Top swimmers chosen for elite training
Three East Auckland youngsters have claimed spots in a highly sought-after national junior swim squad.
Sophie Spencer, 13, of Beachlands; Ella Crowe, 11, from Half Moon Bay; and Judd Brown, 9, of Howick, won their respective age groups at the fourth event in the NZ Ocean Swim Series, the Legend of the Lake swim, at Rotorua recently.
They train at Howick and Pakuranga Swim Club, and their wins in the 200m OceanKids event have secured them places in the Jetstar Super Swim Squad, for a weekend camp with elite swimmers and coaches in May.
Throughout the season, each qualifying event allows children the opportunity to earn a place in the 36-member squad.
Having won places in the squad previously, Sophie and Ella were particularly excited about their wins in Rotorua.
It will be Sophie’s second time in the squad, while it will be Ella’s third.
Sophie says: ’’I can’t wait to meet the coaches, get new swimming tips and be able to train with them.’’
Ella’s mother Robin Crowe says: ‘‘Ella was very happy to win her age group and be able to attend the camp again. It’s great that she can continue to develop friendships with the children that she has met at the camp over the last few years.’’
For Judd, it was his first time winning a NZ Ocean Swim Series event, and he says: ’’I’m looking forward to meeting new people and learning about ways to improve my swimming.’’
His mum Megan Brown says: ‘‘Judd really hoped he could win and he was absolutely thrilled.
‘‘We hope that attending the camp builds his confidence in his own abilities.’’
NZ Ocean Swim Series event director Scott Rice says: ’’It’s fantastic to see swimmers like Sophie, Ella and Judd diving into our series and coming out on top with a place in the Jetstar Super Swim Squad.
‘‘The squad continues to benefit New Zealand’s budding swim stars, bringing them together with their swimming peers and Olympic role models.
‘‘Howick and Pakuranga Swim Club continues to show a strong presence in all of the events throughout our series and we applaud them for this.’’
Dean Salter, Jetstar Australia and NZ chief executive, says: ’’We remain committed to nurturing and developing NZ’s swimming talent.
‘‘Bringing the squad members together with top Olympic swimming stars has proven to be a successful formula to inspire the next generation of New Zealand swimmers and we’re very proud to be able to facilitate this.’’