March 20 dawned clear and warm in what turned out to be perfect conditions for the return of our re-vamped Swimming Sports to the University of Waikato campus pool after a long hiatus.

Compulsory for all Year 9 students and open to competitive swimmers from the higher year levels, there were two main goals to the day – to focus on fun and participation in a variety of water-themed activities (both pool and land-based), and to showcase the school’s competitive swimming talent. A further overarching purpose was to foster some house spirit, as all activities garnered house points.

Supported by Hauora teachers, Deans, Peer Support students and Senior Student Leaders, the Year 9’s were encouraged to get involved (even if there was some initial trepidation) with favourite activities being the bucket of water relays and the manu competition, as well as the bonus free swim time at the end of the day.

While most students enjoyed their lunch on the shady bank, the competitive races took place, with a particularly impressive number of entries from the juniors. Overall champions were as follows:

Junior boys – Christopher Tilley
Junior girls – Carys Lawton
Intermediate Girls – Ashley Calcott
Senior Boys – Kaz Lohrer
Senior Girls – Madeline Coombes

Records were also broken in the Senior Boys 100m backstroke (Kaz), Junior Boys 100m breaststroke (Christopher), Senior Boys 100m breaststroke (Kaz), and senior girls 100m breaststroke (Madeline).

The house battle was won by Te Puea, who have proven themselves hard to beat in recent times. Second place was closely fought with Rutherford eventually prevailing over Shephard, and Snell and Hillary rounding out the table with 4th and 5th respectively.

With the many positive comments about the day from both students and staff, we are looking forward to next year, when we hope to be able to roll out this successful event across the whole junior school.