For many athletes, the Olympic Games is the pinnacle sporting event for which every other event
is just a warmup. For most however, the Olympics is an event that’ s enjoyed from the comfort of
home. Papakura Para Swimmer, Josh Wilmer has already watched a few Paralympics’ Games from home
and now wants to experience Paris 2024 as an athlete not a spectator, he’s well on his way to
turning that goal into reality.

Josh started swimming at the age of ten in the CLM Holiday Program. This led to him joining the
Papakura Swimming Club Junior Squad and working his way into the age group program by the
time he was 13. By this time, Josh had already raced at Swimming New Zeal and Open
Championships and New Zealand Short Course Championships against Para athletes who were
twice his age.

At just 15, Josh broke his first New Zealand record in the SB8 200 meter Breaststroke. He now
holds New Zealand age group and open records in the 50 meter SB8 Breaststroke, 100 meter SB8
Breaststroke and the 200 meter SB8 Breaststroke.

Josh’s coach Shaun Foley, a former NZ Representative Para Swimmer has enjoyed coaching a
fellow Para athlete and being part of his journey.
“Josh is on a familiar path as it’s a path I’ve also been on”, Says Shaun, “to be able to coach a
swimmer as driven as Josh, is a pleasure. But to be able to coach a fellow para swimmer, in the
same way that my coaches did for me, is even better”.

Josh has been short listed by Swimming New Zealand for the 2022 Para Swimming World
Championships in Madeira, followed by the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. In
February 2022, he will also be heading to Melbourne to compete in the World Para Swimming
Series. Wilmer says, “next year is going to be full on, but it’s all part of the journey to hopefully get me to
Paris in 2024”.

Papakura Swimming Club