Zyleika Pratt-Smith is unlikely to forget five days in the pool last week.

The 12-year-old from the Papamoa Swimming Club and Mount Maunganui Intermediate was the shining light in her age group at the Bay Short Course Championships and AIMS Games held at Baywave.

Zyleika broke five Bay of Plenty records at last weekend's short course champs in 100m IM (individual medley), 50m and 100m Breaststroke and 50m and 100m Backstroke in winning five gold medals.

Her Papamoa club mates Kasha Stokes and Talitha McEwan also medalled with Talitha breaking Bay of Plenty records in the 50m and 200m Backstroke events.

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Back in the pool the next day, Zyleika took on the best swimmers throughout New Zealand at AIMS Games and left them in her wake.

She was awarded the title for the best 12-year-old girl after winning seven individual and two team medals, with the bonus of two AIMS Games records in the 100m and 200m IM.

Zyleika said she had planned to set some records at the Bay Short Course meeting.

"I had my mind set on the records because I really wanted to get them. In the 50 and 100 free I was so close to getting those as well," she said.

"I was positive because I always have a positive mind-set.

Zyleika Pratt-Smith, champion young swimmer from Papamoa swim club, in action after a golden week. Photo/ Andrew Warner.
Zyleika Pratt-Smith, champion young swimmer from Papamoa swim club, in action after a golden week. Photo/ Andrew Warner.

"I haven't been like 'oh I can't do this'. I always say to myself 'I can do this' and then go and do it.

ROTORUA DAILY POST | Sport
15 Sep, 2016 8:00am
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"The IM is my best because I don't really like doing the same stroke all the time. I like doing all of them."

When it came to AIMS Games Zyleika hoped for more gold medals but admits she was very tired by the end of the meet.

"It was my first time (at AIMS). I just liked being with my school and it was really good to get to know everyone properly.

"It is different to meet kids from everywhere but you get to be friends with them for the rest of your life."

Zyleika, who also competed in synchronised swimming, had only been involved with the Papamoa Swimming Club for one year.

If she keeps going I can see her very well make the Olympics.

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She was grateful to her coach Mike Le Cocq for all he had done for her.

"He has corrected me and has helped me a lot. He has made me competitive and he is really close to me," she said.

Coach Le Cocq said Zyleika is "one of a kind and has a lot of potential".

"If she keeps going I can see her very well make the Olympics.

"She is very easy to coach, she listens and her work ethic is amazing. Her drive and self-belief are tremendous and she is amazingly fit.

"She is also very supportive of her team mates even though she is the best 12-year-old in the Bay.

"We have been working on her technique and her times are coming down and there is plenty more yet.

"Over the next 12 months watch this space."

Like all elite athletes, Zyleika was goal-driven and was looking forward to next year's junior nationals in February.

But further ahead, she had two long-term goals to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and to get a swimming scholarship to an American university.