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Splashes of Success: The Thrilling 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships

The Hawkes Bay Regional Aquatic Centre witnessed waves of excitement and talent during the 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships (NAGs), held over five exhilarating days from April 15th to 19th. As our dedicated team embarked on this aquatic adventure, we carried with us the spirit of competition, determination, and camaraderie.

Our journey commenced with a bus ride on April 13th, making a refreshing stop in Taupo for a light swim, setting the tone for the days ahead. Arriving two days before the commencement of the competition not only allowed us to acclimatise but also presented a unique opportunity to witness the culmination of the NZ Swimming Championships and the unveiling of the NZ Olympic Swimming Team, serving as a source of inspiration for our aspiring athletes. Following this, a day of relaxation ensued, ensuring our team was primed for the challenges ahead.

As the competition unfolded, each day brought new trials and triumphs. From the intense heats sessions in the morning to the electrifying finals at night, our swimmers showcased resilience and determination, embodying the essence of sportsmanship. The experience of racing twice in a day served as invaluable preparation for future international competitions, reinforcing the importance of adaptability and peak performance.

Guided by our esteemed coaches - Graham, Sandra, Rafael, and Michelle - and supported by our dedicated managers - Adrienne, Peter, and Kathryn - our team left a permanent mark, clinching an impressive total of 46 medals, including 36 individual and 10 relay medals. Congratulations are in order for our outstanding individual medalists: Amelia Bray, Lani Kim, Jacob Humphries, Amber Lin, Andrew Feng, Channelle Huang, Liv Peebles, Monique Wieruszowski, Elvin Wang, Kezia Buissinne, Summer Osborne, Henry Wang, Harrison Klouwens, Ania Maritz, Elwin Bao, Anna McGowan, and Benson Li.

The relay events, a testament to teamwork and unity, provided some of the most exhilarating moments of the championships. Witnessing our athletes come together, pushing their limits and achieving personal bests for their teams, was a source of immense pride for our coaching staff.

Noteworthy mention goes to our rookie NAG's athletes, whose debut performances exemplified courage and tenacity in the face of formidable competition. Their determination to excel in both heats and finals speaks volumes about the bright future of our club.

As the dust settles on another exhilarating NAGs, we proudly claim the title of the 3rd highest scoring club, a testament to the collective efforts and dedication of our entire team. Moreover, the championships also served as a platform for qualification for the Junior Pan Pacs, to be held later this year in Canberra. Heartfelt congratulations to Amelia Bray, Harrison Klouwens, and Monique Wieruszowski on their selection to represent our club on the international stage.

The 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships provided a rollercoaster of emotions, from the thrill of victory to the lessons learned in defeat. As we look ahead, we eagerly anticipate diving back into training, fueled by the memories and experiences gained, as we continue our pursuit of excellence in the pool.


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