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News posted on Wednesday 3rd May, 2017

Paralympians join forces with former Olympians and Commonwealth Games swimmers to coach National Squad

Paralympians join forces with former Olympians and Commonwealth Games swimmers to coach National Squad

A stellar coaching line up, bringing together Paralympians, Commonwealth Games medallists and former Olympians, has been confirmed for the 2017 Jetstar Super Swim Squad Camp.

The camp will take place in Auckland on 6 and 7 May. Attending will be the 36 young members of the 2017 Jetstar Super Swim Squad who won their age group at one of the 200m Banana Boat OceanKids events held nationwide during the 2016-2017 New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.

The squad members, aged between eight and 12 years old, will travel to Auckland (with a caregiver) from throughout New Zealand.

Former triple Olympian and Silver Commonwealth Games medallist, Dean Kent, returns to head the new coaching team of five, which includes Paralympians and former Olympic and Commonwealth Games representatives.

Joining Dean Kent will be his younger brother Steven Kent, who has also represented New Zealand at both Commonwealth and Olympic levels. Dean is currently Head Coach at Northern Arena Swim School and Steven works alongside him.

They will be joined by another former Olympian and Commonwealth Games representative swimmer, 31yr old Andrew McMillan. Andrew currently coaches at North Shore Swimming Club.
At 18 years old, Paralympian, Nikkita Howarth will be volunteering as the youngest of the coaching team. She was also the youngest ever New Zealand Paralympian to attend the London 2012 Paralympics at only 13 years old, but it was the recent Rio 2016 Paralympics that saw her really shine when she came home with both gold and bronze medals in the pool.

Howarth was nominated for Disabled Sportsperson of the year at the 2015 Halberg Awards and in 2016 was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to swimming.
The fifth member of the coaching team also in a volunteer capacity, is 23 year old Paralympian Rebecca Dubber. Her medal haul includes a silver and gold from the 2014 Pan Pacific Para Swimming Championships, and a bronze from the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

The two day Jetstar Super Swim Squad Camp will include coaching sessions in both a pool and ocean environment, with an emphasis on confidence building and mentoring.

This is the fifth year of the Jetstar Super Swim Squad, which at the conclusion of this Camp, will have seen 157 Kiwi kids mentored by top swimming stars.

Head of Jetstar New Zealand, Daniel Banens says; “We’re thrilled with the 2017 coaching line up. It will be wonderful to see  these swimming champions come together to share their experiences both in and out of the water, helping to nurture young swimming talent from communities throughout New Zealand.

“These kids have worked hard to gain a place in the Squad and we’re looking forward to rewarding them  with a really positive experience and sending them home with treasured memories and newly formed friendships.“

NZ Ocean Swim Series, Event Director, Scott Rice, said Jetstar’s sponsorship over the past five seasons had helped to lift the series’ profile; “We’ve had tremendously positive feedback from both the Squad members and their parents around the benefits of the Jetstar Super Swim Squad.

“The camp is a fantastic reward for hard work and goes far beyond the technical skills that Squad members pick up from the elite coaching team. The programme includes goal setting and tips on overcoming challenges,which can be applied to all aspects of their lives.It simply wouldn’t be possible without Jetstar’s support.“

For more about the Jetstar Super Swim Squad, visit

Content source – NZ Ocean Swim Series.

Editors notes:

Names of the 2016/2017 Jetstar Super Swim Squad members:

 Auckland: Ella Crowe, Sophie Spencer, Alex Dunkley, Janaye Burns, Danielle Asiata, Samuel Asiata, Grace Crowe, Daniel Kregting, Sophie Robb, Harry Shannon and Judd Brown
 Whangarei: Chris Benton
 Bay of Plenty: Liam Shanahan, Te Manewha Rikihana, Renee Carey, Henry Scholes, Dane Wooster, Talitha Mcewan, Dulcie Copeland, Brin Watson, Ryan Teixeira
 Wellington: Gabriella Jacobs, Lucy Abbott, Ace Van Noot, Hatti Jones,
 Christchurch: Will Leech, Poppy Freeman, Grace Hately, Chloe Newbigging
 Hawkes Bay: Michael Lansdown
 Dunedin: Aidan Blair
 Hamilton: Olivia Emmett and Hayley McIntyre
 Matamata: Caleb Lawrence
 Rodney: James Donovan and Hannah Turner

Background on the coaching team:
 Hamilton born, Nikita Howarth is one of two Paralympians coaching the Jetstar Super Swim Squad. She became the youngest ever New Zealand Paralympian selected for the London 2012 Paralympics at only 13 years old and has competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympics, winning a gold and bronze medal. She currently holds the world record for the Women’s 100m Butterfly S7.
 Rebecca Dubber from Auckland represented New Zealand at the 2012 Paralympics in London and at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. At the Rio 2016 Games, she won the bronze medal in the Women’s 100m Backstroke S7.
 Dean Kent is currently Head of Swimming at Northern Arena in Auckland. He has represented New Zealand in swimming at the Olympics in 2000, 2004 and 2008
 Steven Kent will be coaching alongside older brother Dean. He represented New Zealand in the Olympics in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He is a World Champion Surf Life Saver and is currently a coach at Northern Arena and Coast Swim Club.
 Andrew McMillan, originally from Dunedin, has competed at the 2012 London Olympic Summer Games, the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, and the Australian Youth Olympics festival held in Sydney, 2003. Andrew led the New Zealand Black Fins to their third consecutive win in the Surf Life Saving World Championships in 2016.

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