Swimming New Zealand held its annual meeting over the weekend and two key take-aways transpired during the assembly.
First, after having served as deputy chairman since 2012, businessman Bruce Cotterill has been elected Swimming NZ’s new board chairman. Cotterill replaces Brent Layton whose three-year tenure has expired. Cotterill has experience running companies such as real estate group Colliers, Canterbury International and Yellow Pages. He also has been a long-time member of the swimming community, having been both a competitor and swimmer.
The other major announcement was in the form of Lauren Boyle’s recognition as “New Zealand Swimmer of the Year”. Boyle made a mark at the 2015 FINA World Championships, claiming silver medals in both the 800m and 1500m freestyle races, essentially claiming the top prize to which any swimmer can aspire in a race against American Katie Ledecky. Boyle swam each distance in a personal best time and broke Oceanic records in both races. In fact, Boyle’s 1500m freestyle time of 15:40.14 makes her the 3rd-fastest performer ever in that event behind only Ledecky and Denmark’s Lotte Friis. Both of Boyle’s performances bode well for her upcoming stretch of preparation headed into Rio.
Boyle has also been active on the philanthropic front, supporting Water Safety New Zealand as an ambassador. The Olympian helps support the campaign to save 130 of her nation’s school pools from closing due to lack of maintenance funding.