Waimea swimmers make big splash

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The Waimea Swimming Club completed a successful season under the guidance of coaching legend Jos Pattison when it held its club championships at the Waimea College pool on Saturday.

About 50 swimmers lined up for Saturday’s champs with the club’s star performers showing why they had won so many medals during the season.

Club president Sue Malthus says the club champs capped a great year for the club which featured excellent performers at the two big country meets. Waimea was the top club for the third consecutive year at the Nelson Marlborough Country and Town champs in Nelson on January 9 and dominated the South Island Country and Town champs in Ashburton on February 27-28.

“Our results at the two Country and Town meets were excellent,” Sue says. “We sent our biggest contingent of swimmers ever to Ashburton and did very well there – it was a real highlight for us.”

Nick Lovell won seven events and recorded four personal best times in Nelson and backed that up with four golds at Ashburton. Tayla Graham, 16, and Nathan Limmer, 18 also won their age groups in Nelson while Nathan won  the 100m breaststroke, Jasmine Hollis, 16, won the 50m breast and 100m individual medley, Cody Pike, 14, won the the 100m and 200m breaststroke and Emma Lovell, 15, won the 100m and 200m freestyle at Ashburton.

Sue says the club’s successful season can be attributed to good coaching backed up by a hard-working committee. All the club’s coaches and committee are volunteers and Sue says they all do a great job.

“It’s all about coaching in my view,” Sue says. “Jos is a legend and he’s made a massive difference to our club.

“We also have a very effective committee with parents who are always ready to step up. We are totally run by volunteers which is a big ask these days.”

Sue also paid tribute to the rest of the coaching team including Michelle Cooper who is stepping down after 15 seasons with the club. Shirley Hollis and David and Andrew McKay are the other coaches.

Bradley Limmer won the Stanley Cup for the fastest swimmer over 100m at Saturday’s meet.