May 2019

Hamilton Aquatics announces Head Coach

Hamilton Aquatics has appointed Mat Woofe as its inaugural Head Coach.

Hamilton Aquatics, the recently amalgamated Ace Swimming Club and Hillcrest Swimming club is thrilled to welcome Mat on-board. Mat’s experience and commitment to the sport, combined with the vision of the new club bode well for an exciting future for swimming in Hamilton.

“Hamilton Aquatics amalgamation committee is working hard to achieve the best for their members and this appointment of Mat is one of the important foundation blocks in the new club formation,” says the Ace Swimming Club President Edward Hardie.

Hillcrest Swimming Club representative Richard Coombes emphasises, “The level of engagement and excitement at all levels that Mat will bring is something we are looking forward to."

Joining us from Swimming New Zealand, Mat brings a wealth of knowledge across the board, including a deep understanding of swimming at the highest level. Mat has achieved numerous successes in his role as a Performance Coach based at the National Training Centre on Auckland’s North Shore, including placing swimmers on several senior pinnacle teams, most recently guiding Bradlee Ashby to two 5th placings at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Prior to this role, Mat worked as a National Coach in one of Australia’s most renowned programs at Melbourne Vicentre Swimming Club.

Commencing on the 4th of June, Mat says “This is an exciting opportunity for me and swimming in Hamilton. What has already been achieved with the two clubs coming together shows a lot of forethought from the parties involved, I’m looking forward to the challenge of building one of New Zealand’s premier swimming programs at all levels.”

Swimming New Zealand’s Gary Francis is supportive of the change in Waikato’s swimming landscape and see’s great opportunities for both Mat and the club. He added “I believe this is a wonderful opportunity for both Mat and Hamilton Aquatics. Mat brings international experience and excellent philosophy on long term development of swimmers. At the same time, we at Swimming New Zealand will really miss the contribution and commitment that Mat has made over the past four years. We wish him all the success that his work ethic, knowledge and commitment to excellence will surely bring to the Hamilton program, which will benefit not just the Hamilton club, but New Zealand Swimming as a whole.”

Hamilton Aquatics is eager to have him inspire and nurture our swimmers to do extraordinary things and furthermore watch him take the Hamilton club from a strong regional program to an outstanding national force.

13 Waikato Records Broken at the 2019 Waikato Secondary Schools Meet

On the 2nd of April, more than 350 swimmers converged on Hamilton's Waterworld for the 2019 Waikato Secondary Schools Swimming Championships.

There was some fantastic racing, culminating in Waikato Diocesan School for Girls taking out the Top Girls School and Hamilton Boys High taking out both the Top Boys School and the Top Overall School.

In addition, we witnessed eight individual Secondary School Records being broken, along with a further five Relay Records.  Here are the details of these exceptional swims and a huge congratulations to the swimmers who were involved!

50m Butterfly Senior Boys 25.45 Ben Littlejohn St Pauls
100m Butterfly Senior Girls 1.05.78 Sarah Miller Dio
100m Butterfly Senior Boys 59.21 Thomas Griffin St Pauls
200m IM Senior Girls 2.22.88 Gina McCarthy Dio
50m Freestyle Intermediate Girls 27.16 Danielle Joblin St Peters
100m Freestyle Intermediate Girls 57.81 Laura Littlejohn Dio
200m Freestyle Senior Girls 2.05.67 Gina McCarthy Dio
50m Breaststroke Intermediate Boys 31.63 Jack Bruning HBHS


4x25m Medley Relay Boys 14/U 54.16 HBHS
4.25m Medley Relay Girls 15+ 58.16 Dio
4x25m Medley Relay Boys 15+ 52.03 HBHS
4x25m Freestyle Relay Girls 14/U 52.72 St Peters
2x25m Freestyle Relay Boys 14/U 49.32 HBHS

Our Region's Para programme is going from strength to strength


On Saturday the 4th of May, we held our first Waikato Para Swimming Camp of 2019, supported by United Aquatic Sports.

Huge thank you to all the swimmers, coaches, parents and both Parafed B.O.P and Parafed Waikato for all your support.

We were fortunate enough to have Swimming New Zealand’s National Para Swimming Development Coordinator, Cameron Leslie attending and passing on some incredibly valuable input and support for all swimmers, coaches, volunteers and parents.

The camp was also supported by Waikato Chiefs Physio, Teresa Te Tamaki who ran a really informative and enjoyable dry-land program for the swimmers.

We were treated to an incredibly inspirational talk from Paralympian, Rebecca Dubber, who took the group through her journey from her earliest days of swimming to winning her Paralympic bronze medal in Rio. Thank you for sharing your time with us and talking us on such an amazing journey through your swimming career Rebecca.

Thank you to all the Coaches who helped run the sessions and to the parents for your amazing feedback and support.

Next Camp – 23rd November

Pictured above:

Left:  Melissa Donoghue with her medals from the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games, with Swimming Waikato's Darren Ward
Right:  Our Para Camp swimmers

April 2019

XLR8 2.5k Squad Combined Training

On Sunday the 28th of April, our Hub Head Coach, Darren Ward, delivered the first of three development opportunities to our XLR8 2.5k Club squad.  The session was held at the indoor pool at FastLane Fitness and Darren was well supported by St Peter's Coach Allaynah Hill and Huntly's Michael Cresswell.

The 12 talented young swimmers took part in a 1.5 hour session focussed on skill development.  It was fantastic to have Waikato and New Zealand representative swimmer Ben Littlejohn working with the swimmers and running some demonstrations too.  It's always great to have our senior swimmers helping to develop the next generation!

The sessions for our XLR8 2.5k Squad form part of our Regional Squads programme.  The next two sessions are scheduled for the 29th of June and the 25th of August.

Waikato swimmers shine at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games

A huge congratulations to Waikato swimmers Melissa Donoghue, Portia Johnson and Deshan Walallavita on representing NZ on the international stage at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi . We are all so proud of your efforts, hard work pays off !

It was great to receive this note from Melissa and some fantastic photos from the event.  Congratulations to the whole NZ Team from everyone involved with swimming in the Waikato.

I would like to say a big thank you so much for supporting me with my swimming dreams. Racing at the Special Olympics World Summer Games was an amazing experience for me and I am proud to have represented NZ.

I won a silver medal in 50m butterfly, silver in 4x50m Medley relay and a bronze in 100m freestyle. I did all pbs in these events.