Nelson Swimmers make NZ team

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Four Nelson swimmers will represent New Zealand at the Australian Age championships in Sydney next month.

Sam McKenzie, 15, Caitlin Delany,16, Thomas Heaton, 16, from the Tasman Swimming Club and Clara Foster, 15,  from the Nelson South Club were confirmed in the 30 person squad last week.

The Georgina Hope Swimmers Foundation Australia Age Championship will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre from April 13 to 18.

Caitlin will compete in the female 16 years 100m breaststroke, Thomas will race in the male 16 years 400m and 1500m freestyle,  Sam has qualified  for the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle and Clara will swim in the 100m and 200m breaststroke and 200 individual medley.

Swimming coach, Andy Adair says his goal when he started coaching in Tasman two and half years ago was to develop a national swimming programme.

“I don’t think the Nelson-Tasman region has had a New Zealand representative swimmer for a very long time, it is really fantastic.  It recognises the fact that they have worked very hard and these kids have listened and had faith in what I have asked them to do and as result, they are swimming fast.

“There is loads of potential in this region. We just need the opportunity to mature and develop,” says Andy.

Caitlin, who attends Waimea College, was excited to receive the email from selectors confirming her spot on the team. Her goal is to make the finals of the 100m breaststroke race and she is working hard with Andy on improving her stroke.

“My aim was to make the qualifying time, which I did in Wellington back in January.  It has been a long wait to find out whether I got into the team and I am pretty happy, it is my biggest achievement so far,” says Caitlin.

Andy will also travel to Sydney as one of the New Zealand team coaches.

“There is nothing better as a coach than being on the team too, it is always a thrill to get on the New Zealand team,” says Andy.