Determination, focus and inspirational stories will rival the stunning natural beauty of Mount Maunganui as Generation Homes marks its inaugural year as naming rights sponsor of the 2018 Sand to Surf.
On March 10, more than 1000 swimmers from around country will take part in this iconic grassroots event. It is the fifth leg of the national Banana Boat Ocean Swim Series.
One such entrant is 42-year-old Jamie Swan, who is about to compete in his third Generation Homes Sand to Surf as part of the national series.
The Mt Wellington-based town planner is dedicating his sporting achievements to his sister-in-law Fran Keenan, a much loved teacher and mother who died suddenly last August, aged only 35.
“This will be my eighth competitive ocean swim,” Jamie said.
“My original goal was to do the harbour swim before my I turned 40 and now I continue for the challenge and to keep myself motivated. I don’t do it to stand on a podium.”
For Hamilton Intensive Care Nurse Dave Horne, swimming has reinvigorated his health through re-engagement with his childhood love of swimming.
Before weight loss surgery, the 48 year-old began with low intensity aqua jogging. Five years later, Dave achieved and maintained an incredible 75 kilogram weight loss while returning to the pool.
Weighing 163 kilograms at his heaviest, Dave suffered from chronic sleep apnoea, high blood pressure and crippling back pain.
“I was struggling with work, couldn’t keep up with my children and would break out into a heavy breathing sweat after climbing only one flight of stairs,” said Dave, who works permanent night shifts at Waikato Hospital.
“After the decision to have surgery, my next drastic action was to return to the sport I was naturally good at as a teenager. I began with colleagues who were into triathlons and did several. I now belong to two different swim training groups, am no longer on the medicine I used to depend on, and just completed my first ocean swim in 37 years!”
Generation Homes Chief Executive Kevin Atkinson says the level of camaraderie that open water swimming builds among competitors and supporters is truly uplifting.
“We secured the naming rights sponsorship of the Generation Homes Sand to Surf because we wanted to align our brand with a reputable event that promotes a strong sense of community and inspires people, like Jamie and Dave, to lead healthy and active lifestyles,” he said.
“Every day we support people throughout the country to achieve their goal of new home ownership, and we’re pleased to now have the opportunity to help many more earn their swim stripes through our partnership with this Ocean Swim Series. Each event is an open invitation for people of all ages and abilities to support each other, get active and give swimming a go.”
The Generation Homes Sand to Surf has four event categories including the 200m OceanKids swim (children aged 7-12 years), 500m Give it a Go (eight years and above), 1000m Step it Up (10 years and above), and 2.6km I’m Going Long (12 years and above).
Participants are recommended to register online before the event to ensure their entry. Prices start from $25.
For more information, go to: www.oceanswim.co.nz