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December Update

Summer’s here – well sort of - and all our clubs are back in the water.


As the year draws to a close we can look back on a year of great achievements for our swimmers and their coaches at club, regional, national and international meets. Next weekend at the regional Junior Champs there’ll be some swimmers diving in for their first time at a regional meet – wondering if they’ll be good enough to one day make it into a New Zealand team and compete on the world stage with the black fern on their cap. And for some, those dreams will come true


It’s a long and challenging journey and swimmers only get there through their own perseverance combined with huge amounts of support from parents and families, clubs, coaches, officials and volunteers – each adding their encouragement, time and energy to give the swimmer the best chance to succeed.


As a region, our contribution to that journey is to try to make it easier for the swimmer, the coach and the club to succeed –

  • by trying to reduce administrative overhead on clubs and parents so time is spent on supporting the swimmers
  • by trying to have a series of meets that create a logical and consistent development pathway whilst attempting to dovetail into national meet preparation
  • by providing some more support for our up-and-coming swimmers through the 2019 Athlete Development Programme
  • by aggressively chasing additional charitable trust and sponsorship funding to try to be able to absorb venue cost increases and keep meet entry as accessible as possible


Our time and dollar resources are finite and we’re trying to get the best outcomes from what we have - but doing more requires more funding. And that has to be primarily from external sources – and probably some new external sources. We are exploring new sponsorship and other revenue generating opportunities that should make a difference to what we can do in 2019 and beyond.


However, this year has also been one where a small number of member issues have consumed a disproportionate amount of time and cost for the board and management team – all of which is time and money not otherwise available for the general advancement of our sport.  While this work has been important for maintaining the integrity of swimming in the region, minimising the likelihood and impact of future issues is essential to our ongoing effectiveness.  Adoption of our Respect, Excellence and Teamwork values by all involved in our sport will certainly help.  However, dealing at club level with problems that may still arise between members, with sensitivity and fairness, but also with urgency and purpose, is key.  The region can provide advice and support when necessary but escalation to the region for resolution can only occur after all avenues available to the club itself to deal with a problem or dispute have been reasonably exhausted. 


Some good news items in the last few weeks have been –

  • a very enjoyable Awards evening at the Poneke Hub. A great opportunity to recognise the success of our swimmers and coaches together with our officials and volunteers who give so much of their time to our sport.
    Life Memberships awarded to Henrietta Latham and Mark Berge were a fitting testament to a “lifetime” of involvement with swimming in our region. We only succeed through the generosity of action and spirit of our volunteers.
  • and Lewis – yet more trophies – at our awards as Swimmer of the Year and subsequently as Junior Maori Sportsman at the Maori Sports Awards. I was talking with Robyn Clareburt about the “need to extend their house to create a trophy room” and she did admit it was becoming a little crowded
    and of course congratulations too to Chelsey Edwards and Mary Fisher - well done to both of you at our awards
  • whilst we didn’t know it at the time, Mary was about to bring the curtain down on an absolutely stellar swimming career. During that time she won 10 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze medals at Paralympic Games and IPC World Championships and set 5 world records. Mary is a truly inspirational person to all who have had the privilege of coming into contact with her.
  • and one more recognition for Bronagh Ryan’s achievement as Porirua’s Sportswoman of the Year - congratulations
  • the 2019 Athlete Development Programme (ADP) is gaining momentum with the senior squad announced and dates for workshops and camps for 2019 being announced before Xmas. I’d like to thank Angus for driving this through and our senior coaches for their contribution – you’re the key to making this happen
  • and as part of the ADP we’ve applied for and got some funding from Sport Wellington to kick it off. There’ll be more funding  chasing throughout 2019 as our intention is to minimise any swimmer costs as much as we can
  • we’ve also just confirmed that our sponsor Ricoh will be replacing the aging printer in the AOD room at WRAC before Xmas. The current one has apparently done more than 1 million pages and is now past its prime so a newer, faster one will be good for everybody. Thanks to Paul at Ricoh for your continuing support
  • and that’s something to think about – if you’re in a position where you have any influence over the purchase of printing and copying equipment then do seriously consider Ricoh. Their support of us should be complemented by our support of them
  • not “good” news but news all the same – by mutual agreement, Whanganui is going to move from Wellington to Manawatu Region. This is a logical change given the geography. Talking to Neil Forlong from Whanganui Club he expects that there will be just as many  Whanganui swimmers at our Wellington meets after the change and of course they’ll still be part of the All Stars Junior Festival in February


As always, a huge thank you for all the time and effort that our volunteers and technical officials have given this year to ensure that our meets all run so very well. We are the envy of other regions and it is largely down to you. Do enjoy a break over Christmas – the 2019 season will be on us before we know it.


Just a reminder, the Swimming Wellington office will be closed from Friday 21st December to Monday 14th January. Angus will be around for 10th/11th January to make sure that entries for 13+ long course all go smoothly.


Hope the new summer season goes well for you



Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Swimming Wellington team and board


M.   A.  S.                                                             P.   C.   M.   A.   B.  T.

Martyn, Angus & Sharon                                     Paul, Chris, Murray, Allison, Brigid  & Tony

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