Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Meet the New NZMS Swim Officer - Marco Cecioni

While living in the UK as a teenager, Marco swam at regional level and later joined the Royal Navy where he reached national level.  He rediscovered his love for swimming when he moved to New Zealand in 2005 and joined the Raumati Masters Club.  Marco has a passion for open water swimming and was part of the Raumati 8 persons relay team that swam the length of Lake Taupo in 2019.  He has also swum the Kapiti Island to Mainland swim.

Marco and his lovely wife Lesley, have two sons, Nic (20) and Alex (15) and both share Marco's passion for the water.  Alex loves kayaking, surf lifesaving and swimming and at the time of this interview Nic was in Kentucky USA on a university swimming scholarship.  

When Marco is not in the water he works as a Service Delivery Manager keeping customers happy at Vocus Communications.  He is currently a Patrol Captain at Paekakariki Surf Club and a coach to nippers and is an active SNZ swimming official at local, regional and national meets.  Marco's inspiration is his family and his boys are his biggest supporters "kick dad kick" is their motto.  His goal is to "Keep swimming as long as I can".

Welcome to the NZMS Board and we wish you all the best!

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

NZMS Swimmer of The Year - Kyla Steenhart

Kyla Steenhart started swimming at a young age although she wasn’t initially a natural – her first attempt at a tumble turn almost made her coach fall in the pool laughing and while the rest of her group moved up to the ‘big pool’ she had to stay in the little pool practicing her breaststroke kick. 

Thankfully things fell into place and she swam at national level throughout her teens, achieving a number of national titles and representing New Zealand in the Tri-Series meet at the age of 16. Living in Nelson, Kyla was coached via correspondence, with her Christchurch-based coach faxing her a week’s worth of training sessions on a Sunday night which she then swam on her own (with her long-suffering parents helping remove the pool covers at the local pool in the morning and staying to watch that she didn’t drown before the lifeguard arrived). She moved to Christchurch for university with the intention of stepping up her swimming and training with a real life coach and squad. However, the student lifestyle held more allure than 4:45am starts, so at the age of 18, she hung up her goggles. 

Her love of swimming never went away, though, and while living in Japan she was invited to a Masters swim meet. Since then, she has swum with Masters clubs in Wellington (Harbour Capital
Masters), London (Camden Swiss Cottage and Cally Masters) and Auckland (Roskill Masters – her current club). She’s swum at three World Masters Swimming Champs, winning a number of medals and loves masters swimming as it can be as competitive as one wants and it’s a fantastic way of meeting people – many of her best friends around the world are people she met through swimming. 

Kyla lives in Auckland with her partner and faithful swimming supporter, Alex, and their delinquent Welsh terrier, Walter and works for a UK-based market research consultancy, managing projects with NZ education institutions and universities around the world. When she’s not in the pool (which is a lot of time as she’s something of a ‘sporadic’ trainer), her passions are travelling, walking, pottering in the garden and a glass of wine or two with friends. She got her PADI certification last year and is looking forward to putting that to good use. 
Inspired by masters swimmers in the ‘more advanced age groups’ Kyla hopes to be like them still swimming and competing into her eighties and beyond. In the shorter term she lives in hope of just once more getting a lifetime PB.

Congratulations Kyla and we wish you all the best! 

Thursday, 13 February 2020




President: John Fisher (WK1)
Secretary/Treasurer: Mike Bodger (WH2)
Northern Region: Jan Fulton (RK1), Rodrigo Sigwalt (SC1)
District Region: Matheus Ferro Ribeiro (KT2)
Capital Region: Marco Cecioni (RM4)
National Recorder: Paulette Tasker (WK1), Jan O’Donnell (NS1, past officer)
IT Officer: Liz Davidson (NS1)
Open Water Swimming: Mike Bodger (WH2)

- APOLOGIES - Andrew Gabites (Webmaster), Lesley Parkin (Swimming Officer), Warren Gilbertson (Vice President), Liesl Ploos Van Amstel (Masterscrawl Editor), Steve Clarke (DN5)

- DECEASED MEMBERSLyall Mortimer (HU4), Alwyn Manley (RK1), Jim Drummond (HC4).

- THE MINUTES of the 45th Annual General Meeting held on Friday 25th May 2018 were presented to the meeting and then accepted as a true and correct record

The need for at least two standardised programmes of events for sanctioned meeting was discussed.  Hosting clubs tend to set the order of events in programme and whilst a few swimmers question the order of events, most swimmers are happy with the programme of the meet.  

We need to discourage swimmers from submitting NO TIME (NT)for a swim event and a motion was moved by Rodrigo Sigwalt and seconded by Marco Cecioni to put in times for NT swimmers from the average time of swimmers in the respective age group. Times stay in the database for two years before new times are added.

- MEMBERSHIP FEES FOR 2019/20 -Membership fees have increased to $70 per year with a $5 saving if paid online.  Effective from 1st July 2020

- ALLOWANCES AND HONORARIA - These were approved by the meeting and the only change was for the Computer Officer.

- APPOINTMENTS - The current officer’s positions were endorsed.

President - John Fisher
National Secretary/Treasurer – Mike Bodger
Webmaster - Andrew Gabites
National Recorder – Paulette Tasker
Computer/IT Officer – Liz Davidson
Masterscrawl Editor – Liesl Ploos Van Amstel
Openwater Swimming Officer – Mike Bodger

Vice-President - Matheus Ferro Ribeiro
Swimming Officer – Marco Cecioni

NZMS also pays an annual fee of $200 to Aquatics New Zealand, who oversees all aquatic divisions in New Zealand. Our representative from Masters Swimming is Roger Eagles (FV5) and Roger will continue in this role for 2019/20

- NZMS SWIMMER OF THE YEAR:  Kyla Steenhart.  Kyla has broken 12 NZ records

We are hopeful that Raumati Masters will host the NISC2020 and that North Shore Masters will host the Long Course championships

Minutes AGM Nov 2019
Financial Report - Mike Bodger
Computer Officers Report  Liz Davidson
Webmaster's Report - Andrew Gabites
Editor's Report - Liesl Ploos van Amstel
Swimming Officer's Report - Marco Cecioni
National Recorder Report - Paulette Tasker
Trophy Officer's Report - Lesley Parkin

President's Report 2019

After the surge in interest for the Auckland World Masters Games 2017, it was always going to be a challenge to maintain the momentum generated by such a massive event. 

We hosted our usual sanctioned meets, although (not surprisingly) entries were not at the same level as leading up to World Masters Games.

The same clubs hosted the sanctioned meets. In some respects this can be viewed positively, as it provides stability and strengthens those clubs relationships with officials, local business and sponsors. However, if other clubs offered to host more meets, it would reduce the burden shouldered by the same group of people year after year. 

For the first time in 6 years, the organisation posted a financial loss. This can be largely attributed to the cost of the online database that is made available from Swimming NZ and also to the transition to align our financial year to that system (which effectively gifted 6 months free membership). Although this was anticipated and the organisation remains in a strong financial position, we cannot sustain the level of loss and this year we will be looking for areas where costs can be cut. 

The membership system is now well embedded and has greatly reduced the effort involved in membership administration and hosting meets. We are indebted to our IT officer Liz Davidson who has worked tirelessly to make all of our lives easier. 

We continue to have a good working relationship with Swimming NZ and meet regularly to explore areas in which we can work together for the benefit of all swimmers. 

The number of FaceBook followers is well past 1000 and growing, and subscribers to the MasterScrawl blog have increased. Many thanks to Swim T3 for their continued support in proving prizes. 

Once again I extend sincere and grateful thanks go to office bearers, Mike Bodger (National Secretary), Andrew Gabites (Webmaster), Jan O’Donnell (National Recorder), Lesley Parkin (Swimming & Trophies Officer) and Liz Davidson (IT Officer). 

Special thanks to Jan O’Donnell who has retired from the role of National Recorder, and to Lesley Parkin who is relinquishing the Swimming Officer role. We are very grateful for your long years of service and also for your support to ensure a seamless hand over. I look forward to working with your successors. 

We are also indebted to Roger Eagles who has continued with his representation of NZMS on the FINA Masters Committee and in Aquatics NZ, which he chairs. 

I’m very aware that all of these volunteers sacrifice valuable time away from their professional and personal lives for the benefit of Masters Swimming in NZ. 

It is my intention to stand down at the next election. It’s been an honour and pleasure to have represented NZMS but the organisation would benefit from new input and fresh ideas. 

John Fisher
President 2018-2019

NZMS Secretary Report 2018/19

2018/9 Secretary/Treasurer’s Report to NZMS AGM, 22nd November 2019

The 2018/9 financial review will be placed on the NZ Charities Commission website www.charities.govt.nz

Our membership is now managed through the Swimming NZ database. For every $60 membership fee per Masters swimmer, an affiliation fee of $10 per swimmer was paid to Swimming NZ up until 30th June 2019. This has now been increased to $10.20 per swimmer from 1st July 2019. From 1st January 2018 until 30th June 2018 existing and new Masters swimmers were offered free membership, so no membership revenue was collected during this period. The balance of $23,394.29 at the 1st January 2018 dropped to $7058.36 at the 30th June 2018.

Online entry fee payments to sanctioned meeting began of 1/8/2017. Swimming NZ reimburses NZ Masters Swimming who in turn reimburses the hosting club. Payments from Swimming NZ are made every two weeks in the NZMS account and so a clear ledger of payments is immediately available on the database. For me personally that has been a great help.

Revenue for 2018 came mainly from subscriptions. Subscriptions were paid by cheques or by direct credit into the NZMS account by club secretaries/treasurers. Online entry fees to meetings were transferred by direct credit by Swimming NZ into the NZ Masters swimming account. These fees were subsequently transferred to the accounts of hosting clubs. This year, sanction fees and medal costs were waived for our Masters events; South Island SC, North Island SC and National SC. The hosting of Masters Swimming events remains problematic with very few club offering to host meetings. From experience, once a Masters club has established a good working relationship with their local Swimming club and Aquatic Centre, hosting a meeting is rewarding.

The 2018 review, but I have summarized the main figures as follow:

1) Total revenue for 2018 was $43,548, cost of sales was $6,129 and the total income was $37,113

2) Total expenses were $42,874

3) Therefore, the net profit (loss) was - $5761

4) Equity at start of year was $73,700; equity at end of year was $71,063

5) Total current assets are $66,799; total current liabilities are -$4264; therefore, net assets are $71,063

Up to 30th June 2019 the main figures are as follows:

1) Total revenue was $47,963, cost of sales was $8,499 and the total income was $39,464.

2) Total expenses were $52,937

3) Therefore, the net profit (loss) was - $13,473

4) Equity and assets can not be calculate until 31st December 2019.

NZMS operates a cheque account for the day to day income and expenses transactions, a Fast Saver savings account and a Savings Plus account.

On January 1st 2018 the cheque account balance was $23,394.29, on January 1st 2019 the balance was $11,757.68 and on July 1st 2019 the balance was $4,207.60

On January 1st 2018 the Savings Plus account balance was $43,380.31 and on July 1st 2019 the balance was $44,824.95

On January 1st 2017 the Fast Saver account balance was $677.23 and on July 1st 2019 the balance was 678.29

The revenue lost to NZ Masters Swimming, since the transfer to the new database, is significant. What used to be $60 per swimmer to NZMS has dropped to $49.80 per swimmer. This has coincided with a decrease in the membership number since online membership payment was introduced 2 years ago. From correspondence with club secretaries or with individual members, many swimmers have not come to grasp with the new system. Passwords are forgotten and there is reluctance of some swimmers to tackle the online payment system. Once Liz Davidson or I explain the process or help individual swimmers to negotiate the online process there is a more positive response from swimmers about the new process. I still receive cheques for membership fees from individual members, direct credits, into the NZ Masters Swimming account, from clubs (some club secretaries update swimmers financial status, others leave it to me to update swimmers profiles).

Further revenue loss has come from the AGM2016 decision to waive sanction fees and the cost of medals at sanctioned events. This was to encourage more clubs to host swim meetings but this has not been a success.

NZMS now has 50 clubs throughout New Zealand with swimmer’s profiles. To date 647 swimmer’s profiles have been added to the database and the financial membership is 481 (673 financial members in 2017 and 710 financial members in 2016). 62% of financial swimmers belong to the Northern Region.

The monthly newsletter reaches all registered swimmers by MailChimp and we are pleased to advertise any other swimming events that involve the participation of Masters swimmers. The sanctioned pool meetings included the North Island (Whakatane Masters) and South Island Short Course (Ashburton Masters) events, the National Long Course event (Waitakere City Masters) and the Auckland Short Course Championships (Roskill Masters).

Thank you to members of the executive, John Fisher. And thank you to Andrew Gabites, Lesley Parkin, Liz Davidson, Jan O’Donnell and Liesl Ploos Van Amstel for their roles as NZMS officers and their respective services during the year.

Mike Bodger

Wednesday, 12 February 2020