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The start of something extraordinary



A national development squad camp has wrapped up in Auckland with young swimmers, coaches and managers from around the country benefiting from 3 days of training, coaching and workshops.

The camp which started directly after the national short course champs saw fifty young national development squad swimmers between 14-17 years old, work with 8 top level coaches, 4 managers and staff from High Performance Sport New Zealand.

Swimming New Zealand High Performance Center coach Mat Woofe saw this as a learning opportunity for everyone involved.

“With the athletes, it’s a chance for them to train together, learn from one another and push each other. They were split into stroke groups, so not only were they able to see their strengths but also where their weaknesses are so they can go home and work on it.”

Workshops were presented by High Performance Sport NZ staff, educating the swimmers around the importance of athletes looking after their bodies.

HPSNZ physio Jordan Salesa spoke to the swimmers about managing their body, especially around recovery. Swimmers were shown self-massaging techniques with a tennis ball that they could do within their own environment, which would also help with streamline and recovery.

HPSNZ nutritionist Dave Shaw presented on athlete nutrition and broke down reasons around why they eat as opposed to what to eat.

Oamaru swimmer Micah Hayes, 15, enjoyed the nutrition and physio sessions and admitted they were a big wake up call.

“I had no idea about the importance of food before, I just ate whatever, now I’m a lot more aware of what I put into my body. Also listening to Jordan talk about the importance of stretching, I have a really stiff shoulder so the stretching techniques will help with getting my streamline right. I underrated all of that before.”

Rio Olympians Bradlee Ashby and Helena Gasson also gave talks about their experiences as swimmers with international experience.

Paris Cutler, 15, from Kiwi West Aquatics Manawatu found the session with Gasson beneficial.

“I really enjoyed the talk with Helena. It was great to hear about her international experiences and also learn about what she does when she’s had a bad race. It made me look at the way I do things.”

Another key component for the camp was coaching development. Each coach ran sessions with a different stroke group and together the coaches would analyse their sessions and identify areas that worked well, and those that needed improvement.

“I think it’s a really strong environment for coach education. It’s about diversifying our ideas and starting to work together to improve what we’re doing in our daily environments. I’ve certainly learnt a lot from this group,” says Woofe.

Steven Kent, Coast swim club associate head coach also saw benefit in working with swimmers and coaches from different regions.

“It was cool to meet some new young swimmers and see what they can do but also it was a great chance to work with other coaches from around the country and exchange tips on how each one operates,” says Kent.

Howick Pakuranga swimmer Tyron Henry, 16, enjoyed all aspects of the camp, especially working with different coaches.

“I really valued being shown things I need to work on. It was interesting hearing other coaches opinions and observing different ways of coaching.”

Overall Mat Woofe says, “this camp has really challenge the athletes and pushed them outside of their comfort zone. It’s also been really rewarding being able to work with coaches of the highest repute from around the country. We hope we’ve raised awareness for the athletes on what they need to do to become better and move forward into senior competition.”

Camp Attendees

Aidan Withington (Capital, Wellington)

Andrew Nicholls (Kiwi West Aquatics, Manawatu)
Andy McMillan (North Shore, Auckland)
Glen Findlay (Nelson South, Nelson Marlborough)
John Gatfield (Coast, Auckland)
Mat Woofe (SNZ High Performance, Auckland)
Steven Kent (Coast, Auckland)
Tai Daniela (Greerton, Bay of Plenty)
Rachel Smart (Kings, Auckland)


Toni Bayliffe (North Shore, Auckland)
Byron Reid (Aquabladz, Taranaki)
Amy Dalzell (SNZ High Performance, Auckland)
Emma Robinson (Capital, Wellington)


Hunter Garrod (North Shore, Auckland)

Jacey Cropp (North Shore, Auckland)
Jason Churches (North Shore, Auckland)
Samuel Poching (North Shore, Auckland)
Sungju Kim (North Shore, Auckland)
Ikko Shibuya (Mt. Eden, Auckland)
Alice Waldow (United, Auckland)
George Smith (United, Auckland)
Marco Smeets (United, Auckland)
Matthew Holder (United, Auckland)
Simone Lusby (United, Auckland)
Jonathan Selman (Coast, Auckland)
Imogen Rodgers (Parnell, Auckland)
Daniel Shanahan (Otumoetai, Bay of Plenty)
Tristan Eiselen (Otumoetai, Bay of Plenty)
Lochlainn O'Connor (Greerton, Bay of Plenty)
Hannah Bates (Aquagym, Canterbury West Coast)
Riley Taylor Swim (Timaru, Canterbury West Coast)
Quinton Hurley (Jasi, Canterbury West Coast)
Bree Middleton (Ashburton, Canterbury West Coast)
Adrian Chong (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau)
Tyron Henry (Howick Pakuranga, Counties Manukau)
Kiana Swain (Pukekohe, Counties Manukau)
Rebecca Cheyne (Pukekohe, Counties Manukau)
Zachary Dell (Pukekohe, Counties Manukau)
Michael Pickett (Enterprise, Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay)
Tyler Finau (Enterprise, Hawkes Bay Poverty Bay)
Paris Cutler (Kiwi West Aquatics, Manawatu)
Piper Humphreys (Kiwi West Aquatics, Manawatu)
Sam McKenzie (Tasman, Nelson Marlborough)
Sierra Thomas (Tasman, Nelson Marlborough)
Caitlin Deans (Neptune, Otago)
Erika Fairweather (Neptune, Otago)
Molly Law (Neptune, Otago)
Iessha Mansfield (Oamaru, Otago)
Micah Hayes (Oamaru, Otago)
Tiana Mansfield (Oamaru, Otago)
Jacob Blomfield (Murihiku, Southland)
Sophie Shallard (Hokonui Aquatics, Southland)
Sasha Reid (Aquabladz, New Plymouth Taranaki)
Andrew Jeffcoat (Fairfield, Waikato)
Peyton Tofaeono (Fairfield, Waikato)
Georgina McCarthy (Hillcrest, Waikato)
Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone Racing, Wellington)
Sophie Irving (Capital, Wellington)
Thomas Watkins (Capital, Wellington)
Jenna Rolston-Larking (Tawa, Wellington)
Stevie Shipman (Raumati, Wellington)
Julia Borlase (Pirates, Wellington)