New Zealand Para Swimming Team named to compete at 2018 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships
Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) is pleased to announce the selection of the New Zealand Para Swimming Team to compete at the 2018 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships (Cairns, Australia) from 9 – 13 August.
The team of 9 Para swimmers is headlined by New Zealand’s most decorated Paralympian Sophie Pascoe and 3-time Paralympic gold medallist Cameron Leslie. They will be joined by Rio 2016 Paralympians Jesse Reynolds, Tupou Neiufi and Hamish McLean. Para swimmers Christopher Arbuthnott and Celyn Edwards will return to Australia following a plethora of personal best times at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year. Bryall McPherson will make her return to international competition, while Amanda Lowry will make her international debut after only 6 months in the Para swimming programme.
Malcolm Humm (PNZ High Performance Director) said, “We are thrilled with the quality of the Team we have announced today with 5 Paralympians and 3 Para swimmers that have extensive international experience. The Championships will also provide an opportunity for Tauranga based Amanda Lowry to make her international debut in a meet that will be stacked with strong competition.”
He continues, “The last Championships was held in 2014 in California where the New Zealand Para Swimming Team won 13 medals. This Team will once again be aiming for multiple podium finishes as we build towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.”
Sophie Pascoe (Christchurch), who has taken an alternative approach to training over the past 3 months basing herself in the UK with some of the best in the sport, will be looking forward to joining the Team in Cairns next month. Sophie will bid farewell to training partner Ollie Hynd, one of Britain’s most successful Paralympians and his celebrated coach Glenn Smith. She will be reunited with her long-time coach Roly Crichton as they put the training to the test in Cairns.
3-time Paralympic gold medallist Cameron Leslie (Whangarei) is well known for his talents in both Para swimming and Wheelchair rugby. In August he has set himself a challenge of competing in pinnacle events for both Para sports starting with the IWRF Wheelchair Rugby Championships and followed by the Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships. Cameron will focus on his favoured event the Men’s 150m Individual Medley at the Championships.
Paralympians Jesse Reynolds (Auckland), Tupou Neiufi (Auckland) and Para swimmers Chris Arbuthnott (Auckland) and Celyn Edwards (Christchurch) will return to Australia following their performances in the recent Commonwealth Games. Jesse and Celyn were just outside of the medals collectively placing fourth three times by the narrowest of margins. They will be looking to go one better in Cairns. Chris produced numerous personal best performances at the Commonwealth Games and along with Tupou they will be aiming for continual improvement at the Championships.
Christchurch based Paralympian Hamish McLean who commenced a Bachelor of Engineering this year will be looking to improve on his performances in Rio 2016 as he continues to build his international experience.
Para swimmer Bryall McPherson (Auckland) has recently won a national title at this week’s NZ Open Championships securing her selection to the team. She will be looking to continue on with her success in Cairns.
International debutant Amanda Lowry (Tauranga) has only been part of the PNZ Para Swimming Programme for 6 months. Her determination and strong work ethic has seen her continually improving her times in the pool and consequently join the New Zealand Para Swimming Team for the first time. The Championships will be Amanda’s third meet and be an incredible development opportunity as she builds her experience in high performance environments.
The New Zealand Para Swimming Team includes:
Limb deficiency (Amputee – left below knee)
Limb deficiency (Amputee – left upper arm)
Limb deficiency (Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency PFFD)
Limb deficiency (Congenital – right below elbow)
Hypertonia/Left side hemiplegia
Limb deficiency (Amputee – right through shoulder)
Limb deficiency (Congenital all 4 limbs)
Short stature (Achondroplasia)
Loss muscle power (Tetraplegia)