Opportunity knocks for talented Southland trio

17:00, Apr 23 2014
Southland swimmers
BRIGHT FUTURE: Coach Lisa Pankhurst and Southland swimmers (from left) Erik Cahill, Amelia McKenzie & Daniel Strang, have all been named in the NZ swim development squad.

Three young Southland swimmers have been targeted as future stars by Swimming New Zealand.

Twelve-year-olds Amelia McKenzie and Daniel Strang (both Murihiku) and Erik Cahill (Orca) have been named in a talent identification programme initiated by the national body, Invercargill professional coach Jeremy Duncan said.

"It's a pathway that they have from a junior level all the way through to the senior open level. They are good young kids who have come through our regional development officers pathway, which is from clubs all the way through. They are good swimmers and it's really pleasing that we are getting kids coming through like that."

As part of the programme, young swimmers are being taught the fundamentals for top performance. Their time will include a camp in Timaru, and a major camp with High Performance Sport NZ in Auckland. "They are getting kids at this age and teaching them things a lot earlier, things like nutrition, race routine, biomechanics - all the little things. It means they are effectively part of a Swimming New Zealand team."

Duncan was confident the programme did not place too much pressure on young swimmers. "I must admit I did think about that, but these are kids who are 12 and 13 and they are still deciding what sport to choose. If you grab them and they are part of something greater than swimming in Southland. It's not work, it's teaching them the right things."


The Southland Times