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 four days 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
- 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 $80 per student per term which covers the cost of coaching for 20 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 36 St Paul’s swimmers competed at the Waikato Secondary Schools Swimming Championships, earning five gold, six silver and nine bronze medals (2017)
- Ben Littlejohn first in 50m and 100m butterfly, second in 50m and 100m backstroke and 400m freestyle, third in 300m backstroke at NZSSSC (2016)
- Thomas Griffin second in 200m and 400m freestyle and 200m and 100m butterfly at the NZSSSC (2015)
- St Paul’s second, boys second and girls seventh overall at the WSSSC (2015)
- Gold for the senior boys 100m freestyle relay team at the WSSSC (2015)
- Thomas Griffin broke the junior boys 200m medley record (2:30.08); first in 50m and 100m butterfly; second in 100m medley relay; and third in 100m freestyle relay at the WSSSC (2015)
- Nelly Conway first in 50m and 100m breaststroke at the WSSSC (2015)
- Jimmy Christey first in 50m butterfly and 50m and 100m freestyle relay at the WSSSC (2015)
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.