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The start of something extraordinary

Taking a look back to NAGs 1985

This year’s New Zealand Age Group Championships brought back nostalgic memories for one of the medal presenters, Bob Eagle, who was part of the organising committee for the New Zealand Age Group Championships back in 1985.

“While waiting to present the swimmers medals, I gazed down the pool and looked at all of the wonderful facilities that the competitors and officials have today,” Eagle reflected.

In 1985 the event was held at Nayland Park, Nelson in a seven lane outdoor pool. This is compared to the ten lane indoor pool at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre that hosted the 2014 Age Group Championships.

There were also only seven finalists for each event who were the seven fastest from all of the recorded times for each event.

In way of officials at the pool there were four referee's, two starters, a chief inspector of turns (IOT) and seven IOTs, one chief judge and four judges (on a stand), 28 time keepers (three per lane and three reserves) and one chief time keeper, an announcer, four office recorders and two false start rope attendants – this was later mechanically operated by the assistant starter.

Everything was also manually recorded with runners for the time keepers, judges, IOT's and referees.

Comparing this to the 2014 New Zealand Age Group Championships where there were two referees, two starters, 20 IOTs and two chief IOT’s, four judges (walking the deck), 10 time keepers and a chief time keeper, an announcer, one office recorder plus two AOD room operators, no false start rope attendants and one runner for results.

Whilst a lot has changed and improved in the last 29 years for swimming events Eagle still remembers that “we had a very successful meet in 1985 and best of all we had hot sunny weather.”