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The start of something extraordinary

Taranaki swim club merger

Aquabladz Taranaki Swimming Club (formerly Bell Block Swimming Club) and New Plymouth Aquatics Swimming Club have amalgamated to become Aquabladz New Plymouth.

The head coach of the new Taranaki ‘mega-club’ is Sue Southgate. Sue is joined by the former head coach of Hillcrest Swimming Club, Stan Tekotai-White.

Sue believes that, “The merger of the two clubs means that both teams now have a stronger foundation. Our swimmers will benefit from training and competing together both locally and at away meets.”

The new club enjoyed great results at the recent Bay of Plenty Championships. The team of 52 swimmers travelled to Mt Maunganui to compete in the Baywave pool where they claimed 11 new Taranaki records, as well as multiple medals across all age groups. Six squad members were selected to be part of the inaugural Swimming New Zealand Zonal competition which was held the day after the New Zealand Short Course Championships.

The recent merger has also resulted in squads having access to three pools. New programmes and squad structures have been developed within the new club to accommodate its 180 swimmers from all levels of the sport.

There has been strong support for the merger. “It’s really exciting. It’s another new page and a new chapter in our history,” said Sue Southgate.