In the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings, locals have been finding their own ways to support the victims and their families.

Last week nearly 50 children and adults from Waihi Swimming Club swam 50 laps to raise money for the Christchurch Shooting Victims' Fund and raised a total of $700.

The pool had closed for the season the day before the swim, says club president Tess Hennessy, so they were just able to fit in the ''swim for Christchurch''.

Some members donated directly to the Givealittle page and others donated on entry.


''Parents swam too as did about 10 masters swimmers. Most did the 50 lengths individually, some did it in teams. One six year old did nine lengths in a team with his dad.''

Tess says it was a poignant end to what was a bumper season for the club and its 247 swimmers.

The club began in 2011 and has grown every year since. There are now 183 swimmers in 46 weekly Learn to Swim classes. There are four swim squads with 51 participating.

The club has just completed its annual club championships with 60-plus swimmers competing over three nights. Many received awards — main awards and trophies went to Tai Baker (most improved Learn to Swim), Meika Laman-Trip (most improved squad), Laine Tai (Grafters Cup) and Isitolo Hiliate received most outstanding swimmer.

The club offers a Swimming New Zealand teaching qualification which nine students and two adults have completed there are currently six more in the process.

They also have been having ocean swimming sessions with Waihi Surf Club in the last few years. It is a life-guarded ocean swim every Friday night (minimum distance is 200m).

Tess says it is the best way to start ocean swimming as it is quite a transition from the pool.

The season is from November to March. The Learn to Swim programme is $95 for a season and there is a scholarship available.

There's a masters group for fun and fitness with twice weekly sessions this season.