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The start of something extraordinary


Three of Tauranga’s oldest and most successful swimming clubs are amalgamating to form Evolution Aquatics Tauranga.

Two of the leading clubs in the Bay of Plenty, Greerton and Otumoetai swim clubs, along with the city’s oldest club, Tauranga Swimming Club (currently unaffiliated), will join forces to form a Bay of Plenty super club.

Evolution Aquatics Interim Chair Michael Pugh says “the amalgamation has been mooted for many years but the timing was finally right with both Greerton and Otumoetai bringing mutual benefits to the table.

Greerton currently has a strong roster with most of their top squad involved in New Zealand teams and development squads across pool, open water, surf, water polo and underwater hockey disciplines.

Likewise Otumoetai squad swimmers have been very successful and are consistently fed via a high quality learn to swim operation”.

Evolution Aquatics Tauranga has also recently been awarded the Learn To Swim contract in neighbouring Katikati.

Other factors contributing towards the decision to amalgamate include the desire to retain swimmers longer by having larger squads of equal ability to provide more fun and stimulation, the provision of more squad time and pool options for parents of all swimmers and better use of volunteer resources and realisation of economies of scale in club administration.

Being able to provide for, attract and retain quality coaches was also a key consideration in the merger decision.

The club’s three existing coaches, Mike Lee, Tai Daniela and Riccardo Pini will be retained with a fourth coach currently being sought.

With Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and Papamoa surrounded by water and with a superb climate to match, the city produces more than its fair share of swim talent.

As a large, multifaceted club in one of the fastest growing cities in New Zealand, Evolution Aquatics Tauranga has been formed to nurture that ever increasing Tauranga talent pool all the way from learn to swim to the highest levels of swimming.

With the extension of the Waikato University campus in Tauranga for 2019, along with the booming BOP economy, it is hoped that the current largely age-group program can expand to include a full senior swimming program as the region becomes increasingly attractive as a place to work, study and play.

“Tauranga is growing and it needs a premier swim club to grow with it” commented Pugh adding that the new club will also cater for fitness and adult squads.

The first event on the Evolution Aquatics Tauranga calendar is the NZ Short Course Championships in Auckland this week with a team of 18 swimmers entered.

Two swimmers not attending, Travis Hudson and Louis Fitzjohn, are instead competing in the Australian State Championships.