A change in tack is being credited for producing the Tauranga Synchronised Swimming Club's best ever results at the North Island Championships.

Coach Julieta Diaz believes a new approach, attracting swimmers of different ages from disparate backgrounds, is already paying dividends.

"Since the beginning of this year we decided to start enrolling girls from the age of seven," said Diaz. "We are really lucky to have a beginner's team with girls that are coming from others related sports like swimming, gymnastics and ballet.

"They are young talented athletes with a good set of skills. I am looking forward to seeing how these girls develop into strong synchronised swimmers and possible representatives of New Zealand."


Diaz said open category entrant Sarsha Younger has progressed even further since representing New Zealand in Australia earlier this year.

"Her scores were better than in Australia, which shows us that her routines are improving and heading in the right direction.

"She placed first with her technical and free solo and she has to work intensively in the next 10 weeks to master these two routines to qualify to represent New Zealand at the 2014 Oceania Championships."

Younger, who at 20-years-old is studying health science at Auckland University, travels down weekly to train with her Tauranga teammates.

"I could do it in Auckland but I choose not to. I come down and train regularly with these guys.

"It's pretty time consuming, but in Auckland I just train by myself and then come down on Saturdays."

She has represented New Zealand in solo, team and duet competition after taking up the sport seven years ago due to her ability in swimming, gymnastics and ballet.

Diaz is optimistic about the club's ongoing development.

"Our older swimmers have shown that the club is in very good heart. Of course, for this group the cherry on top was to win gold for the first time in open team combination - swum by Larissa Wilson, Sophie Ning, Sarsha Younger, Eva Morris, Jazzlee Thomas and Amy Lowans.

"If everything goes well and we repeat this result at nationals in 10 weeks, we will qualify to represent New Zealand at the Oceania Championships."