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Young Swimmers Get Involved Poolside at National Championships

Young swimmers volunteer as basket handlers at the 2023 Apollo Projects New Zealand Swimming Championships.

Swimming New Zealand was stoked to be able to offer basket handlers at this year's Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships the opportunity to meet some of New Zealand's top swimmers and get their t-shirts signed for the first time.

The basket handlers were all younger swimmers from local clubs who volunteered at the national championships. The role involved being on the pool deck throughout the finals each night and being present for some of the most exciting and competitive races this year. The kids cleared the athlete's clothes off the pool deck during their races and then got to meet the athletes after each race and have their shirts signed.

There were 10 kids across each of the five nights who were also involved in the medal presentations. This was an incredible opportunity for the budding young swimmers to get amongst the action poolside and be up close to watch their favourite athletes in and out of the water. They got to watch 22 athletes qualify for the World Championships during the event.

SNZ's Head of Participation & Events, Dale Johnson, feels it was a great way to engage young swimmers from the local community.

"We were proud of this initiative, with this year being the first time the kids could get their shirts signed. It was awesome to watch the swimmers engage after their races, and the kids ending up with around 20 autographs by the end of the session."

We look forward to offering this opportunity at other national events, with the next opportunity at the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Short Course Swimming Championships in Hawke's Bay. Make sure you keep an eye out for these opportunities and don't miss out.

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