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The start of something extraordinary

Para Swimming Development Goes Full Speed Ahead to 2020

Building on the success of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where 12 medals were won by New Zealand swimmers, Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) held a Swimming Talent Identification Camp in Timaru this weekend searching for talented new swimmers to join the programme.

Held at the CBay Aquatic Centre, 14 young swimmers were invited to attend the camp and demonstrate their swimming skills. The camp included coaching and advice; pool sessions; classification opportunities; information and expectations on the PNZ Swimming Programme.

Swimmers were aged between 9 – 16 years and travelled from around the South Island, such as brothers Celyn and Ieuan Edwards from Christchurch, Kylie Pilkinton from Wanaka and Nikau Peipi from Blenhiem, to be there.

Most are just starting out in swimming and have gone away from this weekend with short term goals to achieve, such as joining a swim club and competing in local swimming events.

PNZ Talent Identification Manager Hadleigh Pierson says, “We had a vision of bringing this event to Timaru to identify and develop more swimmers in the South Island.”  He continues, “It is exciting to see that through a weekend like this, we have been able to make more young athletes aware of the opportunities within Paralympic Sport and provide them with advice on how to begin their journey on the pathway”.

The swimmers were also treated to an inspirational talk by Paralympian Mary Fisher, who shared with the group her swimming experiences and journey through to 4 medals and a world record at last year’s London Paralympic Games.

What is Classification?
Classification is a structure for Paralympic competition. It ensures fairness and equitability and that winning is determined by skill, fitness, power, endurance, tactical ability and mental focus, the same factors that account for success in sport for athletes who are able-bodied. Paralympic athletes have an impairment in body structure and function that leads to a competitive disadvantage in sport. Classification determines who is eligible to compete in a Paralympic Sport and it groups eligible athletes into sport classes according to the activity limitation resulting from their impairment.

For more details please contact:

Melissa Dawson, PR Coordinator
Paralympics New Zealand
Ph – 0204 0044 799