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The start of something extraordinary

Swimmers step up to the challenge at Outward Bound camp

Thirteen up and coming swimmers braved the cold weather last week to attend the annual Swimming New Zealand Youth Outward Bound Camp.

Selection for the camp was based on the swimmers with the highest FINA point’s performances, in Olympic events only, at the recent New Zealand Age Group Championships.

The overall aim for the swimmers, aged 16-18, was to encourage them to become more balanced, positive and motivated young adults.

Over the week long course, held from 23 to 30 May, the swimmers experienced all the outdoor elements and adventure activities Outward Bound has to offer like sailing, kayaking, bush craft, rock climbing and navigation.

Auckland swimmer Annabelle Paterson (United), who has been selected for the FINA World Junior Championship team, was one of the swimmers on this year’s camp and said it was great to be able to meet up with other young swimmers for this experience.

“I don’t think there was a moment that we were not laughing, unless we were freezing cold!” She said.

“I have learnt that if I really push myself I will be okay. I just need to get over the fear before my races and just go for it!

“I need to overcome my fear of pushing myself to my limits and that if I/everyone keeps there negative comments on the inside, activities and tasks in life are a lot easier; just be positive.”

She said concurring the freezing cold water, the eight hour tramp and sleeping on the ground each night was some of the most challenging aspects of the camp however noted that now getting in the pool in the morning for training will no longer seem cold.

Also on the camp was Howick Pakuranga’s Mario Koenigsperger who said “I learnt a lot about myself and made some awesome friends along the way.

“The experience has taught me to always keep a positive attitude towards anything in life and to never give up, even when times are tough.”

Koenigsperger has been selected for the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games team.

Enterprises Matthew Scott added about the camp that "this course put me out of my comfort zone on multiple occassions although in doing this my comfort zone has expanded from a box to a house.

"This course was gruelling and a huge challenge to complete some of the tasks which is something that I love, being a competitive athlete and a national representative. We had to pull ourselves out of a deep dark hole sometimes, especially when we had to continually row the whole day, but looking back this was one of my favourite activities as it brought us all closer together by putting us in a confined environment."

The swimmers that attended the camp were: Annabelle Paterson (United), Campbell Kershaw (North Canterbury), Eliot Lundon-Moore (Aquabladz), Emily Rennell (Jasi), Hayley McIntosh (Northwave), Isobel Ryan (Oamaru), Jacob farr (Karori), Kelis Boocock (North Shore), Koene Smit (North Shore), Mario Koenigsperger (Howick Pakuranga), Matthew Scott (Enterprise), Millie Macdonald (Parnell) and Yeonsu Lee (North Shore).