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Para Squad Heads to the World Series


The Swimming New Zealand Para Swimming team kicks off their year next week at the Citi Para Swimming World Series in Melbourne from the 17 – 19 February.


Fresh off his breakout year in 2022, Commonwealth Games Gold medallist, Joshua Willmer (Pukekohe), will be competing in his staple event, the SB8 100m Breaststroke, as well as the 200m IM and 100m Butterfly. Fellow Aquablack debutants from the 2022 World Championship are Gaby Smith (Vikings) and Lili-Fox Mason (Wharenui) who are also looking to make waves this year in their first international hit out of the season. All three swimmers will then compete at the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships in April before flying out to a senior Para camp in Thailand ahead of the next world series in Singapore.

14-year-old Erin Knox (SwimZone Racing) will be experiencing her first international classification at the event, before racing in the 50m and 100m Backstroke, 50m and 100mFreestyle, the 50m Butterfly and 100m Breaststroke. Asher Smith-Franklin (North Shore) and Jack Bugler (Blenheim), who both swam at the 2022 Virtus Games in Brisbane, will be using their newly found international experience and putting it into practice in their first World Para Series.


“Melbourne is a great opportunity for our younger swimmers to get international experience, Simon Mayne (NZ Paralympic Pathway Manager explains. The squad is looking forward to their first major hit out of the year ahead of World Championships in Manchester and ultimately Paris 2024 qualification”

The Citi Para Swimming World Series runs in conjunction with the 3-day Victorian Open Long Course Championships at the Melbourne Sports Centre. Congratulations to the team selected for the trip and stay tuned to our social media to stay up-to-date with their progress at the event.


Josh Willmer (S8)

Pukekohe Swim Club

​Erin Knox (S10)

SwimZone Racing

Asher Smith-Franklin (S14)

North Shore Swimming

Lili-Fox Mason (S10)

Wharenui Swim Club

Gaby Smith (S10)

Vikings Swim Club

Ieuan Edwards (S10)

Selwyn Swim Club

Ella Benn (S10)

Selwyn Swim Club

Jack Bugler (S14)

Blenheim Swimming Club

Simon Mayne

SNZ Paralympic Pathway Manager

Matt Houston

Wharenui Swim Club

Jean Koznyiak

Team Physio

Hannah Cartman

SNZ Team Manager



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