Less than ideal training facilities are not stopping the progress of 15-year-old Tauranga Boys' College swimmer Tristan Eiselen.

After a successful weekend at the Bay of Plenty Short Course championships, the butterfly specialist has just been named in Swimming New Zealand's Targeted Athlete Programme Gold Squad.

This means he has been identified as having world-class potential, will have an opportunity to train at national camps with the likes of Commonwealth Games medley bronze medallist Lewis Clareburt, and compete for New Zealand at the Queensland championships in December.

"I feel it is a big honour to be recognised as one of the country's top age-group swimmers," he says.


Not bad for someone who trains outdoors in Tauranga and Mt Maunganui all year round, despite sometimes entering the water when the pre-dawn air temperature is in the low single figures.

He lives with parents Lizette and Gustav about 30km from Tauranga and is out of bed at 4.30am most days to work in the Windermere pool at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

His mother says the 25m pool there is "slightly heated" but he's with coach Daniel Cooper for two hours till around 7.30am, puts in a day at school before crossing the harbour bridge to train at Mount Maunganui College's outdoor 33m pool for another two hours in the afternoon.

"We'd really like a 50m pool in this city" says his mother. "I find it amazing that there isn't one."

But Tristan might be proof that you can be a high achiever, despite far from perfect facilities.

He was totally dominant in the 100m and 200m butterfly in the 15 and over section of the Bay of Plenty Short Course championships, winning both events.

His 100m time at Baywave of 56.13 seconds was just outside the New Zealand Age Group record of 56.01.

"I am really happy with that time, but for the last three years now, I got very close to breaking New Zealand age-group records but always end just short of it."


Tristan has had some impressive results in 2018.

In April he won three New Zealand age-group butterfly titles over 50, 100 and 200m. In the course of that triple success, he just missed out on Danyon Loader's long-standing long course (50m pool) age-group record for the 100m of 56.38s.

For now, Tristan's aim is the New Zealand Short Course championships in Auckland in October. By then he will just have turned 16, an age significant for his parents who have to do all the driving, morning and night and to races. "I can't wait for him to turn 16 so he can learn to drive" says mum Lizette.