Summer Series Swim is a weekly event that welcomes between 300 – 400 people for a swim in the Ocean just outside of Auckland. (I didn’t go in just to clarify). It was a brilliant event to be Number 2 of my adventure and here is why…
What was the event?
Based on Kohimarama Beach I walked along and was welcomed by families, older people, children all exiting ocean after swimming different distances. The event, which is the largest Weekly Open Swim in New Zealand, is organised by a lovely enthusiastic gentleman called Haydn. Haydn is a former athlete who loves swimming and sport. You could tell there was his passion. Met with people waiting for loved ones and friends to come out of the ocean the basics of the event are simple.
Every Thursday night the event has various distances that participates can choose to swim. There is 6 different distances. When people to arrive in they are given a number, which is written on there hand. After everyone is registered in everyone sets off at the same time.
What I found interesting was the event is staying “low tech”. But actually its more personal to be able to have a volunteer at the end congratulate someone and then give them there time by recording on there hand the number and noting the time. I think its perfect for what the event is and the local community event is exactly where is should sit.
The event has some sponsors and branding but actually the thing the was the central meaning to the event was community and family. Everyone knew each other and spoke for a lot of time – it wasn’t just a hello. It was lovely and for me was exactly what the event was about.
What happened at the event?
People of all different ages, with different motivations to takepart – where there. The event had a simple structure:
- Introduction of the event
- Swim and swim
- Sausage Sizzle sometimes
- Raffle (which is brilliant) a spot raffle for some amazing prizes
I was introduced to the event by Charlotte who I knew from working at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She used to swim every Thursday but now is a loyal volunteer and this week took me down. One thing that was brilliant she introducing me to everyone from the organisers, swimmers and even showing me who the elite athletes who are well known around New Zealand and just casually out for a swim. It was that kind of event. Relaxed and enjoyable.
These types of events are unique. They bring people together with a passion for sport. They are loved by the community because that is exactly what they are. This blog is about covering just a sample of the event – but really the blog could go on and on about the price point, the safety (which was very New Zealand with the Young Surf Rescues out on dingy’s and boards) but instead the focus is the enjoyment.
The enjoyment is priceless. Don’t get me wrong a lot of people were out of breath – but those people every week commit themselves to swim weekly at an event that is physically demanding but the reward is worth it.
One thing to take away from this event…
Community wins. Togetherness wins. Now its different from Event 1 that I attended. What sport does is brings people together. It helps them with health, lifestyle and even just casually going for a Thursday swim.
Also – the organisers don’t need this to be huge they just need a committed following – which they have…