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Swimmer Bronagh Ryan dived headfirst into the Te Rauparaha Arena’s waters first thing on Thursday morning.

“I was ecstatic about entering level two, it meant I could get back to training in a pool which was an essential part missing from my training,” said Ryan.

The Porirua athlete hadn’t been in a pool since alert level restrictions were put in place in March.

It was quite a change for someone who normally spends hours in the water every day.

“I had to take up running and I am not a runner, that’s why I picked swimming in the first place!”

The 26-year-old happily traded her trainers for flippers for the first session of many back in the pool.

“It was so nice to get back in there and back to that feeling I’m so familiar with.”

Ryan competed at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games where she placed 16th in the 50m breaststroke and 17th in the 100m discipline.

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Her next goal is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

“Everything has obviously been pushed aside in the past couple of months. Our Olympic qualifiers were our nationals and unfortunately, those could no longer happen.

“The Tokyo Olympic Games is still on the cards, so I’ll be pushing in the pool to be ready for next year’s qualification event.”

And while she’ll be pushing herself Ryan says she’ll also be clinging to the perspective she gained during lockdown.

“This pandemic makes you realise there are more important things in life than sport.

“It’s tough with the Games being put back a year but you have to put your ego aside and sit back for a minute and realise what is going on around you is far bigger than your current aspirations.”


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