Poolside

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IT seems so long since I have had a chance to write about swimming.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, our local swimmers did not have the opportunity to compete at New Zealand Open Championships, New Zealand Age Group and Division 2 Age Group championships.

Open and New Zealand Age Group championships are the premier competitions swimmers get to compete in, so it was a major disappointment for those who couldn’t take part.

However, as soon as the country went into Alert Level 1, they were all back in the pool training.

Training for the older swimmers means seven to eight one-and-a-half to two-hour pool sessions a week with one to two weight sessions on top of this.

To manage this amount of training around swimmers’ school work is a major achievement and shows the commitment they have for their chosen sport.

This commitment to training has to be supported by their families both financially and timewise as well.

This commitment requirement seems to be one of the biggest reasons for the falling numbers of competitive swimmers not only locally but nationally and internationally.

It takes a special young person to be getting out of bed before 5am to go and train for two hours and then to head to school.

Swimmers are now building towards the New Zealand Short Course Championships in early October.

The first step towards this will be on Sunday when the first of the Swimming Southland winter meets is to be held.

There have been 81 entries with five of those coming from Otago-based swimmers. Unfortunately this meet clashes with the Otago Secondary School Swimming Champs, so none of the older Otago swimmers were able to travel south.

After the meet is completed on Sunday, Swimming Southland will be holding its annual prizegiving to acknowledge the achievements of these young athletes.

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