Australian Age Championships Day 1

AMANZI Australian Age Nationals Team

A great first night of racing for our AMANZI Girls at Australian Age Championships in Adelaide last night!

Big congratulations to AMANZI Girl Kayla Costa from Nunawading Swim Club winning the 14-year-old 100m Butterfly to become the Australian Age Group Champion. Congratulations to AMANZI Girls Jenna Forrester and Freya Jetson coming third in the 12-13yo 200m Freestyle and 15yo 200m Backstroke respectively.

An amazing race in the 16yo 100m Freestyle Final with AMANZI Girls Bek Sefton, Emma Malcolm, Emily Racki and Tanya Stovgaard all going head to head. Awesome work by Bek Sefton to finish third!

Congratulations to our other AMANZI Girls who finished in the top 10 last night:

Amy Van Dongen – 10th 17-18yo 50m Freestyle

Ashaya Morgan – 5th 12-13yo 200m Freestyle

Rosie Addison – 4th 15yo 200m Backstroke

Izzy Lampre – 9th 15yo 200m Backstroke

Tanya Stovgaard – 7th 16yo 100m Free

Emily Racki – 9th 16yo 100m Free

Emma Malcolm – 10th 16yo 100m Free

Even more to come on day two, with 9 of our AMANZI Girls qualifying for tonight’s finals!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Image and recipe via @thebitingtruth

Resident dietitians Alex and Anna from the Biting Truth taught us how to make delicious hot cross buns, the perfect treat for the Easter long weekend!

Serves 10 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5-6 medijool dates, chopped finely
  • 3 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain oats
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (keep 1 to glaze)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g dark chocolate

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, dates and baking powder and stir well.
  3. Add in one egg, honey, vanilla extract, olive oil and 50g of dark chocolate (finely chopped). Stir well to combine.
  4. Slowly add in the milk, to ensure the mix forms a sticky dough texture.
  5. Roll handfuls of the mixture into balls and placed on a baking tray, lined with baking powder
  6. Whisk the second egg in a bowl and using a pastry brush, glaze the top of each bun.
  7. Place in the oven and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes (or until golden).
  8. Melt the remaining chocolate and form crosses on each bun (be careful not to go overboard on the chocolate as it is quite easy to do!).

Check out more delicious and nutritious recipes at www.thebitingtruth.com

AMANZI 2016 Australian Age Nationals Team

We are super excited to introduce our all-star AMANZI Girls Australian Nationals Team. 35 of Australia’s top age group swimmers will be competing at Australian Age Championships in Adelaide next week! Go Girls!

AMANZI Nationals Team

AMANZI Nationals Team

Stay tuned for updates and results from our AMANZI Australian Age Nationals Team!

Core Workouts: Why Every Swimmer Needs Powerful Abs

AMANZI Girl Corrie Scott

AMANZI Girl Corrie Scott with abs of steel!

Want to know how to perfect your form? Get your core in shape! As swimmers, we tend to focus a lot on our getting our arms and legs moving but we forget that it’s our core that connects it all.

Powerful abdominal muscles are the key to strong, coordinated movement of the arms and legs. Your abs are what keep your body moving in flawless connection during freestyle swimming and the backstroke. To get the undulating motion that you’ll need for the butterfly and breaststroke, you need your ab muscles to be in top form.

So, are you ready to get focused? We’ve got you covered! Here’s how to get your core muscles in amazing shape and take your swimming to the next level.

If you go to the gym regularly, one of the best workouts that you can do is the reverse wood chop. All you need is the stretch cord. Set it so that it is anchored at floor level. Hold onto it with both hands. Squat down to grab the cord then twist it up and away from your body, moving it from your lower left to your upper right side. Do reps of 12.

You don’t need the gym to get your core in shape though. The best anytime, anywhere workout is the plank. There are a lot of different ways to mix things up here but let’s start by talking about the classic plank. All you need to do is get onto your forearms and toes, making sure that your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Squeeze your abs and butt. Start off by trying to hold a tight, straight line for 30 seconds then work on increasing that time. Be sure to stay focused on keeping a totally straight line and not allowing your stomach to drop down. And don’t forget to breathe!

Ready to take it to the next level? Enter the superman plank. Once you can hold the plank position for a minute, it is time to move onto this powerful move. Get into your good, old fashioned plank position then extend your opposite arm and leg away from each other. By taking your arm and leg off the ground, your abs will go into hyper-drive. Work your way up to 20 reps and focus on keeping them slow and steady.

If your forearms are starting to feel the carpet burn, get on your back! Another great ab workout is the x crunch up. To get started, lie down on the ground and make the shape of a letter x. Basically, that means that you should have your arms overhead with both your arms and legs spread away from each other. Lift your opposite arm and leg off the ground and push them forward until your hand can touch your foot. Lower them both back down to the ground as slowly as you can then repeat on the other side. Do it 12 reps at a time and you’ll have powerful abs in no time!

Elite Sport and School: A Juggling Act

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Trying to balance school and diving can be a mental stress, and this month I really felt it. The hardest thing is simply finding time to get everything done. The start of the school year has been hard. New teachers, new expectations – the workload has become very high. Missing a diving session is not an option for me, but on the other hand school and academic success rates high for me too.

I am part of a program that involves training at least 25 hours a week, either once or twice a day, for three hours per session, six days a week. So at the best of times it can be hard juggling homework with training. It means quite a few late nights. As an emerging elite athlete, I am required to be dedicated and committed to achieving my best – in and out of the pool and uncompromising in the quality applied to training and competition. Working out how school fits into this can be quite tricky.

Here are some ways I am making my week work for me:

  • focusing on what is important
  • being realistic when planning what needs to be done outside training each week
  • realising it is okay to ask for help and extensions on homework and assignments
  • using my travel time effectively – I travel between 45 minutes to an hour to and from training each day so I can get quite a bit done in this time
  • utilising my lunch breaks – I have amazing friends so they understand.

My parents, my amazing coach and the support I receive from my school go a long way towards getting this juggling act right so the balance always stays tipped in my favour.

Thanks for your support too AMANZI,
Until next month
Jade x

The Most Common Swimming Injuries and How to Avoid Them 

AMANZI Girl Laura Dennis

AMANZI Girl Laura stretching between sessions

While swimming is one of the safest sports out there, there are still some risks. Ultimately, any time that you are moving your body, you can hurt it. Poor technique and over training are the most common causes of swimming injuries but it is very easy to avoid injury. Listen to your coach and, of course, listen to your body! Here are a few of the most common swimming injuries that you should be on the lookout for so that you can avoid them.

Rotator cuff injuries: By far the most common injury that you will find in the pool, you can easily recognise the tell-tale signs of a rotator cuff injury. You will feel a sharp pain in your shoulder with every single stroke. The pain will be the sharpest when you extend your arm forward and over your head. This pain combined with shoulder inflammation probably means that you have a rotator cuff injury. One of the most common causes is simply overuse. Of course, it is best to check with your coach to make sure that you are swimming with a proper technique and, if the pain is chronic, check in with your doc. In the long term, focus on strength training but be strategic. Swim and lift weights but pay attention to your body to make sure that you aren’t pushing yourself too hard.

Lower back pain: This injury is often a result of the butterfly stroke. The movement puts a lot of pressure on the lumbar vertebrae because you are arching your back and pushing it out of the water. If you are feeling a general stiffness and swelling in your lower back, it’s time to take a break then focus on strength training and flexibility. To keep your back limber, stretch after each workout. To get your back strong, there are a few workouts that you can do. Get in the habit of adding side planks, lunges, hip bridges, squats and dead lifts to your routine. Make sure that you are maintaining good posture, whether you are working out or just hanging out, and focus on slowly gaining strength.

Swimmer’s knee: Feeling a pain on the inner side of your knee? Blame the breast stroke and take a look at your form. One common cause of knee pain is actually excessive hip rotation. To prevent pain, have your coach watch you closely to make sure that your breast stroke is spot on. Be sure to also mix it up in the water. Use different strokes so that you aren’t overtaxing particular muscles.

Neck injuries: Between holding a high head position and rotating your neck back and forth, a lot of swimmers deal with chronic neck pain. To stop it before it starts, focus on strengthening your neck with neck extension and shoulder roll exercises. While you are dealing with pain, stay out of the water as much as possible and stretch your neck and shoulders regularly to keep yourself flexible.

World Triathlon Series: Abu Dhabi

AMANZI Girl Laura Lindemann

AMANZI Girl Laura Lindemann testing the waters in Abu Dhabi

Triathlon season is back! The ITU World Triathlon Series kicked off in Abu Dhabi last weekend. The series this year is super important, as many triathletes attempt to qualify for the Rio Olympics 2016.

Our AMANZI Girls from all around the world finished with some very impressive results and one step closer on their road to Rio. Congratulations Girls!

14th – Vendula Frintova (Czech Republic)

21st – Kaitlin Donner (USA)

30th – Laura Lindemann (Germany)

34th – Agnieszka Jerzyk (Poland)

44th – Gillian Sanders (South Africa)

DNF – Amelie Kretz (Canada)

The world’s best triathletes will head to Gold Coast next month for the second race of the series.

Top 5 Swim Apps

Just because you can’t take your phone into the water doesn’t mean that you can’t use your phone to take your swimming to the next level. Check out these five amazing swim apps that will take you where you want to go!

SwimPB: This is a great app for keeping you motivated. Swim PB maintains a historical record of all of your swim times. The app creates lists of your current personal best times for every event. If you are looking for a simple, straightforward app to record all of your times or maintain your swim team’s records, this is exactly what you need.

GoSwim: Go Swim is home to all things swim related. Get free training videos alongside weekly inspirational pics and articles, as well as swimming news from around the world. Go Swim has a great fan wall where you can chat with other swimmers to share tips and tricks or just enjoy a good read.  Go Swim’s Twitter feed is home to a current and constant stream of international sporting news.

AMANZI Triathlete Charlotte Durand

Improve your stroke with the advice of the best coaches out there. Photo credit @chardurand

Swim Coach Plus: This isn’t your grandma’s swim coach! If you are looking to improve your technique, this is the place to go. Whether you are a beginner or on your way to the Olympics, Swim Coach Plus HD is a powerful tool. Its video features basically bring the best coaches in the world to your pool so that you can get exactly the feedback that you need. Record your moves, get feedback, watch the best swimmers in action and master your technique!

Active Goals: This app from the ACTIVE Network is designed for runners, cyclists, swimmers and triathletes. You can log all of your workouts and meet other swimmers from around the globe. Set goals for yourself then track your progress. Active Goals has a gorgeous array of graphs and lists that will keep your motivated.

Meet Mobile:  Another great tool from the ACTIVE Network, Meet Mobile will give you all of the swim meet info that you will ever need. No matter how big or small the event, you can get real-time results alongside all of the latest info on your favourite swimmers and upcoming local meets.

 

Congratulations Paige!

AMANZI Swimmer Paige Leonhardt is now the National Australian Open Age record holder in the 200m Breaststroke in the SB9 Multi-Class category.

AMANZI Girl Paige's record

Paige is already the record holder in the 100m Breaststroke, so this is now her second Australian record.

With qualifying events for the Paralympics coming up soon in April, Paige is looking in good stead to qualify for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Fingers crossed all Paige’s hard work pays off!

Goal Digger: How to Meet Your Goals in 2016

AMANZI Girl Jodie Duff

Whatever your goals are, you CAN achieve them! Whether you want to push yourself to get in the pool every single morning or just manage your time better, there are a few simple steps that work for any objective you might have. Here is how to get started with any goal, no matter how big or small.

Step one: Create a real target

What is it that you really want? Be specific. Think about something that you can measure. Don’t just declare that you will “get fit” or “stop wasting time.” Break down your goals into smaller pieces that you can monitor on a daily basis. If you want to start using your time better, make a goal to use a planner each day. The more detailed that your plan is, the more likely that you are to achieve it. Forget about the big picture and think about what your real goal looks like every day.

Step two: Spread the word

Tell other people about your goals so that you can get support and encouragement. Ask for help to resist temptation. Don’t be shy! This is what friends and families are for. Spread the word. Everything in life is easier with a bit of help. Find others who share your goals, whether it is your best friend or an online support network. The more accountability and support that you have to meet your objective, the easier it will be so don’t try to go it alone!

Step three: Incorporate it into your daily life

Ultimately, everything comes down to your daily routine. All of your successes and failures in life will always hinge on what you do on a daily basis. Figure out what it is exactly that you need to do every day to meet your goal. If you want to become a better swimmer, what do you need to do each day? Make it realistic and achievable. Take a hard look at your daily routine and see what you can tweak. Find a way to make your goal part of real life.

Step four: Accept setbacks

It is important to recognise the difference between a failure and a setback. A setback is when you don’t meet your daily goal. A failure is when you stop trying. It is too easy to get into an all-or-nothing mentality and that has been the downfall of too many people. Make a commitment to stick to it, no matter what! If you find yourself struggling, start over at step one.