Category Archives: AMANZI Girls

Welcome Sofie Hooghe

Welcome Sofie Hooghe

At AMANZI we love to invite top athletes to come join our team to inspire all of our AMANZI girls out there. When a female athlete joins the AMANZI team, she is doing more than just wearing our swimwear, but she is also serving as a role model for all young AMANZI girls out there. Sofie Hooghe is especially well suited for this goal as she is a well-rounded athlete and person, so even us adult girls can look up to this young lady.

Here are five reasons that we really, I mean REALLY, love Sofie Hooghe, and that we’re soooo excited for her to joining our other amazing AMANZI athletes.

1. She Is a Math Nerd!

There aren’t enough girls really into math if you ask us, and Sofie Hooghe is pursuing some elements of math for her career (as her day job). Currently she is studying to receive a Bachelors of Accounting and Taxation! We are so happy to know that Hooghe will be representing females in the world of accounting on top of representing in triathlons. You go girl!

2. She is on the Road to Rio

Hooghe aspires to make it to the 2016 Rio Olympics to compete in the triathlon, and she seems to have a track record that supports the notion. We admire her courage to train and work towards being an Olympian, which as most of you AMANZI girls out there probably already know, this is no easy path to take. We wish her the best of luck in getting to Rio come 2016.

3. She Competed at some big Triathlons already

Hooghe had the honour to compete at the ITU World Triathlon in Dubai in March 6th-7th of 2015. Competing in this event was a huge accomplishment for Hooghe who got the chance to feel what it’s like to compete on an international level. Plus, she got to go to Dubai! How exciting!

4. She has been a Triathlete since 14

The amount of dedication, perseverance and courage it takes to compete in a triathlon is nothing to be sniffed at. The fact Hooghe competed in her first triathlon when she was only 14 years old is impressive to say the least. At AMANZI we are always amazed at the willpower and determination of the young women everywhere who start these types of events so early!

5. She Is An AMANZI Athlete

At AMANZI we try to pick out strong, powerful and inspiring females to sponsor. Sofie is a wonderful example of what young women should strive to be, and we are really excited to have this lovely Belgian young lady join our team. Along with the rest of the AMANZI athletes, we wish Sofie the best as she pushes on through her career as a triathlete.

Kennedy Cooper – Young Achiever

11 year old diving superstar, Kennedy Cooper, has been awarded North Shore Times’ Young Achiever award for her accomplishments and hard work in diving. Kennedy who started out in gymnastics, has now it seems found her sport, illustrated by both her success and passion for diving. Kennedy will be busy this month with competitions every weekend, all in the lead up to qualifying for Nationals later this year.

Kennedy - Young Achiever Award

Photo credit - Melvyn Knipe

Check out the full article here.

Laura Dennis January Update

AMANZI Girl Laura Dennis in Abisko

Summer is almost gone – or is it? I am excited because this year I get to enjoy 2 summers! One in Brisbane and one in Europe! This May I leave for France to train and compete in my first European series and French Grand Prix series. I will spend 4 months in Europe and hopefully I will find some down time to enjoy the northern hemisphere summer.

December and January saw this body push through some big blocks of training. After a few days ‘slightly’ easier over Christmas, training is back in full swing. Last week I received my new amazing bike which is a Cervelo R5 and a nice sponsorship/ambassadorship with River City Cycles, of which I am very grateful for.

This weekend, 21st February, the first race of the season is on in Devonport, Tasmania where I am competing in the Oceania championships and hope for a good race. In early March it’s off to Wollongong, NSW to compete and after that back for my first Mooloolaba triathlon on the Sunshine Coast in mid-March. It will be a big year, but a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it with a great support team behind me.

Laura Dennis x

Sophie Coldwell: October Athlete Report

480358_10200699900491663_527330759_nSeason done, break had and tomorrow marks the start of training for 2015! This has been my 11th year competing in triathlons, I raced my first one as an 8 year old, where I couldn’t even swim 50m freestyle, biked on a mountain bike (which weighed close to 10 stone) and then ran around in one of my mum’s t-shirts! So it does seems weird 13.03.05 003that I have finally done all the children, youth and junior races and in 2015 I take the next step to becoming a fully fledged senior as I become an under 23 and have to master the art of the Olympic distance!

My last race of the season wasn’t what I wanted in terms of overall position but there were still some positives. I think people sometimes get too caught up in a finishing time or position and maybe if it’s not what they were wanting or expecting they feel as if it was a bad race or a waste of a weekend. My last race was out in Cozumel but unfortunately the couple of days into the race I wasn’t feeling 100%… probably all the Mexican food! Come race day I was determined to give my first senior world cup a good go so from the start I got my head down. The water was so warm and so clear I had to keep focused on swimming and 10321711_10152283181160728_5188780099835865493_onot on all the fish, I did and I was rewarded with the quickest swim. The bike however wasn’t quite as fun and it ended up being a roll around with 55 others and the run was even less fun than that! I was overly hot, my legs were sore, my head was pounding and I was getting stomach cramps – not ideal but I was not going to get a DNF next to my name! I finished (just) and was relieved as it meant I could finally chill out, have a break from training and a holiday!

I’m now back, enjoyed my break, caught up with Uni work and am now ready to return to training tomorrow!

Hope everyone enjoys their winter training but remember…. ‘let’s be careful out there!’

Tackling Negativity with AMANZI Athletes

AMANZI Girl Georgia DaviesThe biggest enemy most of us will ever face is ourselves. Negative self talk serves as a barrier that prevents many individuals from ever achieving their maximum potential. It is the job of us athletes to tame the real mean person that lives inside of our head, so we can focus on being the best person we can be.

Recently we interviewed all of our top AMANZI athletes, and we asked them how they deal with negativity. The following were some of our favorite answers that we thought would benefit swimmers and non-swimmers alike!  You can read how these professionals deal with mental negativity below. For bonus material, you can follow the link on their names to see the rest of the interview to really get to know what makes these Amanzi athletes tick!

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

  1. A quote that my coach told me, something along the lines of “whether you think you can or can’t, you’re probably right” – always believe in yourself and your ability. Georgia Davies (Swimmer)
  1. Don’t think about the past in a bad way think of it as something you can improve on, as you can always better what you do if you keep going at it and doing the right things. Ellie Faulkner (Swimmer)
  1. “I use a method created by Dr Steve Peters (psychiatrist to British Cycling & Team Sky) in his book ‘The Chimp Paradox’. Basically, anything negative that comes into your head is classified as a ‘threat’ or getting ‘hijacked by your chimp’. I will go through my ‘threats’ with my coach before each race and counter them. For example, perhaps a threat for me would be, ‘what if I don’t have my run legs when I jump off the bike?’ This would be countered with, ‘that is just silly, you have been running really well in training/doing lots of brick sessions, there is no reason why this would happen.’ So each and every threat gets countered and you can go into the race knowing that you’ve dealt with all those little voices.” Gillian Sanders (Triathlete)
  1. “Control the controllable and focus on the processes rather than the outcome. Such as telling yourself to keep a high elbow and strong catch in the swim rather than just thinking ‘swim faster, swim faster’.” Tamsyn Moana-Veale (Triathlete)
  1. “The self-doubts and anxieties are hard to beat sometimes in competitive sport, especially if you are in a bad mindset. Firstly think to yourself, why do I do this sport? Why do I train hard every day? Your answer should be because you love it, not just to please someone, but because you enjoy it. I used to battle with this because I forgot about what I wanted, simply trying to please others and forgetting how much I love surf myself! If you enjoy your sport, your next step is to begin building your positive self-talk. Everything begins in the head, and if you can think it you can do it! Rather than being down on yourself after a race, think of what you can do better for next time. So enjoy your sport, think positive, and smile! The doubt you feel will be gone before you know it.” Brittany Jessup (Surf Lifesaver)
  1. “Don’t over think and just focus on what you need to do.” Holly Grice (Triathlete)

Monthy Report: Tamsyn Moana-Veale Auckland ITU World Triathlon Series

Monthy Race Report by Tamsyn Moana-Veale

To say I was nervous going into this race is an understatement, I had already started getting butterflies a week out from race day; my first race of the season, first Olympic distance race of the season, second ever WTS and, it was in Auckland. I have a bad history in Auckland, I love the city and am incredibly lucky to have the support of the whanau, but in 2012, it was the site of the worst performance I have ever put together in a race. But this year, circumstances were completely different, and I couldn’t have asked for better preparation on the bike, yet it was the leg I had the least confidence in and in the end that affected my race significantly.

Race morning finally dawned and I felt surprisingly calm, still very nervous but in control and ready to race. Onto the pontoon and I was positioned between two of the best swimmers in the sport; Lucy Hall and Carolina Routier. Hell. Yeah. BEEEEEP – the horn sounded and I didn’t even have to think, I just put my head down and swam hard.

You can see what’s going on around you in a series of fugitive glances to either side and I saw there were already girls falling behind, but Routier and Hall were staying next to me. “What’s going on? Am I keeping up? OMG OMG OMG. Stay here. GOGOGOGOGOGO”. Up to the first turn buoy and I could see I was still near the front, but I knew I would have to fight to hold my position. I was gearing up to fend off grabbing hands, body slams and feet to the face and… I got nothing. Zip.

I love the front. Why don’t I swim here all the time? It is literally a different world to mid or back of the pack. Everyone is more concerned about finding the best way forward, which in a radical new thought pattern- doesn’t involve wasting energy fighting to swim in the exact same spot as 10 other people. From there it was “easy”. I say easy when what I mean was it was hard. Really hard. But it was easy to go hard and I was in a place where I knew if I needed to, I could cover attacks or bridge gaps. I came out of the water in the top 10- a massive improvement on nearly last at my first WTS in Stockholm.

Tamsyn Moana-VealeI would have been pretty happy if the race ended there. It didn’t. The positives? I lasted in the front pack for far longer than Junior Worlds in 2012- to the top of the first big hill. And I wasn’t terrified of the course. Epic win for me! I won’t say I enjoyed the course, but in last few laps I had brief and fleeting moments of enjoyment whilst cornering and descending. The negative? Everything else. I was hurting and I panicked, believing I wouldn’t be able to ride the entire 40km. Ridiculous considering I had ridden an average of 80km a day for a fortnight, only a couple of weeks ago. I was worried about the last hill whilst climbing the first. It was a very, very long day on the bike and it didn’t get better on the run. Flat and blergh.

Tamsyn Moana-Veale

And after all that… I can’t wait to race a WTS again! I don’t know when my next one will be and I’ll have to prove I deserve another start, so my next opportunity to do so will be at Chengdu World Cup in a month’s time. Look forward to it ?


Emma McKeon, Madi Wilson & Paige Leonhardt 2014 Australian Swimming Championships

Our three Australian AMANZI Swimmers Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson and Paige Leonhardt are up for an exciting week of racing at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane. The meet is also the trial for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games so make sure you tune into ONE everynight from 6.30pm local time to catch all the action. Or watch it live here:

Want to know who and what to watch? Here’s a quick rundown:

Emma McKeon

  • 200m Free – Heat 1st Place 1:58:51 | Placed 2nd going into the Finals
  • 100m Fly – Heat 2nd Place 58.99 | Placed 3rd going into the Finals
  • 50m Free
  • 100m Free
  • 400m Free

Madison Wilson

  • 100m Back
  • 200m Back
  • 50m Back

Paige Leonhardt

  • 100m Breast MC – Heat 2nd Place 1:29:65 | Placed 6th going into the Finals tonight
  • 50m Free MC – Finished in 22nd place with a new PB time of 32.72.
  • 100m Free MC
  • 200m IM MC
  • 50m Back MC
  • 50m Fly MC
  • 50m Breast MC

Amanzi Swimwear

McKeon, Wilson & Leonhardt Blizt the Pool at NSW State Championships

Recently three of our AMANZI Girls competed at the NSW State Open Championships, held in Sydney Australia and came away brilliant results.

Emma McKeon had a stand out meet winning two gold medals in the 100m (53.80) and 200m (1.56.23) Freestyle. McKeon posted a world class time in the 200m free, which would have placed her in 4th spot at last years World Championships. McKeon also finished 3rd in the 100m Fly (59.36) and 5th in the 50m Free (25.48).

Madison Wilson also excelled winning two silver medals in the 200m Back (2.10.33) and 50m Back (28.66) and a bronze in the 100m Back (1.00.32). Madi also finished in 17th place in the 200m Free (2.03.14).

Our junior multiclass swimmer Paige Leonhardt also competed at the championships. Paige who is only 13yrs year of age competed in a whopping 6 events. She finished in 8th place in the 100m Breaststroke, 15th in the 400m Free, 16th in the 100m Fly, 19th in 100m Backstroke and 200IM and 21st int he 50m Free.

Paige also recently competed at the NSW State Country Championships in the multiclass open age events. She finished 4th in 50m free, back and fly and placed 3rd in the 50m breaststroke. She also broke the Australian & State record in the MC girls 13 years and under 50m breaststroke.

Well done Emma, Madi & Paige!


Five Fun Facts From February

It’s our favorite time of the month, receiving AMANZI Girl Tamsyn Moana-Veale month in review. This month Tamsyn shares Five Fun Facts from February!

Favourite Session
Teams Pursuit on the Velodrome. Not quite the proper wooden boarded velodromes with track bikes, but with two teams of four on the shallow banks of the Wollongong Velodrome, it’s a hard and competitive session and once I got the hang of using the bank to build up speed- so much fun as well! Aussies Vs Internationals; possibly the best way to ensure everyone’s ready to get the most out of the session.

Furthest Ride Week: 630km
I’m tired. I think I’m allowed to be after this week. Thankfully I’ve had the Canadian Sarah-Anne ‘I Run Track’ Brault to keep me company throughout the, for lack of a better term; ordeal. Team pursuits, Jamberoo Mountain Loop, Bald Hill, Macquarie Pass, 40km team time trials, Hour of Power, Motor Pacing- chuck it all into a week and there you go, easy done. Oh and a cheeky ‘Form Indicator’ chucked in at the end of the week, just checking in, in case I’d somehow managed not to get any stronger after that. Unfortunately all that was indicated was that my legs were tired. Strangely enough, for someone who once thought anything over 60min was a long ride, I’m enjoying the riding and I know it produces results so I guess I’ll continue to literally live the motto “On ya bike”.

First Exam: (in three years)
Three hour Economics exam. Three. Hours. I don’t even remember the last time I sat in the same spot for that long without being asleep. It was brutal, but –touch wood- I think it went well. Whilst my attention is not 100% focused on my study, I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with my results, with training taking priority, I’m scraping by on the bare minimum. A pass is all I need, but definitely not what I want. Still, I’ve got the privilege to live the elite athlete life, I’ve accepted that my studies can take a back seat and I’ll make the most of the opportunities I have now.

Free time: Or ‘Pleasant Activities’ as the cool kids are saying these days…
Basically anything non-triathlon related that makes you happy. Apparently ‘doing nothing’ doesn’t constitute an activity, but there are definitely times were zoning out completely and just lying down with no pressing matters, is one of the best feelings. I’m also fortunate that a couple of my old school friends live in the area, so catching up with them for dinner or coffee is a great way to refresh. They have always been amazingly supportive of me and I’m grateful to have them in my life.

Freedom of Expression
Yeah, so I’m clutching at straws trying to find something that begins with ‘F’ in order to keep the theme going, but bear with me, we can roll with this. For those that know me well, I’m quite vocal. Probably those who don’t know me so well will also have noticed this, the person who never shuts up is hard to ignore. Partially it’s because open my mouth before my brain has had a chance to process the thought, and other times it’s because I’m so bad at lying and hiding what I’m thinking, that there’s really no point in it. For the most part though, I’m a believer of saying what you think, get the problems out in the open and solve them then and there. It doesn’t always make me the most popular person though… “Still friends? … I’ll come back later…”

That’s all for now!

Tamsyn Moana-Veale

AMANZI Triathlete Gillian Sanders Opens up about Olympic Experience to Modern Athlete Magazine

We are thrilled to announce AMANZI Triathlete Gillan Sanders is featured in this month’s Modern Athlete Magazine. Gillian discussed how difficult training for the Olympics was, and how she plans to continue with her career as an athlete. You can read the full story here.

In the London 2012 Olympics Gillian represented South Africa in the Olympics Women’s Triathlon. After only 18 months as a professional athlete, she found herself preparing to compete among the top athletes in the world. She finished 19th out of 55 women. Currently she is gearing up for the Rio 2016 Olympics, but will think about retiring after the Rio Olympics since she will be 34 years old.

After competing in the 2012 Olympics Gillian has been struggling to gain momentum, but she predicts great things for the 2014 season. She told the Modern Athlete Magazine:

“I think people underestimate how much an Olympic year takes out of you and the difficulty in coming back the following year from such a high. However, it has made me hungry again. While I felt deflated at the end of the last (2013) season, I feel ‘uber-motivated’ now! I can’t wait for the 2014 season and to express my full potential.”

So what’s her secret to getting back on the bike and releasing her full potential? Get rid of the negative thoughts…

“I use a method created by Dr Steve Peters (psychiatrist to British Cycling & Team Sky) in his book ‘The Chimp Paradox’. Basically, anything negative that comes into your head is classified as a ‘threat’ or getting ‘hijacked by your chimp’. I will go through my ‘threats’ with my coach before each race and counter them. For example, perhaps a threat for me would be, ‘what if I don’t have my run legs when I jump off the bike?’. This would be countered with, ‘that is just silly, you have been running really well in training/doing lots of brick sessions, and there is no reason why this would happen.’ So each and every threat gets countered and you can go into the race knowing that you’ve dealt with all those little voices.”

We are excited to see how Gillian will do this 2014 season. With her positive attitude and exemplary discipline, there are no doubt good things in her future career as a triathlete.

Click on the article below to read the full interview…

Gillian Sanders Modern Athlete Magazine