Swimming New Zealand 2021 Awards

Swimming New Zealand 2021 Awards


At the start of the final session at the 2022 Apollo Projects NZ Short Course Swimming Championships, we presented some special awards. The Swimming NZ Awards were presented in recognition of outstanding performances during the 2021 calendar year.


Lewis Clareburt took home a handful of awards, including the Baxter O’Neill Trophy as the Swimmer of the Year, following his outstanding performance at the Olympic Games in the 400m Individual Medley.


A list of the award winners and why is below:



Baxter O’Neill Trophy


This award is the Swimmer of the Year, presented for swimming performance, services to the sport and character.


Winner: Lewis Clareburt – Capital Swim Club


Lewis won this award for outstanding Olympic performances and for his brilliant promotion of our sport through his personality and media interactions and his leadership of his fellow Olympic athletes. This is the third time that Lewis has won this award.


Billie Fitzsimmons Cup


This award is presented to the individual with the most outstanding international Olympic pathway performance of the year in international competitions.


Winner: Lewis Clareburt – Capital Swim Club


Lewis won this award for his performance at the Olympic Games in the 400m Individual Medley, where he placed 7th in the final. This is the third time that Lewis has won this award. Special mention to Erika Fairweather, a very close contender for this award with her NZ Record and huge PB in the 400m Freestyle heats. Where she qualified 4th fastest for the final.




International Award


This award is presented to the best individual swimming performance by a Kiwi in comparison with the current World Record at that time of the event.


Winner: Lewis Clareburt – Capital Swim Club


Lewis won this award for the 400m Individual Medley heat swim at the Olympic Games which was 2.31% slower than the World Record. This is the first time that Lewis has won this award.




Para Swimmer of the Year


This award is presented to an individual who has excelled at national and/or international swimming competitions


Winner: Tupou Neiufi – Pukekohe Swimming Club


Tupou won this award for her gold medal winning performance in the S8 100m Backstroke at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Tupou is only the third recipient of this award since 2010 and this is the first time she was won this award.





Annette Kellerman Cup


This award is presented to an individual with the best result in open water events in New Zealand and overseas.


Winner: Ruby Heath – Neptune & Swim Dunedin


Ruby won this award for her performance at the 2021 New Zealand Open Water Swimming Championships in Taupo. This is the first time that Ruby has won this award.




Coach of the Year


This award is presented to an individual for outstanding services to coaching. The award takes into account the coaches broader services to the sport, leadership, relationship with the swimming community and swimming performances on the international stage.


Winner: Sheldon Kemp – Pukekohe Swimming Club


Sheldon won this award for his coaching of the gold medal winning performance by Tupou Neiufi at the Paralympic Games. This is the first time that Sheldon has won this award.



Domestic Swimmer of the Year


This award is presented to a swimmer who has excelled in long and/or short course competitions in New Zealand.


Winner: Lewis Clareburt – Capital Swim Club


Lewis won this award for the lead off swim in the 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay at the 2021 Aon NZ Swimming Championships, where he broke the NZ Record in the 100m Freestyle. This is the first time that Lewis has won this award.




Recognising our Debutant Aquablacks


We also recognised our debutant Aquablacks by presenting them with their Aquablack number and certificate. 2022 is the first year where we have had an integrated program of Olympic and Paralympic Program swimmers on the Aquablack numbered list. In this case, this is the first year where swimmers at the World Para Swimming Championships have become Aquablacks. There were 12 debutants in 2022.


The Aquablack swimmer number list is proudly displayed at the top of the staircase in the grandstand, and New Zealand Swimming Team photos are proudly displayed in the SNZ boardroom at the National Aquatic Centre, where we recognise our Aquablacks who have represented New Zealand with pride.


Aquablack #268 is Michael Pickett for debuting at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, Korea


Aquablack #271 is Hayley McIntosh for debuting at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan


Aquablack #272 is Cameron Leslie for debuting at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal, where he gold in the S4 100m Freestyle, silver in the S4 50m Freestyle, S4 50m Backstroke and S4 200m Freestyle and also broke the World Record in the S4 50m Freestyle


Aquablack #273 is Lili-Fox Mason for debuting at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal


Aquablack #274 is Gaby Smith for debuting at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal


Aquablack #275 is Joshua Willmer for debuting at the 2022 World Para Swimming Championships in Madeira, Portugal. At the 2022 Commonwealth Games a couple of months later he won the gold medal in the SB8 100m Breaststroke.


Aquablack #276 is Caitlin Deans for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.


Aquablack #277 is Cameron Gray for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. A couple of months later at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Cameron won the bronze medal in the 50m Butterfly in a New Zealand Record time.


Aquablack #278 is Ruby Heath for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary in the Open Water events.


Aquablack #279 is Andrew Jeffcoat for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. A couple of months later at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Andrew won the gold medal in the 50m Backstroke in a New Zealand Record time.


Aquablack #280 is Laura Littlejohn for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Laura was at the Junior Pan Pacs so will receive her award later.


Aquablack #281 is Mya Rasmussen for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest. Mya couldn’t attend the night so will receive her award later.


Aquablack #282 is Carter Swift for debuting at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest.


Aquablack #283 is Hazel Ouwehand for debuting at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.




Special Presentation to Cameron Leslie


On behalf of the Aotearoa Maori Sports Awards Trust, Simon Pomare presented Cameron Leslie with the Korowai in recognition of his amazing achievements as a Maori sportsperson. The blue colour represents his proud Iwi of Ngapuhi.



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