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In Sync with Victory!

Sport comes in many different forms and this month we bring you the achievements of the North Harbour Synchronised Swimming Team. The girls recently represented NZ North at the international Oceania’s Competition and did something many of us dream about…they beat Australia and, to top it off, secured a silver medal. They narrowly missed the gold, which was taken by NZ South. The team includes Kelly Chang (16), Hannah Knight (16), Sua Cho (13), Azzeline Joreiux, Georgia Mace (15), Shelby Brothers (16), Katie McDougall (16), Luci McDougall (13), Katie Meadows (16), Hayley Stent (17) and Emma-Leigh Winkel (14). They will attend the Nationals in Wellington later in the year. Channel Mag caught up with the girls to discuss what it takes to reach the top of ‘syncro’!

Courtney Bennett: How were you introduced to synchronized swimming?
Hayley Stent:
My mum did syncro when she was younger and her racing friend is now a coach so she encouraged me to come along.
Katie Meadows: I was watching it when the Olympics was on and wanted to give it a go.
Shelby Brothers: I liked swimming and dancing so I thought it would be the perfect sport for me.

CB:  What's your favourite part about the sport?
Hannah Knight:
The feeling of accomplishment and the friendships I’ve made.
Emma-Leigh Winkel: Doing duets with my duet partner Georgia and getting glammed up in my togs!

CB: Do you have a mentor or someone who inspires you to be the best?
Georgia Mace:
My coaches Moon and Natalia.
Sua Cho: Rose Stackpole, an older swimmer, and Moon my coach.

CB: The team recently won a Silver medal at the Oceania’s, what was that experience like?
Hannah Knight:
It was an honour to represent New Zealand and extremely nerve-wrecking.
Georgia Mace: It was amazing to be part of an international competition and accomplish a goal I’ve had.

CB: What sort of training does synchronised swimming require?
Shelby Brothers:
Flexibility, fitness and strength.
Hayley Stent: Lots of swimming underwater and practicing the routines over and over again.

CB: If you weren’t doing synchronized swimming, what sport would you play?
Katie McDougall: Surfing, water polo or diving.
Laci McDougall: I already play water polo too.

CB: What’s the best part about swimming for North Harbour?
Kelly Chang:
The people and the coaches are like one big family.
Hannah Knight: We’re like a family and we know how to have fun!

CB: What’s your favourite thing about being part of a team?
Azzeline Joreiux:
The bond we have, we’ve become really good friends .
Katie McDougall: Watching us work together and then everything falls
into place.

CB: In 10 years’ time I will be (complete the sentence)...
Georgia Mace:
At university and hopefully I will have already been to the Olympics!
Emma- Leigh Winkel: Hopefully I will have been in the 2020 Olympics team or become a mermaid! 

by Courtney Bennett