December 2018

Follow our team as they compete at the 14th FINA Short Course World Champs

Six swimmers from the Waikato are part of a 16 strong team representing New Zealand at the 14th FINA Short Course World Championships in a wintery Hangzhou, China from the 11th-16th December, continuing a long and proud history of success in the sport for the Region.

  • Paige Flynn (St Peter’s Swimming Club)
  • Matt Hyde (Matamata Swimming Club)
  • Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest Swimming Club)
  • Andrew Jeffcoat (Fairfield Swimming Club)
  • Vanessa Ouwehand (St Peter’s Swimming Club)
  • Bradley Ashby (North Shore Swimming Club)

This is a massive opportunity for the New Zealand swimmers to take on the very best in the World and to lead the way for future waves of talent coming through the ranks in our country.  Also travelling with the team is St Peter’s Swimming Club Head Coach, Carl Gordon.

Back:  Carl Gordon,  Paige Flynn
Front:  Vanessa Ouwehand, Gina McCarthy, Matt Hyde and Andrew Jeffcoat

The swimmers were selected from some fantastic results at the New Zealand Short Course in September which acted as the trails meet for the World Championships. It was great watching several of the region's swimmers stepping up and grabbing national berths with two hands and bookings their tickets to China as a result.

The Kiwis will be up against some big names in the sport of swimming, such three times Olympic Champion and World Record Holder, Katinka Hosszu of Hungary as well as American superstar, Michael Andrew to name only a few.

The New Zealand Team have arrived safely and are putting together their final preparations ahead of the six day meet. The competition will take place in the atmospheric 10,000-seater Olympic Tennis Centre with a temporary competition and swim down pool.

With the World Long Course Championships (Korea) and Olympic Games (Japan) on the horizon, this competition will be a fantastic international learning opportunity for our swimmers as they gear for their individual campaigns to qualify for these pinnacle meets.

We wish our Waikato Swimmers and the whole Aquablack team the very best in China!

Waikato Swimmers: World Short Course Schedule

11th Dec (Day 1)

200 Freestyle – Paige Flynn
100 Backstroke – Paige Flynn
400 Freestyle – Matt Hyde
100 Backstroke – Bradlee Ashby
200 IM – Bradlee Ashby

12th Dec (Day 2)
100 Freestyle – Paige Flynn
100 Butterfly – Bradlee Ashby
200 Butterfly – Vanessa Ouwehand

13th Dec (Day 3)
50 Backstroke – Andrew Jeffcoat
100 IM – Gina McCarthy
100 IM – Bradlee Ashby
50 Butterfly - Vanessa Ouwehand

14th Dec (Day 4)
50 Backstroke – Paige Flynn
50 Butterfly – Bradlee Ashby

15th Dec (Day 5)
200 IM – Gina McCarthy
100 Butterfly – Vanessa Ouwehand

16th Dec (Day 6)
200 Backstroke – Bradlee Ashby

Further meet information can be found at the following websites:

November 2018

First Aid

A few months ago, we asked for registrations of interest from anyone within our swimming community who would like to complete a First Aid Course and thanks to those of you who indicated that, depending on the date, you would be keen to attend.

From the initial replies, it looks like we will be able to run the course at a cost of $105.00 per participant (GST inclusive).

The course details are –

Saturday 23 February 2019

8.00am – 5.00pm

St John
63-65 Seddon Road

If you would like to confirm a place on this course, please email   Please also confirm who will be paying for the course so we can arrange to send invoices to you.

2019 Swimming Waikato Regional Squad Programme

Our Regional Swimmer Pathway includes a number of combined training opportunities and trips for qualified swimmers.

Attached is a breakdown of the 2019 Calendar by squad (TAPs, Potential, Pathway, XLR8- 2.5K) which provides a brief background to each camp/competition involving the regional squads.

We have already received a number of application forms for positions on the squads and we would encourage you to check the qualifying criteria (which you can find below) so you can take part in these additional development opportunities if you qualify.

There is a cost to improving as a swimmer, that is the reality of the sport and not one that is likely to change. Instead of stopping at the planning stage due to the financial road block, we must be prepared to meet this challenge.  Swimmers will know very early on in the year if they have made squads, most of them will have known as soon as they applied in 2018 (barring any exclusion by our Hub Head Coach or Club Coach) - we are giving swimmers as much time as possible to budget and fundraise to be part of these opportunities.

The success of our regional squads is largely down to us all collectively, we will get out what we put in. We have a very good number of enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and experienced coaches, and talented swimmers, in the region so we really already have a great head start.

The Regional Squad camps and competitions will complement the day to day work being done in club programs and we're really looking forward to finishing off what has been a positive 2018 and setting about raising the bar for 2019.

Huntly Aquatic Centre wins NZ Outstanding Pool Award

Huntly’s own swimming pool last week was awarded the New Zealand Recreation Association’s Outstanding Pool Award for 2018, recognition for being the best ran swimming pool in New Zealand. The award, which is judged on excellence, innovation and effectiveness in the provision of pool services recognized Huntly for its excellent customer service, innovative approach to teaching, access and inclusion along with its high percentage of the population participating in learn to swim.

General Manager of Belgravia Leisure (contract managers of Huntly Pool), Mark Blake said “He was extremely proud of Jordarne Wiggins (Manager) and her team who are passionate about service delivery and ensuring their customers are happy.”

“We are immensely proud of our Huntly Aquatic Centre team’s outstanding customer service and truly innovative programs that reflect the communities’ needs and the extremely attractive pricing structure,” said Nick Cox, CEO for Belgravia Leisure.

“Fairly quickly you will realise that the customers are happy, the staff are smiling and enthusiastic. We rank this facility in our top five operated pools internationally.”

Manager, Jordarne Wiggins said, “I am so proud of my team and the energy they bring to work every day. This award is reflective of our staff, the great support from Belgravia Head office and our outstanding partners in Waikato District Council. We are all truly humbled to be selected as the country’s best ran pool for 2018. “

Waikato District Council Parks and Facilities Manager Megan May said she was thrilled to learn Huntly Aquatic Centre had edged out its competition and won the Outstanding Pool Award at the NZRA Awards last week.

“The facility in Huntly provides a fantastic customer experience to our community and we are proud to partner with Belgravia who run this facility that is worthy of such a significant award. The best pool in the country right here in the Waikato district, how cool is that!”

Media Contacts:

Belgravia Leisure

Natalie Cazaux
Marketing Manager

Waikato District Council

Teresa Hancock
Communications Advisor


A new look for swimming in Hamilton City

In a bold, proactive and exciting move, two Hamilton Clubs, each with a proud history of swimming, have agreed to combine their resources and operations across Hamilton for the good of the sport.

The decision to bring the independent swimming clubs of Ace and Hillcrest together has been a process of consultation and discussion over the last 18 months, culminating in overwhelming support of the concept at last weekend’s Special General Meetings of the two clubs.

The respective Club Presidents, Ace Swimming Club’s Edward Hardie and Hillcrest’s Kieran McCarthy, are excited about the opportunities this merger will offer.  “It’ll create an opportunity to look at how the new combined entity can better encourage and deliver aquatic opportunities across Hamilton.  A real focus will be on ensuring all club members have the opportunity to achieve their swimming goals, no matter what they might be.”

Club members are open minded about possible structures going forward and a working party, charged with developing and implementing the changes, will draw on internal and external resources as they set up the new entity that will enable a significant change in the provision of aquatic opportunities across Hamilton. It is currently expected that the new entity will take 6 months to be formally set up with some gains in combined cooperation between the Clubs expected before then.

“Our vision is that the new entity will not only deliver an excellent swimming programme, but will offer opportunities for fitness and water skills, while also catering for the performance end of the sport”, says Edward Hardie.

“Without doubt”, says Hillcrest’s Kieran McCarthy, “this is a hugely exciting time for swimming in the Waikato.  When we take into account this opportunity, and factor in the significant upgrade of the Waterworld facility, which will provide one of the best competitive and training facilities in New Zealand, we’re confident that the new club will play a significant role in growing the profile of swimming, both in the Waikato and in New Zealand.


For further information

Edward Hardie                                                                  Kieran McCarthy
President                                                                            President
Ace Swimming Club                                                         Hillcrest Swimming Club