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Sprinters... Members of the Hokonui Aquatically Club come together after hosting the Hokonui swim sprint event at the Gore Aquatic Centre on Sunday.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

It was a welcome return to the swimming circuit when the Hokonui Aquatics club hosted its first swim sprint in five years at the Gore Aquatic Centre on Sunday.

About 97 swimmers ranging in age from 7 to late teens from throughout Otago and Southland competed.

Event co-ordinator Fiona Sharp was very happy with the success of the day.

“It was a great day with some really great competition on display,” Sharp said.

The programme involved short sprints of relays and medleys.

Twenty-four 24 members from the Hokonui club took part.

“We had a couple of second places in the relays from under 12-years-old and over 12-years-old, which is just fantastic. The Invercargill clubs traditionally have absolutely dominated those events so for us to get second is great,” Sharp said.

“Seeing Hokonui holding its own was very good. We have a number of great swimmers, great coachesand great facilities.”

Hokonui Aquatics now had 40 members, and Sharp put the success down to Gore Aquatic Centre head coach Mariano Nani.

“The club has blossomed since he has come on board. He’s absolutely vital to this club.”

The event was well supported by officials and swim staff from Southland.

“The pool staff were just marvellous.”

The club was fortunate to receive support from the Eastern Southland community for prizes for the event, she said.

The event was used as a fundraiser for the Hokonui Aquatics club, and raised about $3000.

Sharp said the success of the event would result in the club hosting a similar event in the future.

“This event will absolutely be happening again. It’s back on the calendar permanently.”