Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary


Swimming NZ welcomes Jaynie Hudgell (nee Parkhouse) as its new President, following her unanimous election by regions at the 2021 Swimming NZ Annual General Meeting.  Jaynie replaces outgoing President Dr David Gerrard (CNZM, OBE), who completed his maximum three-year term at the meeting. 
Jaynie began learning to swim in an unheated, outdoor pool in Cambridge at the age of three. Her father, Pic Parkhouse, was coaching and teaching at the pool at the time and would later become his daughter's coach at Wharenui Swim Club.  In 1972, at the age of 16, Jaynie represented New Zealand at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games and then the Christchurch 1974 Commonwealth Games.
At the Commonwealth Games, Jaynie claimed gold in the 800m freestyle and bronze in the 400m freestyle. Jaynie broke multiple national Freestyle records during her competitive swimming career, at one point she held all the women's freestyle records from 100m to 1500m. She also claimed a number of national titles and in 1973, held the national title for the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle events. She retired from competitive swimming at the age of 18. 
Jaynie was also a swim teacher when her children were young, working for her father, Pic Parkhouse, the late Morrie Doidge and Margaret Howes (Macrae). Jaynie loved her time working with nervous youngsters and watching them develop confidence, water safety skills and a love of the water. 
Married to Craig Hudgell, a former New Zealand backstroke champion. Together, they had two children and are now grandparents too. Jaynie and Craig also started up their own insurance company, Absolute Insurance, which has allowed them to give back to the community, including individual swimmers, clubs, and charities.
Swimming NZ Chairman, Nick Tongue, is delighted with Jaynie’s election saying, “having someone with Jaynie’s swimming pedigree and experience replacing David as our new President, is hugely exciting and we look forward welcoming Jaynie into the Swimming NZ family, in person, as soon as the current Covid-19 lockdown concludes”.  Nick also said “we are extremely grateful for the major contribution that David made during his three-year term as President and we look forward to continuing to receive his wise counsel in the future”.
We will include a video interview with Jaynie in the next instalment of Freestyler.