New Zealand team geared up for European pool competitions

Friday, 30 October 2015

The excitement is building for the seven athletes in the New Zealand team ahead of their departure for Europe's biggest pool carnivals.

For some of the athletes, their whole year has been targeted around the trip which includes the Orange Cup (formally known as the BeNe Cup) in the Netherlands from November 14-15 followed by the German Cup from November 20-21.

Last week, Papamoa's Natalie Peat had to withdraw from the competition due to a foot injury which saw the team of eight reduced to seven.

They will depart for The Netherlands on November 12 with coach Steven Ferguson and team manager Mark Weatherall. They have a big flight and then they are straight into racing, less than 24 hours after they arrive.

The team will then have a few days of training before the German Cup kicks-off in Warendorf.

Mr Ferguson says it's his first time to these events and he's very excited about the opportunity to take such a talented group of athletes over there.

From this trip, he says he wants to see the athletes race with confidence and have clear intentions of their race plans.

The Orange Cup will be held at the Pieter van den Hoogenband Swimming Stadium in Eindhoven, which is the official pool venue for the 2016 Lifesaving World Championships.

"The pool the athletes are competing in is the same one as they will be potentially racing in for the 2016 Worlds and this will give the athletes and the management team a great opportunity to familiarise themselves with the pool and environment, he says.

"There is always so much information and learning from these trips and I can't wait to take this team away."

Titahi Bay's Steven Kent on the other hand is no stranger to the European events. This will be his second time competing at the Orange Cup and his fourth time at the German Cup. He first competed as a 19 year-old in 2007 and in 2013, he took out the top male spot for the cup alongside team mate Samantha Lee who took out the female title.

Kent says experience plays a big part in these events as they run differently to the New Zealand Pool Championships.

The competition is based on race points for individual and team events. Points are based off the World Record in that event with 1000 points for a World Record. The closer you are to the time, the more points you receive. Points are based off an athlete's four best events and the team relays are put together to determine the top teams along with the top male and female overall.

Kent says his best advice for his team mates is to race hard and enjoy the experience. His own personal goals are to see how he is tracking towards next year's world champs and also to win the overall male points. "I love to win," he says.

Representing his country, club Titahi Bay and his family is always an honour, he says. "I take huge pride in knowing that we are on our way to making more history and keeping the world title in New Zealand for a lot longer."

Keep an eye out on the High Performance Facebook page for news and updates throughout the trip.

New Zealand team

1. Andrew McMillian, St Clair
2. Andrew Trembath, St Clair
3. Carina Doyle, St Clair
4. Chris Dawson, Midway
5. Laura Quilter, Wainui
6. Samantha Lee, Lyall Bay
7. Steven Kent, Titahi Bay

For more information, please contact:

Mike Lord, Sport Manager, SLSNZ
Phone (03) 384 4902