Monday, July 15, 2024

Asiata to swim for NZ at Youth Commonwealth Games  

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Macleans College student Danielle Asiata is one of 12 swimmers that will compete for team NZ at the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games. Photo Supplied / Dave Lintott Photography.

A Macleans College student and member of the Howick Pakuranga Swim Club (HPK) has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Youth Commonwealth Games.

Sixteen-year-old Danielle Asiata is one of 12 swimmers selected to race for team New Zealand at the Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

It will be the first time Asiata has represented New Zealand and she says she is very grateful to be able to experience what the Games will be like.

“This opportunity is incredible. Being able to race some of the top girls from countries like Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom will be an awesome experience,” she says.

Asiata’s qualification for the Youth Commonwealth Games comes on the back of her results at the National Age Group Swimming Championships in April this year.

She took gold in the 200m and 400m individual medleys, silver in the 100m Backstroke and 200m butterfly and bronze in the 50m and 200m Freestyle events.

The Macleans College year 12 student started learning to swim at six months old and progressed through the Swimgym programme as she got older.

She joined her current club (HPK swim club) at age 7 because she wished to pursue swimming at a higher level.

Now as she prepares to represent New Zealand on the world stage, Asiata says her former coach Rachel Palmer and current coach Jana Wilkitzki have had the most influence on her short, yet successful swimming career.

Danielle Asiata (left) with fellow Howick Pakuranga Swimming Club team-mates Mae-Ying Reynolds (centre) and Olivia Bates (right) in 2021.

“They are always supportive and push me very hard in training,” she says.

Wilkitzki, who has been Asiata’s coach for almost three years, says Asiata’s selection for the Youth Commonwealth Games is a result of her incredible commitment and training efforts.

“Dani is very talented young swimmer and, after the eras of Corey Main, Daniel Hunter and Tyron Henry, it’s great to have a female swimmer representing HPK at an international level,” Wilkitzki says.

“I really believe this is just the beginning of Danielle’s successful journey in swimming.”

In the build-up to her Youth Commonwealth Games campaign, Asiata says her training is business as usual with nine pool sessions with Wilkitzki a week as well as three gym sessions a week with her strength coach Steve Buckley (ForceXVelocity).

“However, as there is no 50m pool in east Auckland. I have been travelling to the North Shore two mornings a week to get some 50m pool training in,” she says.

Asiata has also recently been selected as one of 32 swimmers for the New Zealand Tri-Series squad to compete against Australia in September.

“I would like to thank all my family and friends who have helped support me/are supporting me to get to the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games, as well as the support of SwimGym, HPK and ForceXVelocity,” says Asiata.

“Most importantly my Mum and Dad who continuously show their support for me and I am extremely grateful for them.”

The Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games runs from August 4-11 in Trinidad and Tobago, with more than 1000 athletes aged between 14 and 18 set to compete across seven sports.

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