AMANZI Girls racing in Rio: Swimming

It was an extremely exciting week of Olympic swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with 19 new world records being set. In amongst the mix of the world’s best were AMANZI Girls Georgia Davies and Helena Gasson.

Rio Olympic Pool

Alona Ribakova, racing for Latvia, warming up in Rio. Photo cred: @alona_ribakova

British Swimmer Georgia Davies, competing at her second Olympics, qualified for the Semi Finals in the 100m Backstroke. Georgia also came away with a personal best time and a British Record in the 4x100m Medley Relay final with fellow British team mates, Chloe Tutton, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Fran Halsall.

AMANZI Girl Helena Gasson made her Olympic debut, at only 21 years of age representing New Zealand. Helena raced in both the 100m and 200m Butterfly, finishing 33rd and 25th respectively. Although Helena believes her races did not go according to plan, the amazing experience has left her fired up and motivated for Tokyo 2020.

Congratulations girls!

AMANZI Girls racing in Rio: Triathlon

A huge congratulations to all our AMANZI Triathletes who competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics. AMANZI had 5 athletes from around the world competing in the triathlon event at the iconic Copacabana Beach.

AMANZI Girl Gillian Sanders

AMANZI Girl Gill before finishing an impressive 23rd!

23rd – Gillian Sanders, South Africa

24th – Zsofia Kovacs, Hungary

27th – Vendula Frintova, Czech Republic

28th – Laura Lindemann, Germany

34th – Amelie Kretz, Canada

Special mention to Vendula Frintova and Zsofia Kovacs racing at their third Olympics, as well as juniors Laura Lindemann and Amelie Kretz making their Olympic debut.

Why Swimmers Make Great Leaders

Ready to take on the world? Learn to swim! Swimmers make some of the greatest leaders and we aren’t just tooting our own horn. Here are seven tried and true reasons why swimmers make great leaders.

  1. Swimmers Are Punctual

Anyone who has ever done regular swim training knows that 5 am means 5 am. If you show up for your swim training session at 5:20 am, your coach is going to have more than a few words for you. Tongue lashings aside, every swimmer knows that excuses won’t help you win any races. If you want a medal, you need to show up on time and maximise every minute you have got in the pool.

  1. Swimmers Know Good Sportsmanship

Swimmers know how to lose and win gracefully. A top swimmer is able to congratulate and console the competition, no matter how important the race is. While everyday life isn’t a race, knowing how to win and lose is a skill that you can always use when you are a leader.

AMANZI Girls Jenna and Larah

  1. Swimmers Are Detail-Oriented

When you are swimming in a race, you know that every second counts and there are countless elements that can affect the time that it takes to get from one end of the pool to the other. To excel in swimming, you need to pay attention to every little minute detail that can affect your time. From the positioning of every finger and toe to the fit of your swimwear, top swimmers have to be aware that every little thing that affects the bottom line is worth paying attention to.

  1. Swimmers Know How to Be Healthy

Sleeping well and knowing how to destress are critical keys in the world of swimming. Being tense and tired out is a major detriment in the pool, so the best swimmers have learned how to take care of themselves. These healthy habits make it indefinitely easier to lead the world.

  1. Swimmers Can Take Criticism

The best swimmers know how to take criticism and use it to improve themselves. After years of getting feedback from a coach, swimmers know that you have to keep an open mind and listen to what others have to say. Swimmers know that advice is key to improvement and they aren’t shy about swallowing even the toughest criticism.

  1. Swimmers Know Time Management

The majority of swimmers have to find a way to get regular swim training sessions into an already busy schedule. Between work, school and all of the other commitments of life, swimmers have found a way to make it work.

  1. Swimmers Are Dedicated

It is not easy to be a serious swimmer. Splashing around the pool isn’t going to win you any races. To be a good swimmer, you need to regularly swim train. Like so many sports, consistency is king. If you want to be at the top of your game, every swimmer knows that you have to show up every single day and put in your time in the pool, no matter how tired you are! To swim and to lead, we know that you have to put in the time and effort.

Top 5 Pools around the World

 

Looking for the ultimate swimmer’s getaway? We’ve got you covered! Check out these five jaw-dropping pools from around the globe and get inspired for your next trip.

The Crystal Lagoon: Go big or go home! If you want to see the world’s greatest pool, get to South America. The Crystal Lagoon at San Alfonso del Mar resort in Chile will blow your mind. As the world’s largest outdoor pool, this 66 million gallon oasis is the size of eight Olympic-size swimming pools.

This huge man-made lagoon on the Pacific coast sucks in ocean water and heats it up to a cosy 26ºC. You can paddle, sail or swim around this impressive pool or stroll the imported sand beaches on the “seaside.”

Holiday World: If you are on the other side of the globe, explore Europe’s largest tropical getaway. Just outside of Berlin, you and 6,000 of your closest friends can enjoy sunny days and 26ºC weather every single day of the year at Holiday World.

Featuring a 50,000-plant tropical forest, spas, waterfalls, whirlpools and a hot air balloon, this place is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Go swimming or white-water rafting then check out one of their 13 different restaurants, bars and lounges. Too tired to go home? Pitch a tent and spend the night!

Sands SkyPark: For the world’s poshest pool, check out the Sands SkyPark Infinity Pool in Singapore. The world’s largest rooftop Infinity Pool looks down on the glittering city-skyline from 57 levels above. Get your heart racing with a bird’s eye view of this gorgeous Asian city then relax under the world’s tallest palm tree. You can swim right to the edge of Sands SkyPark’s infinity pool for an unparalleled view or get out of the water and head over to the Sands Skypark Observation Deck. It’s the perfect place to get a snapshot of your view from the top.

Devil’s Pool: If you’ve got nerves of steel, continue your adventure onwards to the Devil’s Pool on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. Perched dangerously close to the edge of the Victoria Falls, you can paddle around in this naturally formed pool while looking out at the view of a lifetime. While it might a bit too close for comfort, it’s totally safe and is truly one of the world’s most amazing spots. Only open during the drier months of the year, when the Zambezi River water levels drop, visit the Devil’s pool from mid August to mid January.

Blue Lagoon: Looking for something a bit more chill? Head over to the Blue Lagoon. One of Iceland’s most popular attractions, this geothermal spa is otherworldly in its beauty. Its warm waters are full of silica and sulfur, which are reportedly great for skin conditions. This mad-made lagoon averages 37–39ºC all year around despite the cold temps just outside. The superheated water is vented from the ground near a lava flow so you never have to worry about icy swims.

Happy travels!

Mindfulness for Athletes: What it can do for you

They say that 90 percent of your performance is mental. If that is true, why do we spend so much time training our bodies? If it is just a case of mind over matter, surely we should spend a bit more time getting our brains in shape.

According to experts, mindfulness is the real key to getting your mind in top shape. Top coaches from around the globe are pushing pro athletes to start getting into meditation, yoga and the world of mindfulness. They claim that learning how to be mindful can create the difference between great athletes and world class professional sports stars.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an incredibly simple concept that is notoriously hard to grasp. The basic premise is that our brains thrive when they live in the moment. To truly engage in the present and everything that is going on around us, we need to forget about the past and stop obsessing about the future.

By forcing our minds to stop wasting energy by thinking about things that aren’t currently important, we allow our brains to be totally present in the moment. Once you become trained in the art of mindfulness, you can learn how to shut your mind off to certain things. Rather than obsessing over distractions and worries, you can train your brain to live in the moment. When you mind wanders, you can train it to come back to present.

How can I learn mindfulness?

Like any skill, learning mindfulness is a process. You learn a little bit and strengthen the muscles of your mind with each meditation. When you first start out, you will make a lot of major gains then slowly improve your skill set. With time, it becomes more natural and you feel more in control of your mind.

AMANZI Girl Penny swimming

Train you mind, how you train your body in the pool! Photo cred: @pennyhayesnz

There are countless options that will help you get started with the first steps. Ultimately, the way that you learn comes down to your learning style. If you prefer to be part of a group and learn by doing, sign up for a course! If you want to get your feet wet before you sign up for anything, get online. You can find an endless of array of YouTube videos, websites, apps and books dedicated to teaching newbies the art of meditation.

Whatever method you choose, stick with it! Most people who are new to mindfulness tend to feel like they are doing something wrong. They get stuck in the idea of having “successful” or “bad” meditations. It’s important to know that every meditation is helpful. As swimmers, we know that training is always a good thing! Start training your brain now and you’ll be amazed at the results.

Do you know your ABCs?

If you want to be healthy, happy and fit, you’ve got to know the ABCs of the vitamin world. From A to K, every vitamin is essential for your well-being. Here’s a quick and easy rundown of everything that your body needs every day.

Vitamin A: Want to get an A+ in health? Up your Vitamin A intake! This essential vitamin is important for your vision, bone growth, proper cell division and cell growth as well as a healthy immune system. You ladies will definitely appreciate the boost that Vitamin A gives to your hair and nail while everyone can appreciate the hydrated skin that it’ll leave you with.

Hungry? Grab a sweet potato! A single sweet potato will provide 500% of your daily recommended intake while ½ a cup of spinach will give you 230%. Looking for a snack? A serving of carrots will give you 185% of your daily vitamin A. Cantaloupes, red peppers and mangoes are also great sources of Vitamin A.

Vitamin B: The Vitamin B complex, made up of eight different vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12, works to keep your body healthy and energised. This vitamin family is essential in helping to convert food into fuel. They give your brain a boost too! From improved moods to better memory to reduced migraines, Vitamin B complex will keep every inch of your body at its best.

For a boost of energy and brain power, grab some almonds, red meat, mackerel, trout, salmon, hard boiled eggs, lean pork and mushrooms. They are all excellent sources of Vitamin B and will keep you powered all day long.

Vitamin C: You probably already know how important Vitamin C is to your body. This daily must-have vitamin protects you against immune system deficiencies and cardiovascular disease as well as everyday ailments like the cold and flu. You can get a healthy dose of Vitamin C by eating kale, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, berries, tomatoes, papayas and citrus fruits.

Vitamin D: Many of us are deficient in the elusive Vitamin D. Your primary source of vitamin D should be the sun but it’s hard to draw the line for how much is too much. Generally speaking, a person with fair skin should only get 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day. That’ll give you all of the Vitamin D that you need for a day.

You can also get a healthy dose of Vitamin D from oily fish, egg yolks as well as fortified foods such as milk and breakfast cereals.

Vitamin E: As an antioxidant, Vitamin E removes free radicals, which are the unstable compounds that damage your cell structure. In simple terms, getting enough Vitamin E reduces your bad cholesterol and your risk of developing cancer.

You can get your daily recommended intake of Vitamin E by eating dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados and shellfish.

Vitamin K: Essential vitamins, Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2, play an important role in helping your blood clot. While deficiencies are rare, it’s still important to make sure that you are getting enough. You can get Vitamin from leafy greens. Vitamin K2 comes from meats, cheeses, and eggs so if you are vegetarian or vegan, it’s important to make sure you are meeting your daily recommended intake.

AMANZI Girl Jenna Forrester

We caught up with AMANZI Girl and junior swimming sensation Jenna Forrester to talk about training, racing, goals and everything in between. Jenna had a very impressive season finishing with 8 medals at the Australian Age National Championships earlier this year. Jenna is now back in the pool training 10 times a week and gearing up for another impressive season. You may recognise her as the current face of AMANZI!

AMANZI Girl Jenna Forrester

How do you set your goals?

I set my goals by thinking about something realistic that I want to achieve and then think about what I can do to achieve this goal.

Favourite place to train and why?

My club pool because I love all my friends at training and the program, coach and facilities are all very good.

Favourite training sessions?

Friday mornings because it is recovery.

What do you do to mentally train yourself?

I try to embrace the pain and only think about my goals and how the pain is worth it.

What weaknesses have you overcome and how?

When I am really tired I try to speed up rather than give up.

What’s your best advice for dealing with mental negativity? How do you get out of your own head?

I try to find positive aspects in the situation and try to motivate myself by saying things like you can do it, almost there and I play mental games to make the session seem shorter and more bearable.

When you go into competition, what’s going through your head?

I think about the process of the race and how much preparation and hard work I have put in to make me feel ready and confident. I get the most nervous in the marshaling room and when the heat before me is called.

Best tip for race day?

Don’t stress out too much and be confident about your race. It is okay to be nervous but not so much that it controls you.

What was the last piece of advice your coach said to you before you competed?

Your back end speed is one of the best our there, remember that. Now go get ‘em.

What is your worst habit?

When I talk I unintentionally use the word “like” a lot.

Who would you say is your biggest fan and why?

My mum because she is as dedicated to the sport as I am and has always got my back.

What are the 5 things you cannot live without?

Chocolate, friends, family, AMANZI (obviously!) and swimming!

What is something about you that many people do not know?

I am of African origin.

Finish this sentence: 10 years from now, I will be…

Still swimming laps and hopefully be an Olympian.

What is your favourite suit from the new collection? 

Bubbleyum One Piece.

Why Are So Many Swimming Records Being Broken?

AMANZI Girl Jenna Forrester

It seems like world records are always being broken these days. Are we really getting faster, stronger and better than the generations that came before us? While swimmers seem to be leading the path to the world of the ultra-athletes, many other sports are also seeing regular record breaking performances.

In fact, there were 30 world records broken at the 2012 London Summer Olympics in the swimming, running, cycling and weightlifting categories. At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, a whopping 21 events of the total 32 swimming events had world records broken.

What’s Different about Swimming?

Swimming is definitely leading the trend of record breaking and there are a few reasons for that. Of course, it’s hard to pin it down to one exact reason but many experts have solid theories. One unique thing about swimming is that small changes can make a major impact and that’s why many believe that it is so common to break world records. A minor alteration in position and technique can smash through once-impressive records.

A Boost in Training

The world of sports has changed dramatically over the generations. While the majority of athletes used to train in their spare time and started relatively late in life, there are countless full-time athletes who are now learning their sports before they even learn their languages!

With an upsurge in world class training schools, getting access to the best coaches from around the globe is possible for many people. Bringing in more students also allows coaches to spot kids with exceptional talent and bring them into a more rigorous training programmes.

Popularity of Swimming

Another thing that has made training better is the sheer upsurge in swimming’s popularity. With big names like Michael Phelps making swimming cooler than ever, young kids are increasing hopping in the pool and staying there for years. Rather than just splashing around in the water, these kids are on the hunt for the gold. With so many kids getting involved in swim training, the pool of talent is massive! This means that swimmers start young and, in general, more people have higher levels of swimming skills.

Massive Improves in Technology

The right swimsuit can change everything in the pool. The world of swim gear is always moving forward and has major impacts on world records. While non-textile materials and full length suits have been banned, there have been countless other improvements to swimwear that creates less drag and reduces distraction. Goggles and caps have also leaped forward in the past few years. With companies like Speedo and Arena constantly improving the engineering and construction of their swim gear, the future is looking brighter every day.

Reduced Turbulence

Turbulence is a major factor in swimming. With lane divider improvements that have been able to lessen turbulence and pool sides that don’t push as many waves, there has been a marked reduction in the amount of turbulence that swimmers are working against, which has helped many records be broken.

With all of these improvements, we are never far from breaking another record. And, who knows, maybe you will be the next swimmer to smash an old record!

Congratulations AMANZI Girl Jade Sweeney!

“And the divers selected for the 2016 World Junior Diving Team to compete in Russia, December 2016 are … and Jade Sweeney from New South Wales.” That moment when you realise you’ve reached a goal, achieved something you worked so hard towards; that moment when your dream comes true. Making the national junior squad and the world’s team were two goals I had been striving for this year, so it is safe to say the 2016 Australian Elite junior Nationals were a successful meet for me. Hearing my name called out was an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to pull on that Australian swimsuit when I represent our country on platform for the second time later this year.

AMANZI Girl Jade Sweeney

Next up we head to Lightning Ridge in outback NSW for the School Sports Australia nationals-pretty excited about stepping out in my new AMANZI swimmers there. Loving the new range! Can’t wait for more of my wishes to come true in my new favourite – the Orizuru One Piece.

Until next month,
Jade xx

British Summer Champs Final Days

After a very successful start to the British Summer Champs, our AMANZI Girls team didn’t show any sign of slowing down. The AMANZI Girls finished off the week and the season strong, with over 30 swimmers racing in the Finals and over 20 girls taking home an individual medal in the final few days of racing.

AMANZI Girl Lily West

A huge shout out to Freya Anderson, winning seven individual medals over the meet and Holly Hibbott, close behind with five individual medals. Freya Anderson won Gold in 50m, 100m and 200m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke, as well as silver in the 50m and 100m Breast and 400m Freestyle.

Holly took out the national title holder position in the 400m and 800m Freestyle, as well as the 200m Butterfly. Holly also won silver in the 200m Freestyle and bronze in the 100m Butterfly.

Huge congratulations to AMANZI Girl Hannah Russell winning gold in both the 50m and 100m MC Freestyle and setting a new British record in the 100m. With such impressive results, Hannah is looking in strong stead for competing at the Rio Paralympics next month.

Amazing swims from all our AMANZI Girls over one big week of racing. Impressive results from the Finals sessions for the final days of this year’s British Summer Champs.

Day 3

Lily West – 6th 19yo 200m Butterfly

Brodie Judge – 5th 15yo 50m Freestyle

Anna Fleming – 2nd 16yo 50m Freestyle

Becky Sherwin – 5th 16yo 50m Freestyle

Day 4

Anna Fleming – 2nd 16yo 100m Freestyle

Becky Sherwin – 5th 16yo 100m Freestyle

Lily Boseley – 4th 15yo 200m Backstroke

Harriet Perfect – 7th 16yo 200m Backstroke

Anna Newlands – 4th 17/18yo 200m Backstroke

Jess Fullalove – 2nd 19yo 200m Backstroke

AMANZI Girls Harriet Perfect and Megan Morrison

AMANZI Girls Harriet and Megan warming down after a huge meet

Day 5

Kiera Henley – 8th 15yo 400m Freestyle

Lucy McKenzie – 2nd 19yo 400m Freestyle

Rosie Arnold – 4th 16yo 200m Individual Medley

Anna Newlands – 4th 17/18yo 200m Individual Medley

Lucy McKenzie – 6th 19yo 200m Individual Medley

Day 6

Lily Boseley – 2nd 15yo 50m Backstroke

Becky Sherwin – 5th 16yo 50m Backstroke

Rosie Arnold – 2nd 16yo 100m Breaststroke

Erin Robertson – 8th 17/18yo 100m Breaststroke

Megan Morrison – 9th 17/18yo 100m Breaststroke

Anna Fleming – 2nd 16yo 100m Butterfly