Swim team preparing for Apia


MEMBERS of the Papua New Guinea swim team have started the year on a high note, with the support of Australian coach Rick Van Der Zant.
Van Der Zant, who is hosting a one-week training camp in Lae, had completed a week with the Port Moresby-based swimmers.
Van Der Zant has vast experience with the swimmers, coaching the national team at many of the major international tournaments and worked closely with Ryan Pini when the former PNG champion was training at Yeronga Park Swimming Club in Brisbane, Australia.
Van Der Zant was Pini’s coach when he went on to win gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
More recently, he was the head coach of the PNG team at the Oceania Swimming Championships and also travelled with the side to the Fina World Championships in China last year.
The swimmers are utilising that experience and making the most of the opportunity of the sessions led.
The one-week camp will help set up the athletes for a big year, with the Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa, six months away.
In the lead up, a team will be sent to the Arafura Games.
Van Der Zant, with the help local coaches, are getting the swimmers prepared for the national championships in March which will be the selection event for the Pacific Games.
The coaches and athletes have greatly benefitted from their time with Van Der Zant.