Oamaru swimmers are getting back in the water.
The Oamaru Swim Club team has had three weeks to prepare for the Makos Junior Red Light Invitational, a replacement competition following the cancellation of the Apollo Projects Junior Festival — Makos, due to Covid-19.
The new invitational event, being held at Dunedin’s Moana Pool this weekend, will host about 200 swimmers, from throughout the South Island. The athletes will be separated into pods for the entire competition, and results will be collated at the end.
Seven Oamaru Swim Club athletes are heading to the event and, while club president Michelle McLean said it had been a ‘‘hurried’’ preparation, they were looking forward to competing.
Waitaki Aquatic Centre head coach Paulo Brayner is excited to be heading to his first Dunedin festival as head coach, having previously been as the assistant coach.
Brayner has been holding extra sessions to cater for the swimmers’ needs in the lead-up to the event.
‘‘He’s very committed and enthusiastic. The added bonus is that he knows a lot of the kids and there’s been strong interest from younger swimmers re-joining,’’McLean said.
Jasmine Hansen (11), Olivia McLean and James Soal (both 12) will take their strong results from last month’s Colin Walker Memorial Meet into this weekend’s competition.
Olivia won one gold, three silvers, and two bronzes, and raced four personal-best times.
James won two silvers and a bronze, and raced five personal best times. Jasmine gained eight top-10 placings and raced three-personal best times.
After this weekend, the club would continue ‘‘business as usual’’ and work towards next month’s meets.