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Australian Youth Olympic Festival Wrap Up

Final Thoughts on the AYOF 2013

The 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival has been a great learning experience for swimmers, coaches and the management team. This event is organised by the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) and we are a team of a team in a team.   


The 18-strong team met at Sydney Airport on the 14th January and were then transported to St Andrews Halls of residence which was their base for the week. It was conveniently placed just a 30-40 minute bus journey away from Sydney’s Olympic Park and pool.  

This event, with the NZOC’s assistance, helps to develop the experience and culture of what it will be like at the Olympics with living in the Athlete’s Village, transport, different nationalities coming together and large teams performing different sports.  

Working as a Team

The NZ Swimming team worked together as a group to set themselves goals and standards:

1.       Build a positive and supportive culture with standards.
2.       Support each other as a team even if you are competing against each other.
3.       Respect all team members
4.       Compete and represent New Zealand with pride.  

General Information  

The temperature ranged from 30°C to Sydney’s hottest ever day, of 47°C degrees many outside events were cancelled due to safety of athlete’s. Luckily we spent most of our time in an air conditioned pool, so swimming was not too affected by the weather.  

The accommodation was great although it got very hot at night as there was no air conditioning. We just had fans that helped to spread the warm air! The beds were comfortable, the food was on time and the university was of very high quality.  

The bus services to and from the venue worked well and we arrived on time, every time.  

The pool was fantastic as you would expect from an ex-Olympic Games venue! And luckily for us, it was air conditioned, keeping out the roasting Aussie sun.  

Many parents travelled and supported the swim team and also a lot of the other team members in different sport came to support and watch the swimming. It was a great boost for the swimmers to be able to see the level of support that they had behind them.  

Competition Time

This meet was top quality as is confirmed by the fact that there were only about four meet records unbroken over the week! Japan, Australia Green and Australia Yellow were fighting hard for top country but Japan had the edge and class over the two Australian teams. Canada and NZ fought the whole meet for fourth place with Canada just piping us at the post in the last day. The individual meet results are enclosed in written form and as a team manager file. This shows the swimmers who were swimming PBs in the morning and even faster in the evening. This is an ideal way to swim and is something we should be training for.  

Some of stand-out performances of the meet were:

1.       Bradlee Ashby 400 IM Silver  4:27.31 NZ age record
2.       Bradlee Ashby 200 IM Bronze 2:04.37 NZ age record
3.       Natasha Lloyd 200 Breaststroke Bronze 2:31.36 NZ age record
4.       George Schroder 200 Breaststroke 2:19.42 NZ age record broken in heats and finals  

There were also several regional records broke along with many swimmers gaining finals.  

Overall, the meet produced a few great results with swimmers making finals, and a lot of new PBs being done. The AYOF is a good eye-opener at what level the swimmers need to be at on the world stage. Our swimmers need to train the way they mean to with race starts and turns (especially turns!) needing to be worked on. This meet is great for developing our Youth teams as the level of competition is world class.  

Thank You  

A BIG thank you to the coaches and management team you did a great job and bought the team together well. Thank you also to the NZOC for the smooth running of the NZ team’s trip.


The full list of Team New Zealand's results are available in the attachment below. They include heat and final times (where applicable).