Swimming: Doyle sees better future in Wellington

Carina Doyle competes in a heat of the 400m freestyle at the Otago championships at Moana Pool yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Carina Doyle competes in a heat of the 400m freestyle at the Otago championships at Moana Pool yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.

Otago swimming no longer offers Carina Doyle the environment she needs to become an international swimmer and she has decided to try her luck in Wellington.

Doyle (19), who was a member of Andy Adair's Waves squad from the age of 11, will join the squad of former Olympian Gary Hurring in Wellington.

''I'm leaving for Wellington because I've been offered a place in the Wellington Regional High Performance Centre,'' she said.

''The Waves club is falling to pieces and I need a more stable training environment.''

Doyle has switched her university psychology course from Otago to Victoria.

Adair had big plans for Doyle and was convinced she had the potential to become an Olympian.

She performed well at New Zealand age group championships and won a gold medal in the 200m freestyle in Wellington last year. She also won silver medals in the 100m and 800m freestyle and a bronze medal in the 400m freestyle.

After Adair took up his coaching appointment in Nelson, Doyle was the only serious senior female swimmer left at her own level.

''It was quite tough to train,'' Doyle said.

''I am going to a high performance environment where there are several swimmers at the same level as me, who know what it takes and are more dedicated.''

Doyle started serious swimming at the age of 11, when she joined Adair's squad. The inspiration she got from Adair dissipated when he left for Nelson.

''Andy had been my coach since I was young and Gary has a similar coaching style,'' she said.

''I want that continuity.''

She said it had been a difficult time for Waves club members since Adair left.

''The club has kept going but it has been tough. There have been big changes and it has been different.''

Waves swimmers lose their temporary coach, Geoffrey Calder, when the Otago championships end tomorrow. Rhys Pryde-Wall, the assistant to Adair, has accepted a position in Gore.

''It's quite unnerving for us and is especially hard on the younger kids,'' Doyle said. She is targeting the Olympic Games and believes her task will be made easier in Hurring's squad.

''I will just have to take one step at a time,'' she said.

''At Rio de Janeiro I could make a relay team and in 2020 compete in individual events.''

She will also target the Commonwealth Games and other New Zealand teams, like the Pan Pacifics.

''I haven't represented New Zealand in swimming yet but hopefully I will sometime soon.''

Doyle cut short her participation in the Otago swimming championships to represent St Clair at the Eastern Region surf life-saving championships, at Whangamata Beach at the weekend.

She represented New Zealand at the world under-20 surf life-saving championships in Adelaide last year, where she won silver medals in the 4 x 50m obstacle relay, the surf race, the 200m obstacle race, the tube rescue, the taplin relay and as a member of the New Zealand team. She also won a bronze.


Carina Doyle
Swimmer/surf life-saver
Age: 19.
Education: Kavanagh College, University of Otago.
Clubs: Waves (swimming) and St Clair (surf life-saving).

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
Swimming
: Gold in 200m freestyle at New Zealand age group championships, 2012.
Surf life-saving: New Zealand team at world under-20 championships (six silver medals), 2012.