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Twist Selected to Represent NZ at Junior Pan Pacs

A massive congratulations to Kale Twist of Kiwi ASC for gaining selection to the New Zealand team competing at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships from 24-27 August 2022! After fulfilling the qualifying criteria at the New Zealand Swimming Championships earlier this year, Kale has now been officially named as part of the 23 strong team set to wear the fern in Hawaii later this year. The team consists of 16 girls and 7 boys, with Kale being just one of three athletes selected from the South Island. It is an absolutely fantastic achievement, and we are so proud of all the hard work Kale has put in to get to this point!

It has been somewhat of a break out year for Kale, attending the New Zealand Swimming Championships and National Age Group Swimming Championships for the first time - gaining a medal at NAGS and breaking two Otago Age Group Records and one Otago Open Record at Opens. Kale is now the fastest Otago athlete ever over the Long Course 50m Freestyle distance, and quickly, a record he posted at just 17 years of age. Now 18, we are excited to see what is next for this epic upcoming talent.

National Development Leader and Team Leader, Alastair Johnson, is looking forward to seeing the team race in Hawaii. Here is what Alastair had to say: "I am delighted that we have now confirmed a team of 23 athletes to compete at the 2022 Junior Pan Pacs. A huge well done to these athletes and to their coaches for navigating such a challenging 12 months to achieve the selection criteria. For most of these athletes, JPP will be their first international event and whilst their overseas experience will be limited, their enthusiasm to do themselves and New Zealand proud will be very high. I am looking forward to seeing the team achieve their best in Hawaii, and to make meaningful strides towards 2024 and beyond."

The Junior Pan Pacific Championships will serve as the first opportunity for the current generation of New Zealand age group swimmers to race internationally since the 2019 Australian State Teams, so it is certainly a great opportunity for these swimmers to show the rest of the Pacific region what they are made of. For many (including Kale), this will be their first time racing overseas so it will be an exciting time for the team. The team will be involved in the Tri-Series and a micro camp from 9 – 11 July in Christchurch as they tune up for their trip to Hawaii.

Selected team

Females: Keira Allott (Evolution Aquatics), Hope Chmiel (Vikings), Melissa Cowan (North Shore), Zoe Crawford (North Shore), Aimee Crosbie (Coast), Isabelle Gibson (United), Laura Littlejohn (St Pauls), Talitha McEwan (Evolution Aquatics), Summer Osborne (North Shore), Liv Peebles (TBSS), Molly Player (Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika), Zyleika Pratt-Smith (Coast), Neve Tassicker (Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika), Charlie Twose (Waitakere), Tess Whineray (TBSS), and Rebecca Wilkins (Phoenix Aquatics).

Males: Hunter Dobson (Waitakere), Alex Esposito (Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika), Larn Hamblyn Ough (Coast), Finn Harland (Capital), Ollie Lutton (Aquagym), Gus Shivnan (Mt Maunganui), and Kale Twist (Kiwi)

Coaches: Michelle Gillies (North Shore), Todd Mason (Vikings), and Graham Smith (St Pauls)