The spring carnival swim meet at Dannevirke's AMP Wai Splash on Sunday was a huge success, with a large number of entries and local swimmers setting personal best times.

"We were really pleased with the turnout, with swimmers representing 10 teams from Manawatu, Wellington, Horowhenua and Wairarapa taking part," club official Michelle Mitchell said.

"For some of our Dannevirke club members it was their first time competing and everyone did very well."

Dannevirke's Chelsea Parlato took out a cash prize in the 16 and over section and other local swimmers had second and third placings in their age groups.


This year former Olympian Jon Winter had his Raumati Raptors and their associated Hawke's Bay swimmers at the meet.

Dannevirke's Phoebe Nelson, Tawhiti Te Momo, Rebecca Moynihan and double Olympian Daniel Bell competed in the 200m freestyle relay for the Marie Nelson Memorial Cup.
Winter admitted he was determined his team would win the trophy as Phoebe is Marie's granddaughter. And they did, just.

"Competing in this meet for the first time is a payback for Phoebe's family, but our win in the relay was a bit closer than I thought it would be," he said.

Winter coached Bell when he was a teen and he said while his relay team were all classy swimmers, Bell epitomised what class really was.

Bell told the Dannevirke News winning was about having the right mental attitude and mindset.

Now coaching 44 swimmers at the Clive Memorial Pool, Bell said he had no inclination to try and make an Olympic team again.

"If I was going to do that it would have been for Rio," he said. ""I love coaching and don't see myself in full-time competition and I don't think I'll ever try to make another Olympic team. Swimming now is a way to stay fit.

"Obviously with such a long swimming career I do know my limitations," the 26-year-old, said. "I'm not capable of doing what I used to do in the pool, but I haven't been trying because with two full-time jobs, [working in the bank and coaching], I don't have the time. But swimming is a way to stay fit."