A bid by Masterton swimmer Isaac Foote to qualify for next year's Commonwealth Games will be supported by an evening with former Commonwealth swimming champion and leading coach Gary Hurring and top sports commentator Keith Quinn, to be held in Masterton this month.
Foote, 20, took another step towards his goal of qualifying for the 200m butterfly at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games when he became the New Zealand short course 200m butterfly open champion at the national championships in Wellington last week.
Foote won in a personal best time of 1min 58.56s, breaking his Wellington Open record. He has six months to prepare for the Commonwealth trials in April, which ideally includes competing and training in Australia in December.
Born and bred in Masterton, Foote began swimming competitively at the age of 12 with the Masterton Swimming Club. He was the Wairarapa Secondary School Sportsman of the Year and Wairarapa Maori Sportsman of the Year in 2010. Since finishing at Chanel College that year, he has been training at the Wellington High Performance Centre under Hurring.
At the fundraising evening at the Masterton Town Hall on Wednesday, October 30, Hurring will talk with sports commentator Keith Quinn about what it takes to be a world-class athlete - the challenges, the inspiration and the tools and techniques he has learned over the years as a swimmer and coach. In 1978, Hurring won gold at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the world championships when he also won the Halberg New Zealand Sportsman of the Year award. He represented New Zealand at the 1984 Olympics, finishing fourth and fifth in the 100m and 200m backstroke events. Now coaching Wellington-based high performance, Olympic, Commonwealth Games and world championship swimmers, he was Swimming New Zealand's Coach of the Year in 2011.
"Isaac is one of the most committed swimmers that I have coached," Hurring said this week. "He is not scared of hard work and regularly puts himself into the pain zone when training and racing."
Foote trains 20 hours each week in the pool plus eight hours in the gym and is swimming for Wellington's Capital Club.
He has been one of the country's best open-water swimmers, but switched his attention to the pool. His long-distance background helps with the demands of the 200m butterfly.
Quinn has covered seven Olympic and nine Commonwealth Games, commentating on everything from swimming and table tennis to rugby.
The evening with Hurring and Quinn includes drinks, nibbles and a fundraising auction and is supported by the Wairarapa Sports Education Trust, Printcraft and Trust House.
Tickets are $30 for adults and $10 for children and are available at Trev's Sports.