NZ Heading to FINA WORLDs

5 Jul


For the first time in many years, Synchro Swim New Zealand is sending a team to the FINA World Championships which includes a Soloist and Duet, as well as a Free and Tech Team.  “This is the widest range of events we have competed in at a World Championships for some time and reflects our commitment as a sporting family to a High Performance/Talent Development programme that enables teams to shine, as well as individual athletes,” said Synchro Swim NZ Chairperson, Shirley Hooper.

“Sometimes we look enviously at our funded sisters in the larger sports who have High Performance Sport NZ assistance to get to international events.  The reality as a small sport in New Zealand is that our athletes and their parents bear the brunt of funding, and we are hugely lucky to have parents who get behind the programme fundraising selling cheese rolls, doing stocktakes, or sausage sizzles. Having said that, we’ve been very lucky to this year to have support from the Olympic Solidarity movement, which has made a huge difference,” said Hooper.

The good news is that investment is definitely making the athletes stronger – the core of this team travelled to compete in the Argentina and Brazil Opens at the end of last year, where they placed on the podium at both events and scored the highest ever score for a NZ team of 74.3.

Synchronised swimming is a sport that blends swimming, dance and gymnastics – requiring a high commitment to training all of those different aspects – when in camp, athletes train for at least 6 hours in the pool each day, plus flexibility, strength and cardio training outside the pool.

Three-time Brazilian Olympian, Lara Cianciarulo is the Head Coach and has been working with this group of athletes for almost two years – “I am hugely proud of all of them.  As well as training up to 10 hours a week in club time, they have given up every holidays to train together as a team to perfect their routines. With athletes aged from 15 to 21, they are all at different stages of their lives but share a common goal of achieving the best results NZ has seen on the world stage."  After the final camp in Hamilton, the team leaves for the FINA Worlds in Gwangju in Korea on the 5th July.


Auckland:           Nina Brown, Madeleine Pastor-Pasi

Tauranga:           Eva Morris (Captain), Karlina Steiner, Eden Worsley, Isobel Pettit, Zyleika Pratt-Smith

Invercargill:         Ali Robertson, Arielle Wilkes

Coaches:            Lara Cianciarulo and Junco Tanaka

Manager:            Michelle Anderson

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