Category Archives: AMANZI Girls

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.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

British Summer Championships 2016

We are super excited to introduce our all-star AMANZI Girls team racing at the British Summer Champs this week. It has been an exciting start to the competition, with 11 medals for our AMANZI Girls and countless personal best swims in just the first two days of competition.

Ellesmere College Titans swimmer Freya Anderson has had an amazing two days to date winning three medals, including gold in the 15yo 200m Freestyle and 200m Breaststroke and silver in the 15yo 50m Breaststroke. Becky Sherwin also won gold in the 16yo 200m Freestyle. Anna Fleming set a new Scottish record in the 15yo 50m Butterfly with a time of 27.28 and also secured the gold medal. Holly Hibbott won gold in the 17/18yo 800m Freestyle, as well as silver in the 200m Freestyle.

AMANZI Girl Anna Fleming

AMANZI Girl Anna Fleming

AMANZI Girl and Rio Paralympian Hannah Russell won bronze in the 100m Backstroke Multi Class.

Other standout swims from the finals sessions include:

Lily Boseley – 2nd 15yo 100m Backstroke.

Rosie Arnold – 2nd 16yo 200m Breaststroke, 4th 16yo 400m Individual Medley

Lucy McKenzie – 3rd 19yo 400m Individual Medley 

Jade Kennerell – 6th 15yo 50m Backstroke

Megan Morrison – 3rd 17/18yo 50m Breaststroke, 7th 17/18yo 200m Breaststroke, 7th 17/18yo 50m Butterfly

Becky Sherwin – 4th 16yo 100m Backstroke

Kiera Henley – 7th 15yo 400m Individual Medley

Anna Newlands – 9th 17/18yo 50m Butterfly

Harriet Perfect – 10th 16yo 100m Backstroke

Erin Robertson – 6th 17/18yo 50m Breaststroke, 10th 17/18yo 200m Breaststroke

We can’t wait for even more to come in the next few days of competition.

Diary of a Teenage Diver

Entry #1 Diver hair
You permanently sport the same short, wet hairstyle – be it to school or out with friends there is only so much you can do with your constantly wet, chlorine-damaged hair. While your friends all have long, luscious locks, that little wet bun on the top of your head is your signature look. On the plus side you don’t have to go to the hairdressers that often cause your hair never needs cutting and it has permanent chlorine streaks.
Entry #2 The Smack
You don’t realise the pain water can actually cause unless you too have dived off one of the towers. You have probably done a belly flop right, well times that by 100 and that’s what a smack feels like. Did you know you travel up to 60km/h entering the water from the 10m tower? So when something goes wrong there is definitely an impact and your body is left with almighty bruises to show for it. With most sports you only get nervous for competitions but in our sport the nerves can show up just in practice.

AMANZI Girl Jade Sweeney

Red legs after a big splat off the 10m Platform

This sport has definitely had an impact on my heart; I couldn’t imagine a life without it -bruised limbs, damaged hair and all.

Until next month,
Jade xx

Top 8 Reasons You Need to Know Who AMANZI Girl Hannah Russell Is

AMANZI Girl Hannah Russell

  1. Hannah is the World Champion in the S12 50m Freestyle. Hannah was crowned World Champion after winning Gold at the 2015 International Paralympic World Championships in Glasgow. She also finished with two silver medals in the 100m Freestyle and 100m Backstroke.
  2. Hannah was born visually impaired with a genetic condition that continues to deteriorate her eyesight. Because of this Hannah got involved with swimming, a safe and contact-free sport, and almost instantly fell in love.
  3. Hannah was scouted at age 13 for the Playground to Podium program which aims to identify and support talent potential in young disabled athletes.
  4. Three years later, at only 16 years old, Hannah won three medals at the London 2012 Paralympics, including one silver and two bronze medals.
  5. Hannah is now gearing up for her second Paralympic Games in Rio later this year.
  6. Hannah trains alongside fellow AMANZI Girls Jessica Fullalove and Jessica Lloyd at the Manchester training center.AMANZI Trifecta Jess, Hannah and Jess
  7. Hannah is a great role model for all disabled athletes and swimmers alike.
  8. Hannah has achieved all these things at only 19 years of age, so we’re excited for even more to come and can’t wait to see what is to come at this year’s Paralympics!

Ironman Cairns Race Report

Ironman Cairns, set in tropical Far North Queensland (which happens to be my birthplace) always promises to be a spectacular race. Swim 3.8km in the stunning beaches of Palm Cove, ride 180km along the Captain Cook Highway up to Port Douglas, taking in breathtaking views of the ocean and rainforest then run 42.2km along the Cairns Esplanade with unparalleled atmosphere and crowd support.

When I arrived at Palm Cove (the swim start) on race morning it was still dark and had been sprinkling/drizzling rain. Looking at the ocean it didn’t look appealing at all, the water was brown and choppy, the 70.3 athletes had already started and I was meant to do a warmup swim but was reconsidering.

AMANZI Girl Chloe Kay

The swim was somewhat uneventful for me, I know it was rough and a lot of people were thrown around out there, quite a few were pulled out by rescue boats so I guess I was kind of lucky. But I was relieved to feel the sand under my feet and hear my Mum on the beach cheering.

The ride began pretty nicely, despite having rained whilst we were swimming it was clear to begin with… For about 7 minutes. Just as I got around the first little corner and was heading on the Captain Cook Highway it started to rain, then pour. My nutrition plan was to get some Infinit in and a Cliff Bar eaten nice and early to replace what energy I had used during the swim and set me up for a good day. The rain meant I needed both hands on the bars and my full attention on the road, not unwrapping a bar.

The ride course is definitely interesting and variable, no one can argue with that. The hills are rolling, you pass through parts where the rainforest meets the sea, acres of cane fields, townships with people braving the elements to cheer and of course the famous Rex’s lookout. Riding towards Port Douglas there is a longer gradual climb to the lookout, and returning it’s a shorter steeper hill. First time round it wasn’t so bad and you wonder what all the fuss is about. Second time when there’s strong headwinds, horizontal rain and my legs were cramping I wasn’t loving it.

I absolutely loved the first part of the run, the crowd support was phenomenal. I had spotted Sue my training budding, Hannah and a few people more people I knew and tried to get into some sort of rhythm. I regularly run off the bike so know it usually takes me about 2-3km to shake out the bike legs and feel alright. After about 5km I was struggling, my coach Scotty had written in my race plan ‘You’re never going to feel as good as you do in the first 10km’ which had me worried… You mean to say it’s only going to get worse than this?

I know I have done a couple of Ironman races already, so technically I should know what to expect. Maybe the memories of the other races have faded with the pain. But it felt like I was hurting more than I had ever hurt before. I was struggling and not in a good place mentally or physically.

But just as I was writing the day off as a bad one, admitting defeat that I didn’t achieve any of the goals I had set out to do my coach appeared. I had passed Scotty a few times, the first time I told him I was dying and he answered with ‘Well this is an Ironman.’ Tough coach, thanks for keeping it real… But this time he ran up alongside me and said if I maintained my pace I could make it under 12 hours.

I thought that was already out of the picture, I asked him what pace I needed to run and he said 6min/km. I looked down at my Garmin and was doing 7:10min/km. Suddenly with a burst of motivation and light at the end of a long dark tunnel I picked up the pace and ran it home. I think Scotty was running to make it to the finish line in time to see me to finish so I tried to keep up with him (pretty much impossible). I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face and got so many compliments and cheers on that last kilometre that I looked strong it actually made me feel a bit embarrassed (they hadn’t seen me walking and in despair not so long ago). But I soaked up the atmosphere and loved every minute of running down that finishers chute.

I made it over the line in 11:59:35 and my day from hell was suddenly all worth it, I had finally broken the 12 hour mark.

Until the next one, Chloe.

Read Chloe’s full race report here.

Why we love the Olympics

Is there anything better than the Olympics? You can just feel the hope and energy floating through the air as people pour their hearts and souls into capturing their dreams. While we would all love to make it into the games ourselves, watching it from at home can be a pretty amazing time too!

Can you believe it is already time for the Olympics again? While it seems like we were just celebrating the last summer Olympics in London, we are now ready to direct our attention over to Brazil for the next big event!

In case you missed it, the Rio Olympic Games 2016 begins on Friday, 5 August and ends on Sunday, 21 August. More than 10,500 world class from more than 200 countries will be competing for 306 sets of medals in 28 Olympic sports. This exciting group of competitions will take place in Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, Brazil’s capital Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Manaus.

While we are all definitely going to be glued to the TV for the entirety of August, it is the water sports that we’re the most excited about! In the swimming there is going to be a total of 34 swimming events with 17 women’s events and 17 men’s event including two 10-km open-water marathons. In the diving events, we will get to witness some world class acrobatics in the 3m and 10m Platform events, as well as the synchronised diving events.

We also very excited to see the Womens Triathlon Event on Saturday 20th August with three of AMANZI Girls having already qualified.

Even if you can’t watch the entirety of the Olympics, you will most definitely want to mark your calendars for 6 to 13 August to watch 2016’s impressive group of swimmers. We will be watching this year’s big events in the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. For the open-water marathon, block off your schedule for 15 to 16 August to watch the planet’s top swimmers race through Fort Copacabana.

Only 50 days to go!