The red and white Tongan flag hangs proudly among the crowds of AIMS Games swimmers.

Directly underneath their country's flag are Tongan swimmers Vaoahi Afu, 12, and Alan Koti Lopeti Uhi, 13, nervously waiting to take to the water.

Their biggest fans, mum Suliana Afu and coach Tina Uhi are huddled next to them.

Twelve-year-old Vaoahi is first up. She peels on her swimming cap, pulls down her goggles and perches herself on the diving board.


The buzzer goes and Vaoahi splashes into the water. It is Alan's turn next.

Vaoahi Afu (11), Koti Uhi (12), Saia Day (13) and Keli Langi (12) have been competing at the AIMS Games in Tauranga this week.

Swimming in the Baywave Aquatic Centre pool is different from