Bay Swim

BaySwim Alum and Instructor Achieves National Swimming Success

6 November 2021

Zyleika Pratt-Smith is a BaySwim legacy making waves on the competitive swimming circuit in NZ. She started swimming lessons at just three years old and is now an Olympic swimming hopeful who we are lucky enough to have on the team of instructors at BaySwim.

Zyleika had a special start to her swimming journey; one of her very first swimming instructors was none other than her nana Fiona. Fiona is a much-loved member of the BaySwim instructor team and is also the person Zyleika credits as her inspiration, “She made me fall in love with the sport and has guided me along the way, she has given me opportunities that I’m very grateful for.”

Over the years Zyleika has achieved some incredible results in both competitive swimming and synchronised swimming. She attended the AIMS Games in 2016 and 2017 and was awarded best swimmer in her age group both years. In 2016 Zyleika broke five Bay of Plenty swimming records in a week and in 2017 she won nine gold medals to break the all-time AIMs Games record.

This talented swimmer was selected for both the NZ Swimming Squad and the NZ Development Squad for synchronised swimming, which she juggled simultaneously. She has an impressive tally of medals in both disciplines and is a fantastic mentor for younger athletes following in her footsteps.

At an Olympic qualifier event earlier this year Zyleika overcame some difficult challenges to pull off a swimming achievement that is one of her proudest to date. Nationals 2021 got off to a rocky start, “…I was way over my personal best times, not medaling, I was very embarrassed because national selectors were at this meet.” She struggled to move past results of earlier races and focus on the present, but on the last day of the competition she was able to push through the mental block and win a bronze medal in the Open 200 metre individual medley.

Zyleika is a fantastic athlete who became a BaySwim staff member because she believes that “all children need to be confident in the water.” We love having Zyleika on our team helping us teach the next generation of safe swimmers and will be eagerly following her swimming journey in the years to come!

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