Event Wrap - 2023 Apollo Projects Division II Swimming Competition
The 2023 Apollo Projects Division II Swimming Competition were held in Wellington last week. The competition had an electric atmosphere, particularly during the relays each night where the teams were screaming their support for the club mates. The passion and camaraderie across the week was excellent.
The final day was a particular highlight, with the swimmers encouraged to dress up in this year's circus theme. There was a parade around the pool deck, with most clubs getting involved, with some impressive outfits on display. Shout out to Nelson South and St Peter's for winning the prize for best dressed.
Across the week, we had some Aquablacks pool side to support the younger swimmers and posed for photos. On the final evening, we held a photo and signing session with Rio Olympian Helena Gasson, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Lewis Clareburt and World Juniors representative Finn Harland signing autographs and taking photos with the swimmers. Lewis Clareburt even dressed up in the circus theme.
On the fourth night, the Champion of Champions relay returned with 3 heats of 120 swimmers taking part in a 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay. There were kids from different clubs joining forces, coaches and staff all getting involved. There were some interesting tactics from some teams in their attempts to be the fastest or the funniest, creating a celebratory vibe to conclude the session on Friday.
Throughout the week there was dancing alongside the side of the pool, as our commentators Andy McFarlane and Samoan World Championships representative Kokoro Frost controlling the music playlist to create an awesome atmosphere. It felt like a celebration of swimming on pool deck.
There was some great swimming and awesome to see the swimmers continuing to develop and improve their swimming, with loads of swimmers setting personal bests during the five days of competition. Many swimmers also achieved times that help them qualify for the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Short Course Swimming Championships in a few months' time - congratulations to those swimmers.
There was a tight race between a few clubs for the top club award, with some clubs trying to forecast and predict how many points they would score on the final day to preempt who would come out on top. Tawa Swimming Club claimed the top honours, scoring 1004 points. Canterbury West Coast neighbours Jasi (859 points) and Selwyn (816 points) came second and third. Ice Breaker (756 points) and St Paul's (726 points) rounded out the top 5 clubs.
Congratulations to all the athletes who participated, you truly made the most of the competition and we look forward to seeing how you continue to improve this year.