St Paul’s Collegiate School’s swimming programme is offered all-year-round. Depending on the student’s goals and athletic ability, they will train between two and five each week in the 25m heated swimming pool which is located on-site at St Paul’s Hamilton campus. This is carried out in conjunction with the St Paul’s Swimming Club and the club’s coaching staff.
The swimming programme provides competition-focused training, preparing for the Waikato Secondary Schools Swimming Championships (WSSSC), North Island Secondary Schools championships (NISSSC) and New Zealand Secondary Schools Swimming Championships (NZSSSC).
Swimming lessons are also available for students who would like to maintain their fitness or who require conditioning training for multi-sport and open water events.
At the start of each term students are provided with a tailored programme in order to meet their skill level and athletic goals for the year. Students are categorised into three levels:
- Elite – Swimmers who want to compete at a regional, national or international level and who will train all-year-round
- A squad – Swimmers who want to compete and train for the WSSSC, NISSSC, NZSSSC and multi-sport or open water events to meet qualifying standards.
- B squad – Swimmers who want to improve their overall swimming ability and confidence in the water in order to compete confidently during PE lessons and inter-house competitions.
There is a small cost of up to $80 per student per term which covers the cost of extra coaching for their lessons. Additional cost is incurred for entry into secondary school competitions – each competition is usually less than $10. Travel, competition and accommodation expenses incurred at tournaments is dispersed to students' accounts.
- A squad of 21 swimmers competed at the Waikato Secondary Schools Swimming Championships in April (2018), gaining 8 Gold, 5 Silver and 5 Bronze, with the boys finishing 2nd overall to Hamilton Boys' High School.
Ben Littlejohn broke three records in the Intermediate boys 50m Butterfly, 100m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle(2018)
Thomas Griffin gained three firsts in the INtermediate boys 200m IM, 200m Freestyle, 100m IM (2018)
- Brendan Hunt* won the Senior boys 100m Freestyle (2018)
*Samuel Peoples won the Junior Boys; 100m IM (2018)
Apart from the 18 podium finishes the squad of boys and girls also gained 31 4th to 8th places in finals, all of which added to our final points tally.
The squad now is in training for the New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships which will held in September (2018). In (2017) the squad achieved a national secondary school’s ranking of 11th. Getting into the top 10 is (2018) target.
Roger Bell – Head of Swimming
Roger has coached swimming at St Paul’s for more than 10 years, training swimmers from learn-to-swim level to regional secondary schools level. He has helped St Paul’s to achieve continuous top-three school rankings at the Waikato secondary school swimming championships year-on-year. From school years, swimming and life saving, Roger trained as an instructor with the Volunteer Swimming Service when he started teaching in the 70s and has continued his association with teaching swimming ever since.
St Paul’s Swimming Club coaches, Vicki Taylor and Graham Smith, also coach St Paul’s swimmers.