The North Shore has another young sports star after Wilrich Coetzee’s double gold medal performance at the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa.
The 18 year old North Shore Swimming Club athlete has just returned from the Games where he won gold in the 100m and 200m butterfly.
Victory in the 100m butterfly marked a personal best for Coetzee with a time of 54.48s with second place only 7/100th of a second behind.
In the 200m butterfly the young swimmer was pushed all the way, finishing with a time of 2:01.85 after being behind at the half way mark.
Coetzee, who trains here at AUT Millennium in the Aktive Pathway to Podium programme and North Shore Swimming, under the watchful eye of Thomas Ansorg, comments that the Games gave him the opportunity to experience competition at an international level.
“The swimmers were competing the most during the Games which was quite fun,” he says.
“It taught me how much faster you fatigue and how hard it is to compete at a high level and try and repeat it each day”.
The double victory ensured 2015 has been an extremely successful one for Coetzee which also included two National Short Course titles in August at the new National Aquatic Centre.
The young swimmer has plenty of support around him with brother, Corneille, also a New Zealand swimmer.
He is also a member of Pathway to Podium which helps emerging young athletes prepare for the demands of life as a high performance athlete as well as being both an AUT Millennium Scholarship and North Shore Swimming Golden Home Scholarship Athlete.
Aktive Pathway to Podium Programme Coordinator, Paul Strang, comments that Coetzee is going from strength to strength as an athlete.
“Pathway to Podium provides Wilrich with support and guidance in many areas including planning, mental skills and nutrition,” he says.
“Wilrich has improved tremendously as a swimmer and as an athlete he is beginning to learn the performance-culture required to become a world-class athlete”.
He now has his sights set on greater honours with the opportunity to qualify for the Rio Olympics as a major goal.
“My goals for the future are to really focus on my training and improving my personal bests,” he says.
“I’m really looking at going to Rio next year but if I do miss out on that I’ll be focusing on the 2020 Tokyo Games.”
The team at AUT Millennium wish Wilrich all the best for the future.