Tawa swim to ‘quality’ third place at champs
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.