Wellington’s Lewis Clareburt has been swimming for as long as he can remember.
“I was thrown in the pool when I was three and I’ve gone from there. I started racing when I was eight and followed both my sisters who competed.”
Now seventeen Lewis has smashed age group records and is one of the most dominant young swimmers in New Zealand, winning eight gold medals at the 2017 New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships.
The Scots College student rarely has free time as he juggles a packed swimming schedule and his studies.
“I do about 10 trainings a week 8 in the pool and two in the gym about 20 hours all up. It’s pretty busy going as soon as you finish school I’m rushing to the pool doing my stretching then jumping in.”
That dedication has paid off though, Lewis holds the national age record in the 400m individual medley, previously held by Rio Olympian Bradlee Ashby, with a time of 4 minutes 21.69 seconds. He also equalled Danyon Loader's near 25-year-old record in the 200m freestyle, clocking in at 1.51.70.
“In training I know that if I do something well and if I work hard now the rewards will come at the end.”
Lewis previously competed internationally at the 2016 Junior Pan Pacific championships in Hawaii where he made the finals of every event he entered.
He’s since been working with former Olympic Games swimmer Gareth Kean and coach Gary Hollywood and is swimming faster than ever.
“I’m feeling pretty confident, I should be able to do some PBs and I’m really excited to get in the pool and test my skills over there. The Games should be awesome for my development as well and it’ll be cool to be part of a proper Games campaign.”
Lewis Clareburt will compete as part of the New Zealand Team at the Commonwealth Youth Games held in the Bahamas from July 18th – 23rd.
About the Bahamas Commonwealth Youth Games:
A team of 34 talented young Kiwi athletes will represent New Zealand at the Games, taking on their Commonwealth counterparts between 18 – 23 July 2017. The team will be made up of eleven swimmers, eleven athletics representatives, three cyclists, five boxers and four beach volleyball players. The last Commonwealth Youth Games were held in Samoa in 2015 where New Zealand won 20 medals, made up of seven gold, eight silver and five bronze.
Up to 1300 athletes from around the world will be involved in the Games and will make the most of an inspiring and immersive mix of impactful sporting competition. The Games will allow for personal development in the athletes who will also be given the opportunity to form new Commonwealth friendships.
The Games will provide a performance pathway for the young New Zealand athletes and will also inspire them to future sporting and individual success.Commonwealth Youth Games Lewis Clareburt Swimming