Teen to take the plunge again
Mountainview High School pupil Chantelle Kergozou De La Boessiere is used to going it alone to make a splash in her chosen sport.
The talented 17-year-old has made a return to the New Zealand synchronised swimming team in speedy fashion, just four months after getting back into training.
She took a break from the beginning of 2011 until a week before the South Island championships in July.
She does not have a coach, or any training partners and has to juggle with increasing commitments to school and work.
Despite the short leadup, she was able to win a South Island title as a solo competitor.
While she was unable to accept the invitation to join the national team this time due to not being able to relocate to Invercargill for training, she said it was her intention to make it back to international competition once she could fully commit to the sport.
Kergozou De La Boessiere said competing by herself meant she and her music had to work together, while in a team each individual had to move as one.
"A duet and a team are synchronised with each other and solos and more synchronised with the music.
"Some people enjoy solos more because you can put more expressions into it.
"Teams are more about specific, sharp movements, but in solos, you can do more flowing stuff.
"I'm only doing solos because there is no one else here (in Timaru) but I love duets and teams."
The former gymnast, said she had loved the sport since first trying it at age 11 and she believed she was "a natural".
She said most people did not understand how physically demanding it was to execute the beautiful movement above the water and the hard work endured underneath to make the manoeuvre look flawless.
Kergozou De La Boessiere often trained alone at the Caroline Bay Trust Aoraki Centre at 5.30am on weekdays, and her lung capacity is so good, she can hold her breath under water while swimming 50m.
The former Southland Girls' High School pupil has been at Mountainview this year and will move to Christchurch's Avonside High School next year.
She first represented New Zealand in 2007 and has twice competed at Oceania Championships.
- © Fairfax NZ News