What’s happening at Swimming Wellington…
It's been a bumpy ride over the last 6 months but both the regional team and the Wellington clubs have responded admirably to the challenges of the pandemic. We have hosted 6 regional events, along with NAGs 2022 at WRAC, and a host of development meets within the community. Traffic light restrictions have caused one or two disruptions and we have also had to deal with staff shortages at pools and a number of swimmers missing racing or training due to sickness. All that being said, it's been a great first half of the year and we are looking ahead to an exciting 2022 - 23 season and what is surely going to be a busy 12 months ahead.
January - July 2022
The 2022 Harbour Challenge celebrated its third year and most popular event to date, with an additional relay event included at this year's event. The local Washing Machines open water swimming community was well represented, as were local surf life saving clubs. Swimmers also came from Auckland and the Manawatu to compete in the annual event.
We have run our 2022 Long Course (squeezed into 2 days as opposed to the usual 3) and Short Course Championships, both of which were a great success. Our Short Course Champs saw 28 teams take part, a record for our Winter Champs since 2018. It also saw a New Zealand record from Sam Brown in the 400IM, taking down Thomas Watkins' record from October 2018. Our Long Distance Championships meet also had a record amount of entries with 75 swimmers taking on the 800 or 1500 events.
Our Tier 1 series has been depleted this year, with our most recent event well down on numbers with Covid and flu cases rife within the community.
Naenae pool sod turning
The construction work for the rebuild of Naenae pool is underway, with the sod turning ceremony taking place on 17th June, attended by Campbell Barry and the project team behind the rebuild.
The new design will give Naenae centre a great asset and will host club and regional events once it is up and running. SwimZone Racing will return back to the pool that they called home untill its closure in 2019, a long awaited return for the Lower Hutt club.
A big thank you to all those who have played their part in the design stage. It will be great to see the progress of the site over the coming months and beyond.
Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika
In April of this year Wellington welcomed a new club into the swimming whanau. Andre Kudaba and Walter Maxwell have set up Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika and have seen early success at NZ Champs, NZ NAGs, Div II and SW Short Course.
We welcome the new club into the community and wish them the best for the up coming competitions in Wellington and out of region.
The words Ngā Tai are two separate words and mean the tides / tidal waves.
Te Whanganui a Tara (the official name for Wellington) translates to – The Harbour of Tara (Taraika)
Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika (Tara), translates to – The Splashing Tides/Waves/White Caps of Tara (Taraika)
Taraika or Tara was the Paramount Chief of Te Atiawa from 1300(AD). Tara is the reason Te Atiawa have a holding here in Wellington and also in the West in Taranaki symbolised by Taranaki Maunga (mountain).
The Inaugural Trygve Cup
The Trygve Cup kicked of in March/April of this year with Pirates Swim Team taking out the inaugural trophy, named after the late Mark Trygve Berge.
The Cup has been introduced to the SW calendar as an opportunity for Wellington clubs to compete against each other in a multi-week league. It is open to both age group and masters clubs and those taking part will compete for participation and performance based points.
The next Trygve Cup will be competed for in October/November this year. Look out for the release of the schedule as clubs via for the Cup during the spring.
World Championships 2022 - Budapest, Hungary
Competition over in Europe has been heating up with Sam Brown and Lochlainn O'Connor competing in the Mare Nostrum series which took place in Monaco and Barcelona. This was followed by the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Lewis Clareburt continued to add to a growing list of career highlights with two finals appearances in the 400IM and 200IM. Chelsey Edwards also competed in the NZ team whilst Ruby Heath, once of Wellington but now swimming under Neptune in Otago, competed in the 5, 10 and 25km open water events in her first outing in national colours.
Regional Update - July 2022
2022 - 2027 regional planning
The framework for the 2022 - 2027 strategy has been shared with the region's clubs and committees and we are looking for feedback on this by the end of the month. The board will then work through the actions and measures in year 1, that will form the basis of the SW operational plan over the next 5 years.
2023 calendar planning
Initial planning sessions have begun on the 2023 calendar. Pool bookings open this month and the clubs and events committees have had their say on how the calendar should be structured during planning sessions in early July. Swimming New Zealand event dates and locations for 2023 - 2025 will be released at the end of August, we look forward to hosting more events in the Capital in the coming years!
Commonwealth Games 2022
Commonwealth Games 2022 - Birmingham, UK.
The end of this month will see the XXII Commonwealth Games take place in Birmingham as countries from the Commonwealth prepare to compete in the UK.
A team of 12 athletes will be representing Swimming New Zealand at the Games, with Lewis Clareburt looking to build on his success from the Gold Coast in 2018. Swimming Wellington's very own Kokoro Frost will also be competing in his first Commonwealth Games for Team Samoa!
We wish the team all the best for their events ahead. As always, the swimming will take part during the first week of the Games and will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Junior Pan Pacs & Athlete Development
The Junior Pan Pacs will take place in Hawaii this year, and will see 4 Wellingtonian's compete against the best athletes from the Pacific zone. Alex Esposito, Finn Harland, Molly Player and Neve Tassicker will be travelling with the team and we look forward to seeing how they get on.
The Swimming Wellington Athlete Development Programme for 2022 has been released and will give the best age groupers from the region the chance to attend educational seminars hosted by Nuku Ora as well as S&C sessions at Te Rauparaha Arena. Congratulations to all those selected!
New membership fees for 2022 - 23 season!!
The 2022-23 season will see a new membership category for swimmers who are wishing to compete aged 12 and under. This category will cost only $35 to sign up, a whopping 30% reduction for junior competitive swimmers. There is a small increase for senior competitive swimmers whilst the club fee remained the same as the 2021-22 season.
An extensive review of overseas swimming memberships as well as other sporting organisation's membership structures has given the Swimming Wellington board the opportunity to change this year's fees and incentivise our next generation of swimmers to get involved with the sport. For further information on what each membership category offers take a look at the event structure here and reach out to your local club to discuss further.
Dates For Your Calendar
23 - 27 August, SNZ Short Course Champs, Auckland
22 September, Swimming Wellington AGM, Pelorus
24 - 25 September, Swimming Wellington Juniors, WRAC
Tier 1 - 3, WRAC
11 - 13 November, SNZ Junior Festival, WRAC
That’s all for now – Kind regards from the team - Angus, Fiona, Kokoro & Sarah