Current head coach of the St Paul’s Swim Club, Graham Smith, has been appointed as coach of the New Zealand senior men and women’s team heading to the Mare Nostrum swim series in Europe. Starting in Monaco on 21 May, the tour moves to Barcelona on 25 May and finally Canet-en-Roussillon on 28 May.
The youngest member, Student Laura Littlejohn (Year 13), was also selected to represent the New Zealand squad. Graham is excited to take on this international team, especially sharing the journey with Laura from his home club.
"I'm excited to have been selected to lead the New Zealand team through the Mare Nostrum swim series. The competition will be tough, with heats in the morning and finals at night, but I am thoroughly looking forward to the challenge. I'm also really proud of Laura for making the squad. It makes the tour, particularly special for me," says Graham.
Due to the central location of the competition, the calibre of swimming is expected to be a record-breaking meet. Graham and the wider team head to the pre-camp in Mallorca before heading to Monaco.
Once Mare Nostrum is complete, many swimmers will set their sights on the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest in June. Laura Littlejohn has already been selected to compete in this very competition.
Graham will continue to head the St Paul’s Swim Club but is handing over the reins to Sophie Lewis while he is away, before returning in late June.
Congratulations, Graham, and good luck to the New Zealand team!