Monday, 27 August 2018

Mark Saunders Awarded Life Membership by Swimming New Zealand

Our very own Mark Saunders was recently awarded life membership by Swimming New Zealand in recognition for his many years of service to the swimming industry. His service started in 1987 as coach and committe member for the Te Puke Swimming club. He then moved on to the BOP region where he was Chair of the Events committee for several years.  During this time Mark was elected to SENZ National board– Swimming Education NZ - on which he served for 5 years.  In 1995 Mark was appointed as assistant manager to a NZ age group Tri series Team, this was the start of what would end up being 21 years of managing various NZ Teams. These teams included 2 Olympics, 2 Commonwealth
Games, 3 Pan Pacific Championships, 3 Long course World Championships and 2 short course championships as well as other NZ age and open team trips to Australia with Rio being his last managerial role.

Mark and his family moved to Auckland in 1997 where he started working for SNZ as a development officer, this culminated with being appointed National Education Manager in 2001 which was a position he held for 4 years.  He was also a NZ Selector for 6 years.

Currently, Mark is the Director of Swimming at Northern Arena, the award also acknowledged the work Northern Arena has done in giving back to the community.  This facility was opened in January 2011 by the then Prime Minister John Key.

Mark says he enjoys his time giving back to swimming both at community level and to Swimming NZ and International level. The highlight would be The Commonwealth Games Team of 2006 where the team had a great atmosphere and won 10 medals equalling the most medals won outside of NZ. This team had a great culture and they all kept contact.

His greatest supporters are his wife, son and daughter in-law who all work at Northern Arena and his daughter living in Rarotonga.   Mark says he was very thankful that all were able to be at the awards with him.

Mark grew up in TePuke, which was where his dad taught him to swim.  At age 7 he joined the club and started his competitive career at age 8 with his first national competition being the Caltex Competition where the winners were flown to Wellington for the National Finals.  This event was never repeated, however, 3 years later Swimming NZ started the Teleprinters which evolved to become NZ Juniors where Mark won Silver for the 100 fly.

At the age of 25, while living in Brisbane a friend suggested to Mark to  join a masters club so he joined the Valley Club and competed at many events throughout Australia and it was at one of these events where he met Tom Logan. On his return to the Bay of Plenty Mark joined the Durham Light Masters Club in Tauranga and then the North Shore Masters after moving to Auckland.  Mark has been swimming for masters for over 40 years now.  Nowadays he does not compete very often due to work and family commitments, but he did participate in the World Masters Games in 2017 and said he thoroughly enjoyed it and is planning to get back into competing as soon as time allows for more training.  In his own words "I enjoy many aspects of Masters Swimming but the friends I have made make it something I will always cherish."

Congratulations Mark you are a well deserved recipient and we wish you all the best for the future!

The Rio Olympics Swim Swim Team

Kazan World Champioships watching Lauren Boyle win Silver

Kazan World Champioships 2015

Beijing 2008 Swim Team Give Away - Enter the NISC and go into the draw to win a Swim Coat worth $169 is giving away a Swim Coat worth $169 to one lucky NZMS member.  All you need to do to go into the draw to win this awesome coat is to make sure you enter the North Island Short Course Champs before 30 September.  The winner will be announced 2 October.

Big shout out to!

For awesome deals from SwimShop please visit their website:

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North Island Short Course Champs - Entries close 30 September

How to enter NISC

The 2018 North Island SC championships are being hosted by Whakatane Masters at Whakatane Aquatic Centre 12-13th October. Entries are now available through your Swimming NZ 'My Page' at Click on 'Upcoming meets' and scroll through until you find the event.

Please note the following:

Seed times for events will be populated automatically from results available in the SNZ system since 01/01/2016. If you do not have any results in the SNZ system since that date (or for a particular event) then no time will be displayed. If that is the case, after submitting your entry please email your estimated time to for manual entry.

The Saturday Night social function and the Saturday Lunch option have been loaded as "events". Please "enter" these "events" for yourself (1 person option) and your partner/extra (2 person option) if required. 

You can enter a maximum of 6 actual swimming events plus the social "events".
1500m and 800m count as two separate events. Those entering both events will swim the 1500m and have the 800m split recorded as their 800m finish time. These events might be swum with two swimmers per lane. 

Medals awarded to 1st, 2nd, 3rd in each 5 year age group, based on points aggregate.

Further details can be found in the information sheet

If you do not currently have a login for your 'My Page' 
please contact Liz Davidson: and she will set you up.

If you are unable to enter through 'My Page', you can find a manual entry form in the information sheet. Note that this will be entered through the SNZ system on your behalf by the meet organisers, and seed times automatically calculated as per the online entry process.

Entries close 30th September. No late entries will be accepted.

Please note

If you have not yet paid your annual subscription for the 2018/2019 year, you can pay this from your 'My Page' under 'Membership Subscriptions'. You must be currently financial to enter this event. Please contact your club secretary for any queries regarding your financial status for the 2018-2019 year.

Upcoming Events and Results

Taupo Masters Swimming Spring Fling:  22 - 23 September 2018.  Entry Form

The South Island Masters Games 2018 are in Timaru this year, with the swimming events on Saturday, 6th October 2018.  For more info

North Island Masters Short Course Championships 2018: Whakatane Masters Swimming
will be hosting the event on 12th - 13th October.

2018 Shear Magic 800 / 1500m Postal Swim: 1 August - 30 September:  Time Sheet and Entry

Banana Boat NZ Ocean Swim Series 2018/19

15 December: The Gem - Omaha Beach
27 Jan:  Interislander Capital Classic -Oriental Bay, Wellington
9 Feb: Generation Homes Sand to Surf - Main Beach, Mt Maunganui
2 March: Interislander The Big Tahuna - Tahunanui Beach, Nelson

16 March: Generation Homes Legend of the Lake - Blue Lake, Rotorua
6 April: Swim the Bridge - Auckland Harbour

For more info visit their website:

Auckland Central Masters Harbour Swims 2018/19:

The ACM Herne Bay to Watchmans Island swim2.2km Sunday 11th November 2018
Click here for information

The Bays swim - This event will also be the Auckland Open Water Swim Championship both Non-wetsuit and Wetsuit. 
4km and 2.6km Sunday 25 November 2018
Click here for information

The Chelsea Sugar swim
2.4km Sunday 24 February 2019
Click here for information
The Cintropur Rangitoto swim
4.6km Sunday 24 March 2019
Click here for information

The Marathon Swim
10km Sunday 21 April 2019
Click here for information

For more info about the Auckland Central Masters Harbour Swims visit their website:

For 2018 official event results please visit

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Upcoming Events

Shear Magic Masterton Masters 2018 Half Hour Postal Swim:  1st June to 31st July.  Entry Form and Split Time Sheet

Manukau Masters Just Skins Meet: Saturday 28th July.  Entry Form

South Island Short Course Champs:  10 - 11 August.  Entry Form

2018 - 35th Masterton Shear Magic Sheep Dip Carnival - 4 August, Trust House Pool, Masterton. 

Please note:  The entry form has been revised see link below, event 5 has been changed from 100m backstroke to 100m Any Stroke. Also, Rules for the Mitch Tait Trophy events for 100m Breastroke and 100m Freestyle have been added.

Taupo Masters Swimming Spring Fling:  22 - 23 September 2018.  Entry Form

The South Island Masters Games 2018 are in Timaru this year, with the swimming events on Saturday, 6th October 2018.  For more info

North Island Masters Short Course Championships 2018: Whakatane Masters Swimming
will be hosting the event on 12th - 13th October.

Monday, 16 July 2018

NZMS Swimmer of the Year 2017 - Julie Gunthorp

Julie's swimming career began at the Parnell Baths at age 9 under the guidance of Paul Krause, showing some promise she moved to the open air Olympic Pool in Newmarket under Jack Lyons. There she trained with the likes of Dave Gerrard, Tony Graham, Bruce Robertson, Margaret McRae and her greatest achievement as a junior was qualifying in the 200 backstroke for the Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, however, she was not selected as in those days you had to qualify in both the 100 and 200.

She took up Masters swimming aged 50 when living on the Gold Coast. While doing a few laps at the Currumbin pool another swimmer encouraged Julie to join a Masters club so she joined Miami Masters and for five years competed all around Australia breaking national backstroke records in her age groups. She now swims for the North Shore Masters Club in Auckland and trains 3 - 4 times per week at her workplace under coach Casey Glover, covering 3.5km - 4km each session. 

As her club NSMS fittingly says "Everything she touches turns to gold".

Julie won 6 Gold medals at the World Masters Games held in Auckland and 4 Golds and 1 Silver at the FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest. She made the FINA World Masters Top 10 times for 2017 in 20 events and 12 of these were in the top 3. In her age group for 2017, Julie was the fastest swimmer in the world for 400 and 800m freestyle and 200m backstroke.

During 2017 she broke NZ records on no less than 33 occasions. These records covered the freestyle distances from 50 to 800m, and all Fly, Backstroke and Individual Medley distances.  Julie lowered the 800 freestyle record by over 2 minutes and the 400 IM by nearly 1 minute 30 and also broke the 50m freestyle record which had stood for 25 years.

Julie works as a swim instructor at SwimMagic CLM The Bays where she teaches babies from six months old up to school age kids. When she is not in the water, she enjoys gardening and knits for the prem unit at Middlemore Hospital and loves spending time with her two daughters and five Grandchildren.  Julie and her partner of 20 years, Max, enjoy travelling and plan to retire on the Gold Coast in August. 

When asked who inspires her she said that Barry Young, a North Shore Masters swimmer who tragically died two years ago is one of her greatest inspirations and says he was always very supportive of her swimming and gave her some wonderful advice over the years.  Julie met Lauren Boyle at the Swimming NZ Awards:  in Julie's own words "And now Lauren Boyle, with whom I had a wonderfully funny chat at the Swimming NZ Awards – she came up and asked me “what is your swimming regime” – only joking of course!! I was dumbstruck – what, her asking me what I did in training??"

Julie's future goals for retirement are to enjoy life, a lot of travelling, continue competing and doing the Greek Islands Swim Tour.  In her own words "Swimming has taken me all over the world and I would like to continue"

Julie has dominated her age group both in NZ and on the world stage - she is a well deserving recipient of our Masters Swimmer of the Year.  Well done Julie, and all the best for the future!

New Zealand Masters Swimming Newsletter July, 2018 - Mike Bodger

Address for Correspondence: 73B Peace Street, Whakatane 3120. Phone: 07 3072119 or 021 2500 556 and my email address is:

Memberships 2018: New memberships for 2018 begin on 1st July. I will absent from New Zealand from June 9th to September 11th. It’s business as usual while I am away. Doing training swims in the Baltic Sea along the coast of Sweden. Water temperature 18C.

AGM2018: The minutes for this meeting are now online.

2018 - 35th Masterton Shear Magic Sheep Dip Carnival: Hosted by Masterton Masters Club on 4th August. Entry form on the website and entries close 30th July.

Taupo Masters Swimming: We have set date for our spring fling (non-sanctioned meet on 22/23 September 2018. The 800m and 1500m freestyle events will be held on Sunday morning. Entry form is on the websites and the closing date for entries is
September 14th.

South Island Masters Short Course Championships 2018: Ashburton Swimming Club will host the event on 10th/11th August. Enter online. You must be a financial member of NZMS for 2018/2019.

The South Island Masters Games 2018 are in Timaru this year, with the swimming events on Saturday, 6th October 2018.  Check out this website for more info

North Island Masters Short Course Championships 2018: Whakatane Masters Swimming will be hosting the event on 12th/13th October. Closest motel accommodation is One88 on Commerce, about 200metres from the Aquatic Centre and about 2km from the CBD

Merchandise: “Masters Swimming in New Zealand 1973-2013” a publication by Roger Eagles. Available from the Secretary @$20 plus $5 postage.

Mike Bodger
NZ Masters Swimming