OPINION: The last column created a bit of interest around the country, with it being shared on social media and the Orca Swimming Club received a number of phone calls of support.
While others contacted Swimming NZ directly and the issue was also included on the agenda for the New Zealand swim coaches and teachers board meeting.
The column centred around Swimming New Zealand’s decision to rule that results from the Orca Labour Weekend Meet will not qualify swimmers for national level meets.
This resulted from an out of region swimmer taking part who was not registered as the appropriate classification of club member to take part.z
READ MORE: Swimming NZ scrub out Orca results
Swimming New Zealand in an act of goodwill has since decided to approve the Orca Labour Weekend Meet so the times that the swimmers achieved will qualify them for National Events.
Orca questioned Swimming New Zealand over the wording of their bylaws in regards to meet approval.
While Swimming New Zealand, after seeking legal opinion, have said the bylaws did give them the authority to not approve meets they were also advised to amend the relevant bylaw to make it clearer.
This issue has raised the level of awareness around meet approval so hopefully these issues will be less likely to occur in the future, ultimately causing less stress for the swimmers.
On Monday night Murihiku Swimming Club hosted a time trial meet on behalf of Swimming Southland.
This meet was set up to provide another opportunity for swimmers who are trying to qualify for the NZ Junior Festival and NZ Division II Champs.
Swimming NZ has decided that for a swimmer to be eligible to attend either of these two events
they have to qualify in an Individual Medley. So as not to disadvantage too many swimmers Swimming NZ has made the qualifying times for the IM’s easier.
The reasoning behind this change is to encourage young swimmers to have a broader base of strokes and not to become too specialised at a young age.
This has a lot of merit, as a swimmer’s best stroke can change as they grow and mature.
Some of Southland’s junior swimmers will be heading up to Dunedin this weekend to compete at the Otago 12 and under championships.
All the best to these swimmers and I am sure that this will be good preparation for the following weekend and the Southland Championships.
The Southland Championships are being held later this year running from December 15 to 18.
Moving the championships later was done to try to encourage more senior swimmers to travel south from Otago, Canterbury/West Coast and Nelson/Marlborough.
Over the last few years the championships have clashed with NCEA exams which has prevented senior swimmers from visiting.
The other reason that the championships are so late in the year is that the move also had to avoid clashing with meets in Dunedin and Christchurch.
Swimming NZ has approved the Southland Championships as an event that swimmers can qualify for National age group teams, which should also encourage more swimmers to attend.
* Fenton Herrick is the president of the Orca Swimming Club.