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National swimming events coming to Hawke’s Bay

Lewis edited

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre will this month be hosting the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships, bringing a national swimming event to the region for the first time.

This brand new, world-class facility is looking immaculate and will bring around 700 of the best 13 – 18-year-old swimmers from around the country to the region for racing from April 12 – 16.

With a week full of racing across five age groups, as well as para swimming for both girls and boys this is a pinnacle age-group event on the national calendar.

It also provides the opportunity for swimmers to be selected to represent New Zealand at the World Aquatics Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel, from September 4 to 9, and the Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago from August 4 to 11.

The event will provide opportunities for rangatahi to be active in the water and bringing a positive economic boost to the region. We will a week full of racing across 5 age groups, as well as Para swimming, for both boys and girls. This is the pinnacle age group event on the calendar within NZ.

This year provides the opportunity for swimmers to be selected to represent NZ at the World Aquatics Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel, from 4 – 9 September, and the Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago from 4 – 11 August.

The event is supported by Hastings District and Napier City Councils, and Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said it was very exciting to have this event in the region.

“We have been incredibly proud to support this fantastic facility and look forward to having this event staged here – a first for our region.

“Not only is it an opportunity for our local people to get involved in a top-level event, it is bringing economic benefits to the region – bringing the vision for this premier facility to life.”

Swimming NZ’s head of participation and events Dale Johnson is looking forward to hosting swimming events in the Hawke’s Bay.

“This championship is the first of many events at this venue - the best pool in the country - so we can’t wait to provide our swimming community with access to these facilities and provide the best competition experience available

“We are planning to leverage these events to help grow swimming in the community with some new initiatives, so we encourage the community to get involved.”

As well as being jam-packed with exciting racing, the event is also hosting development opportunities for the community. With future national events being held in Hawke’s Bay over the next couple of years, including the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic trials, it’s a great opportunity for the community to meet some of the country’s top swimmers and support them on their journey to Paris. These opportunities can also inspire the next generation to be active in the water.

Photos and autograph signing session

Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Lewis Clareburt and Aquablack Mya Rasmussen will be signing autographs and available for photos on Sunday, April 16 between 4pm and 5pm. This is open to the public and will be held in the pool entrance foyer at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre. Everyone is welcome!

Dive Start clinic – Individual Medley skills

Lewis Clareburt and Mya Rasmussen are delivering a stroke clinic for kids to develop their skills from our best IM swimmers in NZ. It’s a chance to learn from their heroes and provide a memory that will last a lifetime. This was extremely popular, so has already filled capacity. There will be more opportunities to be involved in the stroke clinics at our upcoming national events over the coming months.

Officials and volunteer development session

The local officials and volunteer not only have the opportunity to be part of national events, which will be great for their development and experience, but there will be a development session hosted for officials the evening before racing starts. Swimming NZ staff will also mentor volunteers on the new timing equipment installed in the new pool to upskill the local region.

Be involved

There are a limited number of spectator tickets available each session at the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships, but the event will be livestreamed so everyone can stay involved in the action. The autograph signing and photo session is open to the public.

More info on the event at

Future opportunities

The next swimming event in Hawke’s Bay is the 2023 NZ Masters Swimming Championships, from May 25 to 27. This is open to all members of the public aged 18+ years, with no requirement of being a member to enter. It’s a great chance to be involved in the pool for a social competition, so don’t miss out on being involved.

More details and entry

31 March 2023

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