Sunday, 26 June 2016

NZMS Swimmer of The Year 2015 - Eleanor Pinfold

Every year New Zealand Masters Swimming chooses their “Swimmer of the year”.

This trophy is presented to the swimmer who, in the preceding year has, in the opinion of the Executive, been an outstanding New Zealand swimmer at national and/or at international level. While performance is the main criterion, the Executive, assisted by the National Recorder, also considers the extent of participation in New Zealand Masters swimming events.

Our Swimmer of the year for 2015 was Eleanor Pinfold from the Hamilton club.

During 2015, Eleanor broke NZ records 8 times.

In a single meet, she almost made a complete sweep of all the Freestyle short course records (her 800m time could not be ratified due to having only one timekeeper).

Two of these records were from last century!

The 1500m record had stood since 1991, amazingly Eleanor managed to take more than 4 minutes off that time.

The 50m record had not been broken since 1987.

At the time of the award, Eleanor was the holder of 18 NZ records.

Swimming New Zealand invited Eleanor to their awards dinner at the Auckland ASB Showgrounds on April 2nd to be presented with our trophy. SNZ also presented their own trophy to Eleanor.

Eleanor was a fantastic ambassador for Masters, she thanked NZ Masters for selecting her and said she felt honoured and humbled to be presented the award in front of so many national and international swimmers.

Eleanor owes her love of swimming to her dad who had all of the family taught to swim at a very young age, by Hamilton’s Bob Frankham who taught several generations of Hamiltonians to swim and took on those with more interest and promise into his coaching squad. She swam competitively for 10 years happy to make the Waikato teams but never to the nationals.

She joined Vancouver’s UBC masters in 1983 and continued to have great coaching and competed with their team in British Columbia, Edmonton, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec then further afield to Tokyo, NZ and Brisbane. Since returning to NZ she again had great coaching both with a masters coach and triathlon coaches and competed in the Masters World swimming in Christchurch, Perth and Italy.
Eleanor said she felt grateful and lucky to have experienced a lifetime of swimming, meeting wonderful swimmers from all over the world and having so many fantastic memories.
The Masters award was followed by SNZ’s Supreme Award, which went to Lauren Boyle. Lauren very graciously started her speech with an acknowledgement of Eleanor’s lifetime of swimming.

Many congratulations Eleanor.



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