Wellington High Performance Aquatics
Hall of fame
WHiPA is proud to have supported local athletes competing at the highest level internationally. Some athletes are still competing, and some are now retired from international competition, remaining an inspiration to our current and developing athletes.
At age nine, Gabe broke her first New Zealand record and at age 13 competed at the Diving World Cup. She broke 19 NZ records in both the Junior and Open categories. She was the youngest competitor at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi at the age of 14 years and 34 days and was the second youngest ever to compete for New Zealand.
A backstroke sprint specialist, Gareth Kean boasts an impressive medal haul including Commonwealth Games Silver Medal, World University Games Gold & Bronze Medals. Gareth represeted representing New Zealand at the 2012 Olympic Games, in the 100 and 200m Backstroke and the 4x100m Medley.
Freestyle specialist Samantha Lucie-Smith represented New Zealand at the 2012 London Olympics in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay after blitzing the NZ time trials to secure her place in the team. She also represented New Zealand at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Samantha Lucie-Smith was a WHiPA ambassador.
Surf Life Saving and Swimming
Samantha has represented NZ in both swimming and surf live saving. In Surf Life Saving she was part of two consecutive World Championship wins in 2012 and 2014. She also won two individual races and one relay gold at both championships. At the 2015 German Cup, she won two gold medals, broke her own world record and was awarded the top overall female of the competition for the second year in a row. She will compete in the World Championships later in 2016. In Swimming a highlight was competing in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Mary Fisher is a blind paralympic swimmer. She competed at the Paralympics in London 2012, 5 personal bests, a gold medal and world record time, two silvers and a bronze medal. Mary has also been a gold medallist at the 2014 Para Pan Pacs, 2013 and 2015 IPC swimming world champs and has shared her experiences with many groups. A WHiPA Ambassador, Mary will compete in five events at the Rio Paralympic Games.
Emma Robinson started swimming competitively at age 13 for Wellington's Capital Swim Club, which she still swims for. Her first team was for the 2011 Junior Commonwealth Games, followed by the team for the 2012 Junior Pan Pacifics. In 2013 she competed in the World Champs Open Water team, then in 2014 she qualified individually in the pool for the Commonwealth Games and in 2015 she qualified individually for the Swimming World Champs. Emma was recently named in the NZ Olympic Team for Rio 2016.
Emma says: "I have now been selected to compete at my very first Olympics. It is something that I have dreamed of doing since I was very young, and I can't thank you enough for the on going support WHiPA has given me, as without it my dreams wouldn't be coming true."
Li Feng Yang
Li Feng Yang started diving at the age of 5 and was selected into Shandong sports programme at the age of 7. He competed at junior and senior championships in China, before starting coaching in 2008. In he 2010 came to NZ as an assistant coach working with Steven Zhu in the WHiPA Programme and was offered an invitational spot to dive at the Olympic Qualifier Wellington 2011. In 2014 he represented New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games. Li Feng Yang was a WHiPA Ambassador, and now continues his work training young divers in Asia.