4 April 2013
In January this year eight swimmers plus coach and team manager flew to Auckland to begin what will hopefully be an ongoing tradition formed between Surrey Park Swimming Club in Melbourne and Northwave Swim Club in Whangarei. Beautiful Whangarei is north of Auckland and is part of the spectacular Northland Region with magnificent beaches on both coasts.
The selection process for this trip started about eighteen months ago, it was not about qualifying times or national cuts but attitude at training, dedication and hard work. It was only open to members of Surrey Park’s Senior Performance Squad. Mark Cooper coaches this squad and it is through his ongoing relationship with Northwave through his former coach (and Mum) Monica Cooper that the basis for the trip was formed.
Northwave hosted our team for the bulk of the ten day trip. Their hospitality was amazing. Our swimmers stayed with Northwave families for most of the trip and formed great friendships. They attended a swim camp with Northwave and then competed at the Regional Championships in Dargaville. The swimmers gained valuable experience, both in and out of the pool, in their progression towards being a National swimmer.
On the final day of the trip the team were treated to a fun filled day at Kai Iwi Lakes when the Northwave families brought along their speed boats and made sure the Aussies got some “crash” courses in riding “donuts” at high speeds. There were many laughs and only a few injuries (mostly to Aussie egos!). It was a great way to end the trip.
Surrey Park will return the favour when a team of Northwave swimmers come to Melbourne for Victorian State Age Short Course Champs in late August/early September 2013. It will be difficult to match the hospitality of the Kiwis but we will try!
Hopefully this will become an ongoing tradition.
If you meet a visiting swimmer from the Northwave club at 2013 Vic Age Short Course Champs please make them feel welcome!
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