April 2019

Our first Potential and Pathway Camp

It was great to see so many of the Pathway and Potential Squad Swimmers at their first camp of 2019, hosted at St Peter's School on the 6th and 7th of April.

For many swimmers, this was their first time on the Regional Squad Pathway and it was a pleasure to meet them all and to welcome them into the Regional Squad set-up.

The main theme of the camp was ‘Bridging the Gap’, how we as a region develop our swimmers to match and exceed the top swimming nations.

A lofty undertaking you may think but in reality, it’s just about making small changes day to day, focusing on the margins – the 1%. The camp detailed a number of these marginal gains, the main one that all our swimmers across all our clubs should focus on is improving our technical skillset.

Another key part of the camp was to identify Squad goals and although these are confidential to the swimmers in each squad, we're excited to share "The Waikato Way" - the six key 'non-negotiables' that were identified as something our swimmers needed to keep front of mind at all times -

  • Together we hit all turns at speed
  • Together we avoid taking a breath on the last stroke into the wall
  • Together we avoid breathing on the first stroke off the wall
  • Together we make the most of every single stroke
  • Together we hold a tight streamline off the wall
  • Together we keep focus throughout the session

We would like to thank the fantastic team of Regional Squad Coaches who gave up their time prior to and during the camp to help support the ambitions of the Regional Squads and of the individual swimmers.

The Coaching group (below) have a phenomenal background and experience in the sport of swimming and it was, as always, a pleasure sharing the pool deck with them.

Alison Fitch (St Peter’s)
Graham Smith (St Paul’s)

Ross Fisher (St Paul’s)
Libby Gray (Thames)
Helen Barr (St Peter’s)

Also Clive Power (former Regional Head Coach) and Barrie Jennings – Regional Strength and Conditioning Coach.

We would also like to thank Philip Maultsaid and the St Peter’s parents for their help preparing the Sunday BBQ for the swimmers and coaches to enjoy post session.  Your support is greatly appreciated and another reason why we have a lot to be thankful for in the Waikato!

Lastly, a thank you to the swimmers who put in a great shift over the weekend and provided some really positive energy.  We hope that you managed to pick up some valuable information to take back to your home programs and that this feedback will not only benefit you but your teammates also. Turning those bad habits around can take time, be patient and willing to change.


Our Waikato Team for NAGs

The 2019 National Age Group Champs is the pinnacle meet for the many of our age group swimmers.  It's being hosted in Wellington from the 16th to the 20th of April 2019.   With more than 700 swimmers entered, the Wellington Aquatic Centre will be bursting at the seams - just lucky that you can watch the event live streamed from the comfort of your home (or your office).

Click here to see our Waikato Team - best of luck everyone !!

A great showing at Div II

Our Waikato team of 44 swimmers, from 10 of our Clubs, headed to Dunedin to compete at the 2019 National Division II meet which ran from the 13th to the 16th of March.

Four days of long sessions didn't deter our swimmers from putting in 100%, with plenty of PBs and podium finishes.  Congratulations everyone !!  You can check out a summary of the Waikato results here.

A stacked programme for our first TAPs Camp of 2019

With great support from High Performance Sport NZ’s Biomechanist, Jodi Cossor, we were able to put together a robust two day training camp at the Sir Owen Glenn Aquatics Centre in Auckland on the 16th and 17th of March 2019.

The focus of the camp and our overall regional direction is ‘bridging the gap; that is the technical gap between NZ and the top performing nations in the world.

22 of our region's top swimmers attended the camp and contributed to a refreshing and open discussion around where NZ currently sits in terms of World Swimming and how we can ‘bridge the gap’.

Gaining access to Jodi for the weekend was an opportunity we took with both hands and we are grateful for her time.  Our aim was to maximise the time we had with Jodi, collecting as much data as possible to be sent back to the swimmers' home programmes.

The swimmers were also privileged to have the opportunity to work alongside Olympian Gregor Tait, who travelled over from the Gold Coast to support the camp.  Gregor’s successful international experience was a great asset for the camp, providing the swimmers with plenty of useful feedback, support and vision.

The camp was also an opportunity to welcome our Regional Strength and Conditioning Coach, Barrie Jennings, into the Hub Programme.  Barrie has had a hugely successful international coaching career and has already had significant input into many of our club programs.  It was a pleasure having Barrie working with the TAPS Squad over the weekend, looking at swimmer athleticism on land / water and providing some great feedback for swimmers and coaches.

We pride ourselves on putting together the very best in swimmer and coach education and this weekend, we definitely hit the nail on the head.

Paige Flynn on the 2018 FINA World Short Course Champs

In December 2018, Waikato's Paige Flynn was part of an 18 strong New Zealand team that headed to the 2018 FINA World Short Course Champs, hosted in Hangzhou, China.

Paige, along with five other Waikato swimmers, learned huge lessons about swimming at the international level as they competed side by side with the world's best.  We'd like to again acknowledge the swimmers who were part of this New Zealand team -

  • Andrew Jeffcoat, Fairfield Swimming Club
  • Gina McCarthy, Hillcrest Swimming Club
  • Matthew Hyde - Matamata Swimming Club
  • Paige Flynn, St Peter's Swimming Club
  • Vanessa Ouwehand, St Peter's Swimming Club

We interviewed Paige to get her reflections on her World Championship experience and you can hear her thoughts here.