A love of coaching
Seeing the joy learners get from swimming a bit further or mastering a new water skill is what motivates Gore Aquatics head coach Mariano Garcia Nani.
Mariano was recently awarded New Zealand Skills Active apprentice of the year. Skills Active is the national industry training organisation for sport, exercise, recreation and performing arts.
It’s a national award he’s both proud and humbled to have received. While he’s personally delighted, he says it’s also great for the Hokonui Aquatic Club and the Sharks swimming squad he coaches.
Having moved to New Zealand from Argentina five years ago and then to Gore three years ago, Mariano loves the opportunities Gore gives him. He praises the support he receives from his partner, family, Council staff and management, as well as the wider community.
“I am always very grateful for the support I have, and I don’t take that for granted.”
Gore District has some promising young swimmers, primarily in the 9 to 13 year age group, but also in the 13 to 18 year age group.
“There are a lot of very skilful swimmers coming through, all with a good work ethic,” Mariano says.
Eleven local swimmers currently compete at national events and it’s great Gore District has this level of representation, he says.
Mariano’s dedication to adaptive aquatics, coaching people with disabilities or health conditions, is an area of special interest for him.
“It’s really satisfying to see these people doing well and it’s also a challenge I enjoy learning to communicate in different ways to meet their needs.”