Top swim­mers cho­sen for elite train­ing

Eastern Courier - - SPORT - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.’’

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