoirs

Swimming is a sport that's been around in New Zealand for a long long time.  It dates back to the 1890's when the first Amateur Swimming Association of New Zealand was formed, an organisation that is now called Swimming New Zealand,  In the 114 years since then, the sport has grown to encompass 165 affiliated clubs and 19,028 registered members nationwide.

In the Waikato, our knowledge of our swimming history is a little hazy.  An old 75th jubilee booklet confirms that the Hamilton Swimming Club was established 1890 and you can scroll through their jubilee booklet below for some great insights into the early days of the club.

We'd like to capture as much of the histories of our clubs as we can, in the form of memories shared with us by people who have been involved in the clubs over the years.

And to do this, we need your help.

We need you to spread the word to everyone you know who has had some involvement in swimming in the Waikato and ask them (or you) to send through a favourite memory, and a photo if possible.  Nothing too long, just a date, and an insightful, interesting, even funny memory that was significant enough to have stayed in your mind.

We'll collate all this information, in a timeline Memoir for each club, one which we'll be able to continue adding to as more stories come to hand.

We're ready to go whenever you are so please, start sending these memories through today !

2018 Awards Evening

Just last Friday night, we celebrated swimming in the Waikato with more than 240 of our swimmers, their families, our coaches, committee members, technical officials and our funding partners.  Using the theme of 'Putting the Gold into our Red, Yellow and Black' we handed out certificates, trophies and scholarships to acknowledge a wide range of great achievements. It was a fantastic night of celebration and a beautiful singing performance by St Peter's Swimming Club's Georgia Willats was a real highlight of the night.

Our Scholarship Policy includes the acknowledgement of of swimmers achieving Top 3 Finishes at Zonal Festival meets, swimmers achieving Top 5 finishes at NZ Open Water, NZ Short Course and NZ Age Group Championship meets, and A finalists from the NZ Open Championships.

As part of the process of identifying the Award recipients, we had the opportunity to look at the representation from the Waikato at the various championship meets and it was fantastic to see a significant increase from 2017 to 2018 in the number of swimmers attending at each level -

Zonal Junior Championships:  An increase from 109 to 119 swimmers
Division II:  An increase from 51 to 81 swimmers
NZ Short Course Champs:  An increase from 50 to 79 swimmers
NZ Open Water Champs:  An increase from 24 to 31 swimmers
NZ Open Champs:  An increase from 25 to 35 swimmers

It's great to see that competitive swimming in the region is on the increase!

As always, our top trophies and awards were hotly contested and there was a tonne of excitement in the room when the recipients were announced -

Volunteer of the Year: Jane Wilson, Ace Swimming Club
Merit Award: Rachael THomas, St Peter's Swimming Club
Honours Award: Val Strange, Ace Swimming Club
Top CLub - Waikato Junior Championships: St Peter's Swimming Club
Top Club - Waikato Senior Championships: St Peter's Swimming Club
NZ Swimming Trust Emerging Swimmer of the Year:  Danyon Hardie, Ace Swimming Club
Regional Swimmer of the Year:  Gina McCarthy, Hillcrest Swimming Club
Coach of the Year:  Carl Gordon, St Peter's Swimming Club
Top Emerging Club of the Year:  Huntly Swimming Club
Top Performance Club of the Year:  St Peter's Swimming Club

You can see the full list of our Trophy Winners and our Special Award Recipients below.