L to R: Pippa Smith*,                 Chantelle Padget (Coach) and Hannah Shatford *Small Strokes duet.

Synchro Nationals Success


Small Strokes Synchro Club, based at their private swim school in Weedons, took the biggest ever contingent of swimmers to the National Championships held in Auckland recently.

One hundred and seventy girls competed at the event from nine New Zealand Clubs, four Australian Clubs, and New Caledonia.

The Small Strokes girls ranked well in both figures and routines with  all sections having large numbers of competitors in them (the 13,14 and 15 year age group had 52 competitors).

The Small Strokes open combination free routine  (Alessandra Ward, Pippa SmithTia Betteridge, Kaitlyn Allison, Hannah Shatford, Daisy Sellier and Nellie Manning) came in at a creditable sixth place.

The Dolphin team was eighth in their section with Tillie Hawkins, Louisa Chretiens, Catriona Smart, Lizzy Marvin, Ella McClure, Charlotte Leatherland, Arielle Russell and Marie Akarana, who it was reported all swam extremely  well.

Small Strokes had two soloists competing in the twelve years and under section and who finished with a high list ranking.

The School’s two duets also performed well in their age-groups: Pippa Smith & Hannah Shatford.

Yana Chernova & Francisca Stinson (their Aquanaut gaining fifth place).

Small Strokes are very proud to have two girls selected to represent New Zealand. Alessandra Ward and Tia Betteridge, both fourteen years old, will compete next month in the Singapore and Malaysia Nationals.

Also at the event of note, Small Strokes owner and head coach, Joan Billing, was presented with an ‘Honours Award’ to recognise her years of commitment to the sport.