September 2017

Results from our Waikato Relay Meet

Finally - the results are through for our 2017 Waikato Relay Meet!

And just because we can - we've awarded not one, but TWO trophies. One for our TOP RELAY CLUB, who entered 30+ swimmers into the meet, and one for our TOP LITTLE RELAY CLUB, who entered less than 30 swimmers.

And the Winners are -

Top Relay Club -

1st:  St Peter's Swimming Club
2nd:  Fairfield Swimming Club
3rd:  St Paul's Swimming Club

Top Little Relay Club -

1st:  Ace Swimming Club
2nd:  Hillcrest Swimming Club
3rd:  Te Awamutu Swimming Club

Congratulations to all the swimmers who took part - we're looking forward to presenting these trophies next week.

And just because we love our movies-

Welcome to Swimming Waikato's new Board Members

Our 2017 Annual General Meeting presented the opportunity to have a change of faces at the Swimming Waikato Board table and it was great to have received nominations from Gavin Ion, Craig Thomas and Chris Wynne.

Under the Constitution of Swimming Waikato, the two longest serving Board members were required to resign (but were eligible for re-election).  Craig Blackmore chose not to stand again, and Matt Watson added his name to the candidate list for the two available spots.

The resultant voting saw Gavin Ion and Craig Thomas elected to the Board - here's the full list of Swimming Waikato Board members for 2017/2018.

Susan Barriball
Alison Fitch
Gavin Ion
Sean Lewis - Board Chair
Julie Richards
Craig Thomas

We'd like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the significant work that Matt and Craig have put into swimming in the Waikato over many years and on behalf of our whole swimming community, we'd like to thank them sincerely for their contribution.

You can read an online version of our Annual Report below.

Ace Swimming Club appoints a new Coaching Director

Ace Swimming Club is excited to announce that Paul Dowey, Auckland based HPK Head Coach, is commencing with Ace as their Coaching Director at the start of term 4. Paul says he is looking forward to the challenges and expectations ahead with Ace; he knows the Club’s history and is excited that he will be a part of it. Paul currently leads a team of 11 coaches at HPK with the Club regularly ranked within the top 3 for New Zealand. His passion for swim coaching is spread over nearly 20 years with success being demonstrated many times such as personally training over 25 swimmers who have exceeded 600 FINA in the last three years. Another success was his coaching in Wales, having 44 athletes on the Welsh Development Teams collecting 117 medals at Welsh Age Group level with 8 becoming Welsh Age Group Champions.

Ace Swimming Club President, Edward Hardie, says it’s great to have Paul on board “we are looking forward to having Paul lead our coaching programme; he has tremendous skills and knowledge with a real genuine enthusiasm of getting the best out of swimmers of whatever age in a fun way”

Paul is looking forward to being part of the Hamilton community and will bring with him his wife and two children.

August 2017

Introducing our new Hub Coach

When Clive first let us know of his intent to stand down as our Hub Coach, it’s fair to say we were filled with a degree of dread!

In his three years in the role, we’ve referred to him as our “Water Whisperer’’ and it’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to share his incredible knowledge and passion for the sport with our coaches and swimmer alike.

So the past two months have been a challenge – we’ve been tasked with finding someone who has the capability to pick up where Clive has left off and take our Swimming Hub to the next level.   We needed someone who fundamentally believed in the philosophy behind our Regional Development Pathway, who would work well alongside our senior coaches, provide great development opportunities to our junior coaches, and inspire our swimmers to achieve their swimming goals, no matter what they might be.

And we’re pretty excited to say that just yesterday, we were able to confirm our appointment to that role.

Scotland’s Darren Ward is our new Hub Coach and we’re looking forward to introducing you all to him later in the year.

We’ve been through an extensive skype interview process with Darren and we’re confident he’s the ‘man for the job’’.   Here’s a wee insight into just some of Darren’s swimming background –

He holds a MSc Honours in Performance Coaching which he attained at the University of Stirling, as well as a MA Honours in Scottish History from the University of Edinburgh, both in the United Kingdom.  He has developed and implemented a long term athlete development pathway in Budapest, working alongside the high profile Shane Tusup and Olympian Katinka Hosszu.  He has held the role of Senior Elite Coach for Hamilton Aquatics (Dubai), coached with the Serbian National Team, and carried out a Development and Coaching role for Portobello ASC in Edinburgh.

He’s supported world class athletes at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 Kazan World Championships, and the 2016 European Champs as one of the Serbian team’s Coaches, and has also qualified swimmers for many other international meets – I’ve included a full list below for your interest.  We understand that he was a pretty talented swimmer himself too!

• Team Serbia Coach, Olympic Games  (Rio, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, European Championships  (London, 2016)
• Team Serbia Coach, World Championships  (Kazan, 2015)
• Coaching swimmer to double European Long Course Championship Gold (Berlin, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Bronze Medal at World Short Course Championships  (Doha, 2014)
• Placing swimmer on the Serbian Olympic Team (Rio 2016)
• Three qualified swimmers for the European Long Course Championships  (London, 2016)
• Placing five swimmers into the World Long Course Championships  (Kazan, 2015)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Short Course Championships  (Netanya, 2015)
• Placing two swimmers onto Team Europe for Duel in the Pool (Glasgow, 2014)
• Placing three swimmers into the European Long Course Championships  (Berlin, 2014)
• Placing five swimmers into World Short Course Championships  (Doha 2014)
• Coaching two swimmers onto their respective national Commonwealth  Games Squads (Glasgow, 2014)
• Coaching swimmer to Asian Games (Incheon, 2014)
• Scottish District Regional Program Coach 2012
• Scottish National Swim Team Member
• Scottish Junior Swimmer of the Year
• Double British Junior Record Holder
• Multiple Scottish Senior and Junior Record Holder

More recently, Darren has been working alongside Swim Ireland’s Education Department where he has designed and presented Coaching Resources for use by the National body.

Darren will be joined in New Zealand by his New Zealand born wife who’s just waiting for their ‘kilted kiwi’ to be born, before making the trip down under.

This is a really exciting appointment for Swimming Waikato and we’re confident that you’ll really enjoy having Darren involved in swimming in our Region.

Te Awamutu are looking for a new Coach too...

Are you an energetic, motivated person who enjoys working with children and young adults? Do you have a genuine interest and commitment to push children to the next level?

The Te Awamutu Swimming Club is looking for a new coach. It involves coaching the morning and afternoon sessions, planning the training sessions, liaison with our junior coach and attending swim meets. You need to be flexible with working hours.

Experience will be an advantage but training will be offered to the right person.

To apply, please email your CV and cover letter to Inge via

Applications close on Sunday 9th September.