National Age Group Champs – 2019 Wellington

Congratulations to everyone who recently competed at NAGS!

2019 National Age Groups Swim Champs were back in the Capital this year. WRAC was like you have never seen it before. Extra seating was brought in to accommodate over 730 swimmers from several different countries, 200 officials, managers and coaches, and 300 spectators. The atmosphere was alive and dynamic, with the sounds of cheering teams from 8am to 8pm, many voices were lost in the pursuit of verbal dominance.

We had a strong team of 18 athletes who donned the new black skullcaps to represent the Pirates Swim Club. The Team of teens were fantastic – in and out of the water. In the water, there were 6 medals (3 bronze, 2 silvers, 1 gold), Open qualification times, club records, and pb’s galore.

Out of the water, they were a cooperative team, screaming in support of their teammates, sharing stories, laughs, and the all important snacks. We were also privileged to have a visitor on our team. Ariana from Tokyo, swam under our skull and cross bones, with pride. She broke clubs records and brought home a gold. She seamlessly transitioned into our team, and we hope she gets back to New Zealand to swim with us again.

The week was super busy, as Champs always are. It all started on Tuesday, the evening session had the opening ceremony, with Sean, Ariana and Elaina walking in the parade to represent the Pirates. The when fast and furious but Saturday afternoon, we had a timeout for a farewell lunch for Ariana and her Mum, Kellie. Then on to Saturday night, the last session, full of laughs and mayhem, the non swimmers showed up in hi-viz so their swimmer team mates (and everyone else) were sure to see them. Steve gave them a to-do list with funny tasks to keep them out of trouble. It mostly worked. Meanwhile the Saturday night swimmers went hard and nearly pb’ed all their races. Such an awesome week with awesome people, let’s swim, sleep, repeat and do it all again next year!!