When Eva Morris performs at this weekend's North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships she'll be eager to hear feedback from the judges.
The 21-year-old Tauranga Synchro member is one of 27 local athletes performing at the competition, being held at Mount Maunganui's Baywave Aquatic Centre tomorrow and Sunday. While she's looking forward to seeing the talents on show, she is keen to learn of any areas the judges believe she can improve on.
Morris is captain of the New Zealand Synchro team that will be competing at the Fina World Championships in Gwangju, Korea in July and will be using this weekend as extra preparation ahead of the international event. Of the nine in the travelling team, five are from Tauranga - including Morris, Eden Worsley, Isobel Pettit, Zyelika Pratt-Smith and Karlina Steiner, all of whom are competing this weekend.
Morris will compete in the senior free duet with Pettit, in the senior tech duet with Eden Worsley and in the senior free solo and will compete with her Tauranga Synchro team and is confident of podium placings.
"It's the first time that our routines, particularly the duets and solo have been seen. The duets are brand new and the solo I've reworked from last year but the judge haven't seen the routines before so it's really good to get feedback because, you know, we work on it so closely every single day sometimes it's hard to see things that aren't working so it's nice to get input from some of the best judges in the country."
She says the North Island champs provide an environment to showcase the skills of athletes of all levels - with members of the public able to learn more about what the sport has to offer.
"It's nice to watch from the real beginners all the way up to the senior athletes because you don't really get that at big competitions, it's nice, I like watching the little kids."
Tauranga Synchro's head coach Lara Teixeira Cianciarulo, a three-time Olympian from Brazil, is confident of medal success.
"Our athletes have been working really hard to prepare for this competition," Cianciarulo says.
"They've all put in a huge amount of time and effort, and I'm confident they will make Tauranga proud."
She says the competition will be exciting to watch, with a range of skills on display from those just starting out to those who, like Morris, are national representatives in the sport.
"It's a beautiful sport to watch," Cianciarulo says.
"It's a mixture of swimming, gymnastics and ballet performed to music, with glamorous costumes. The girls do a great job to make it look easy, but I can assure you it's not.
"Teamwork is one of the cornerstones of our coaching philosophy," she says.
"We have a big sense of team in this club. And it's not just the athletes. Our parents play a big part in the club too."
It has been two years since Tauranga last hosted the North Island champs, with Tauranga Synchro chairwoman Kate Boyt saying a lot of hard work is done behind the scenes to make it happen.
"As well as the coaches and team managers, we have many parents volunteering their time in jobs ranging from judging and marshalling to hair and make-up. It definitely takes a village."
North Island Synchronised Swimming Championships:
Where: Baywave Aquatic Centre, Mount Maunganui.
Best viewing times: Saturday, 1pm-4.30pm; Sunday, 8.30am-2.30pm.
Competitors: About 100 synchronised swimmers competing, including 27 from Tauranga.