Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Stanley, Bell Lead Powerful Aqua Knights Swim Team For New Zone Champs

Olympians Matthew Stanley and Daniel Bell along with international experience in both senior and juniors will drive a powerful Aqua Knights swim team for next month’s inaugural national Zonal Championship in Wellington.

The new one-day competition will comprise four zone teams with each comprising 20 swimmers 15 years and under and 20 swimmers 16 years and over. The competition will pit the best of each age group from throughout the country into four zone teams. The Aqua Knights are made up from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay and East Coast regions.

Stanley (Matamata) and Bell, making a return from long-term injury, are both national record holders while the senior team also includes Tauranga’s Nathan Capp who competed in the recent world championships respectively, while Taranaki’s Charlotte Webby is a world-class open water swimmer. Their junior ranks are bolstered with Napier’s Bobbi Gichard and Hamilton’s Bradlee Ashby who both competed in the recent Youth World Championships in Dubai.

“The Zonal competition is a meet designed to give our swimmers some tough racing against the best in New Zealand and another chance to come together as a team and experience a team culture. Team culture is very important to New Zealand swimming,” Southgate said.

“We have been coming together as a region since 2007 with four regions championships and this as another step, competing as a strong team and letting our younger swimmers realize what our region can produce.

“Many do not realise that the likes of Matt Stanley, Nathan Capp, Bradlee Ashby and Laura Quilter all originated here.

“The Zonal concept is a good one, which allows almost a ‘state of origin’ team to be fielded by all four regions.”

The Aqua Knights team is spread among 15 clubs throughout the region, with the championship to be staged on Friday 4 October on the day after the completion of the State New Zealand Short Course Championship at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre.

The Aqua Knights team is:

Senior: Nathan Capp (Greerton), Ben Quilter (Comet), Daniel Bell (AquaBladz NP), Matthew Stanley (Matamata), Julian Weir (AquaBladz NP), Sam Perry (St Peters), Shayne Kiekebosch (Fairfield), Chris Dawson (Enterprise Cars), Daniel Caldwell (St Peters), Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield), Helena Gasson (Fairfield), Annika Brennan (Napier AquaHawkes), Tracey Keith-Matchitt (Tokoroa), Paige Flynn (St Peters), Laura Quilter (North Shore), Charlotte Webby (AquaBladz NP), Ellie Britton (St Peters), Jo Mari Meyer (Greendale), D'Ani Allen (AquaBladz NP), Prue Boult (Greendale).

Junior: Michael Woods (Ace Swimming Club), Leyton Bradley (Fairfield), Bertie Bassett-Foss (Napier AquaHawkes), Joshua Taylor-Martin (Enterprise Cars), Joshua McCormack (Thames), Stuart Graham (Napier AquaHawkes), Bruin Maunder (Napier AquaHawkes), Matthew Anderson (Stratford), Joshua Pickett (Otumoetai), Cole McDowell (Thames), Maddie Mason (Napier AquaHawkes), Claudia Ashby (Fairfield), Jenna Barrett (AquaBladz NP), Libby Bradley (Greerton), Ruby Adsett (Napier AquaHawkes), Kaitlyn Tippett (AquaBladz NP), Ruby Matthews (Otumoetai), Bobbi Gichard (Greendale), Rhianna Maxwell (Otumoetai), Brittany Taylor (Stratford).

Coaches: Sue Southgate, Carl Gordon, Noel Hargraves-Booth, Ken Nixon.

NZ Zonal Championships