Shore Olympians: Our Swimmers with Melissa Ingram
Olympic Swimmer Melissa Ingram is a regular contributor to Channel Magazine.
As well as being a world class swimmer, Melissa is a budding writer, with plans to
move into journalism when she finally hangs up the togs. She is currently in full training mode for the London Olympic Games. In this column she highlights some of the locally based swimmers who are in their final preparations for London.
The London Olympics is now only weeks away and our North Shore swimmers have been putting in the hard yards at the Millennium Institute of Sport and Health. They have been swimming up to 70km a week as well as spending up to 10 hours in the gym with cardio, weight training and core stability work. I managed to catch up with our Olympic bound athletes before they left for their compulsory Aquablacks camp in Cairns, Australia.
HAYLEY PALMER: Hayley was selected for the Olympic team in the 50m Freestyle and 4x100m Freestyle Relay. She won two bronze medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 50m Freestyle and 4x100m Freestyle Relay.
After being struck down at last year’s World Championships by glandular fever, Hayley has made a brave and impressive recovery.
She has been living on the North Shore for three years and has been a part of the North Shore Swimming Club since 2007 when her family moved here from England. After a brief stint of training in America last year, she returned to the North Shore to train under the guidance of head coach Thomas Ansorg. This will be Hayley’s second Olympics. She swam in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay in Beijing in 2008.
In her spare time she enjoys playing the guitar despite her failed attempt at the violin as a youngster.
GLENN SNYDERS: Glenn is now one of the veterans of New Zealand swimming. He began his international swimming career in 2005 when he qualified for the World Championships as part of the 4x100m Medley Relay. He has steadily improved and worked his way up the world rankings to be sitting within the world top eight heading into London in the 100m Breaststroke.
Glenn is the New Zealand record holder in the 50m, 100m, and 200m Breaststroke. He has been living on the North Shore since 1999 and has been a member of the North Shore Swimming Club for the last 10 years.
He attended Westlake Boys High School and is currently studying a Bachelor of Business at the Albany campus of Massey University.
In 2010 he won a silver medal in the 50m Breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games.
At the Olympics Glenn will compete in the 100m and 200m Breaststroke, as well as the 4x100m Medley Relay.
London will be Glenn’s second Olympic Games. He finished fifth in the 4x100m Medley Relay in 2008.
When he’s not training he loves to surf and play his drum kit.
STEVEN KENT: Steven moved to the North Shore from Wellington three years ago to follow in the footsteps of older brother Dean who was a triple Olympian and individual medley specialist.Dean competed for the North Shore Swimming Club for 10 years and Steven is working towards that with two years now under his belt.Steven’s focus for many years was on surf lifesaving, winning world titles in the pool events. But since arriving on the North Shore Steven has gone from strength to strength, switching his swimming specialty to freestyle and landing a spot on the Olympic team for the 4x200m Freestyle Relay. This will be his first Olympics. He considers his greatest swimming achievement to be his selection on to the London team, but he loves competing in the summer State Beach Series at Takapuna and driving the Beach Series Volkswagen Beetle.
MELISSA INGRAM: I’ve been living on the North Shore for the last eight years and have been a member of the North Shore Swimming Club since 1999.I progressed through my age group years under the tutelage of Jan Cameron, qualifying for my first senior team at 16, the 2002 Commonwealth Games where I was a finalist in the 200m Backstroke.
I am now coached by Jan’s son, Scott Talbot. This will be my second Olympics, I finished 11th in the 200m Backstroke at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In London I will compete in the 100m and 200m Backstroke.
One of my favourite things to do on the North Shore on a Sunday afternoon is grab a coffee at Takapuna Beach Café and walk along the beachfront.
There are four other swimmers who will represent the North Shore Swimming Club at the London Olympics, but these swimmers do not live on the North Shore. These swimmers include: Penelope Marshall (4x200m Freestyle Relay), Carl O’Donnell (4x100m Medley Relay), Daniel Bell (100m Backstroke), Lauren Boyle (200m, 400m, 800m Freestyle and 4x200m Freestyle Relay).