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The start of something extraordinary

10 Para Swimmers Announced on the National Age Programme

Swimming New Zealand continues to demonstrate their intention of full integration at all levels as they announce the first group of Para swimmers within the National Age Programme.


The group of 10 on the SNZ National Age Programme for 2020-2021 includes Lili-Fox Mason (Wharenui), Gabriella Smith (Wharenui), Sionann Murphy (Coast), Nia Wallace (Coast), Ella Benn (Selwyn), David Beck (Mt Eden), Jack Bugler (Blenheim), Lance Dustow (Heretaunga), Joshua Willmer (Papakura) and Ieuan Edwards (Selwyn).


Plans for the inclusion of Para swimmers into the National Age Programme were announced earlier this year after a set of standards were created with the intention of building the quality and depth of New Zealand’s developing Para swimmers. 


National Para Swimming Development Coordinator Cameron Leslie feels this is the start of a bigger picture in terms of inclusion and development.


“This is just the start of growing what opportunities are available to competitive developing Para swimmers.


“These swimmers are largely integrated into their club training environments, so it is only right that we look to continue this at national programme level.


“We are very aware this type of integration may not work for every impairment type but we also need to acknowledge the ability to be integrated that these swimmers show every week within their daily training environments.”


Leslie added this positive step forward was directly related to SNZ’s Para swimming strategy which was implemented 18-months ago.


For this year, the programme format means SNZ are committed to giving the swimmer and their coach on-going support through to the end of April 2021.


Included in the support offered to this group – and their able-bodied peers – will be reviews of training and racing progress, value adds to the daily training environment, supporting the coaches with knowledge, skills and processes.

The underpinning concept of the National Age Programme is enabling the swimmer and their coaches to have the best chance of making progress along the performance pathway.