Inclusivity is everything for Te Arawa Swimming head coach Henk Greupink.

Greupink is teaming up with Swimming Waikato Hub head coach Darren Ward and St Paul's Swimming Club head coach Graham Smith to put on a free para-swimming camp in Cambridge next month.

"Since I've been involved in para swimming for the last few years, I've felt that we, as regions, could do a lot more. If we don't go out and say 'hey, we can help you if you want to swim', it just won't happen.

"I started talking to Darren and we share the same passion for swimming and being inclusive. Not just the high-performance swimmers, but everybody else as well."

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The aim of the camp, at St Peter's School in Cambridge on November 10, is to get people in the pool, but also to educate coaches and officials.

"It's bigger than just getting a para-swimmer in the pool and they swim up and down, it's about coaches being more open-minded and coming along as well.

"A lot of coaches, especially from the Bay of Plenty, have already indicated they want to be part of this."

As a child in Holland, Greupink was coached by a para-swimmer who showed him anything is possible. He said seeing para-swimmers take to the water and fall in love with the sport was rewarding as a coach.

"He was a really good dude and we thought nothing about it until he went to the Olympics and came back with all these medals, he was a national hero. Even back then I thought 'that is so cool'.

"Coaching para-swimmers has just sort of grown on me over the years. The thing is they never complain, they already have so many obstacles in their lives. The moment they hit the water, it's priceless, it's unbelievable."


For more information on the para-swimming camp in Cambridge on November 10, go to www.swimmingwaikato.co.nz or email Darren Ward at darren@swimmingwaikato.co.nz.