A trio of young Oamaru swimmers are making waves in the sport, after being selected for the Swimming New Zealand national development squad.
The Mansfield sisters, Iessha (14) and Tiana (15), and Micah Hayes (15), who represent the Oamaru Swim Club, made the cut for the squad based on their performances at meets over the past several months.
It gives them the chance to experience what some of the country’s elite swimmers enjoy, in terms of coaching and opportunities to refine their skills in the pool.
Swimming New Zealand said the 71 swimmers aged between 13 and 17 were selected from around the country for the development squad, and would be part of a national coaching clinic and a development camp, both being held in Auckland between October 8 and 10.
The coaching clinic features workshops and guest speakers, including USA Swimming high performance director Keenan Robinson and former United States Olympic team coach and current University of Michigan swimming coach Jon Urbanchek.
The development camp aims to identify promising talent and offers a chance for swimmers to consider what it would be like to train with the Swimming New Zealand High Performance Squad, and is also the first step into a national team setting with training expectations, behaviour and teamwork.
Oamaru Swim Club president Sonya MacDonald said she was delighted for the trio.
“The hard work these kids had put in, to have that rewarded with that selection is pretty cool for them and exciting from a club point of view.
“To have three selected shows our coach, Narcis [Gherca], and the club are doing things right.”
She said it was a “huge achievement” to be selected for the squad and that it offered opportunities afforded to a select group of swimmers.
“To get the opportunity to go to a three-day camp .. is an amazing opportunity. It’s all about the experience. They’ll pick up a lot of small things from different coaches.
“It gives them a taste of it and if this is what they want to achieve.”