Tawa swim to ‘qual­ity’ third place at champs

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Tawa Swim­ming Club has re­vived its glory days with a stun­ning per­for­mance at a re­cent na­tional competition.

The club of seven swim­mers came third of 71 clubs at the New Zealand Divi­sion II competition, held in Ro­torua in July.

Tawa has not seen such a re­sult since the 1980s, when sev­eral Com­mon­wealth-stan­dard swim­mers were in the club, coach Mat Woofe says.

‘‘ They did re­ally well. Third’s pretty good re­ally,’’ he says.

The swim­mers, aged from 13 to 16, re­turned from Ro­torua with 23 medals be­tween them: five gold, seven sil­ver and 11 bronze.

The clutch of medals were won in 38 in­di­vid­ual events, from 200-me­tre breast­stroke to 1500m freestyle and 800m med­ley.

Five of the swim­mers per­formed well enough to progress to a higher level of competition, and will com­pete at the New Zealand Short Course Cham­pi­onships, to be held in Kil­birnie this week.

‘‘Ev­ery­one sort of fed off each other and im­proved,’’ Woofe says.

The se­cret of suc­cess is just hard work, he says.

De­pend­ing on their level, club mem­bers train be­tween six and eight times a week, for an hour and a half each session. Some of the team train both be­fore and af­ter school, leav­ing home at 5.30am for the pool.

Al­though the Ro­torua meet was a competition, for swim­mers the real race is against your­self, Woofe says.

‘‘ They all im­proved on their times, which is key.’’

The swim­mers are a mod­est bunch, em­pha­sis­ing the fun of the event and say­ing their re­sult was a sur­prise.

‘‘We didn’t think we were go­ing to come third,’’ 15-yearold Kur­tis Im­rie says.

Some quiet con­fi­dence showed in 16-year-old Mikayla McPhee, who won three golds and two sil­vers.

‘‘I don’t like bronze,’’ she said.

There was ev­i­dence of a friendly ri­valry be­tween the girl and boy fac­tions of the club – the three girls won sec­ond over­all in Ro­torua, which they glee­fully re­minded the boys of.

The four boys were de­fi­ant, how­ever.

‘‘ Just put it down as a team ef­fort,’’ 14-year-old James Mc­Carthy says.

‘‘It’s qual­ity – not quan­tity.’’

Buoy­ant: Tawa Swim­ming Club put on its best per­for­mance since the 1980s at a re­cent na­tional swim meet, com­ing third of 71 clubs. From left, back row: Rus­lam Cow­ley, 14, Mikayla McPhee, 16. Front row: Calvin Jones, 14, James Mc­Carthy, 14, Kur­tis Im­rie, 15, Meghan Al­lan, 13. Sitting: An­drea de Atouguia.

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