While it’s the norm for nations to hold staging camps ahead of a World Championships, Swimming New Zealand will be bypassing the practice for the 2023 edition of the event.
According to media reports, New Zealand’s top aquatic athletes want less time away from home; therefore, they are staying put in their individual programs before traveling to Fukuoka, Japan for the main event later this month.
“Nearly all of the swimmers didn’t want to be away from home for a longer period of time this year, and the coaches certainly felt they needed to be able to have a bit more stability around their preparation,” New Zealand’s Olympic program lead Gary Francis told Newstalk ZB.
“So it was agreed through their feedback that we would cut down on [travel] this year”.
Originally, the staging camp was tentatively scheduled for Cairns, Australia from June 30th through July 16th on the Senior Performance Calendar.
“We’d already made that plan before anybody talked about money and costs – it was about ‘well, what do you guys want’, and we’ve always tried to work with the coaching groups around what they want,” Francis elaborated.
Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic finalist Lewis Clareburt stated, “It’s always a shame when we can’t do those big camps, it puts you in such an awesome environment where you’re with the country’s best swimmers all training together for a few weeks.
“Last year we were in the sun in Spain and we were in such a cool environment, it really did build an awesome team around us.
“It will be a shame this year that we don’t get that but I think we’re all going to be in a good space anyway leading in [to Fukuoka].” (NZ Herald)