Brothers Liam (8) and Daniel Shanahan (10) from Tauranga both won their respective age groups at the State Bay of Islands Classic from Russell to Paihia last Saturday, qualifying them both for the 2014 Jetstar Super Swim Squad.

Jetstar Super Swim Squad is an exceptional experience where 30 qualifying members from across the country get to attend a three-day weekend squad camp in Auckland with New Zealand Olympic swimmers and specialist coaching in April 2014.

As the two Otumoetai Swim Club members have qualified at this event, it leaves two spots open for other Western Bay swimmers to qualify at the Sand to Surf race at Mount Maunganui in March.

This will be Liam's second year as part of the Jetstar Super Swim Squad after he qualified as the fastest boy in 8 year-old and under category last year.


He attended the camp in Auckland with swim sessions run by world champion triathlete Rick Wells and assistance from Olympic swimmers Danyon Loader and Lauren Boyle.

The 2014 coach and swimmers lineup will be revealed in the new year with local swim icons lining up to give back to the sport that shaped their careers as competitive athletes.

Liam is still buzzing about spending a week coached by New Zealand's swimming royalty in double gold medal winner Loader and currently New Zealand's top swimmer Boyle.

"I learned lots and it was really great fun to learn. I am better at my technique and my kick and pretty much a lot better at everything," Liam said.

Liam says his qualifying swim in the Bay of Islands was quite a challenge for him.

"It was pretty difficult. The first time I did it I was a bit scared but after you warm-up and you do it, you feel confident. Then it is pretty good. "

10 Jan, 2014 6:09am
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Older brother Daniel's major sporting goal is to become a surf lifesaver and his swimming improvement is part of the programme worked out for him by Mount Maunganui Surf Club coach John Bryant.

"I did the Sand to Surf race at the Mount and didn't win so I have been training more this year. I train after school for two hours, five days a week," Daniel said.

"I am looking forward to meeting people like Danyon Loader and Laurel Boyle.

"I think I will probably become a better swimmer, especially in my best stroke freestyle."