Flynny's Swim Challenge

Introducing Paul “Flynny” Flynn, (41), More FM Drive home Radio DJ, living on the Hibiscus Coast north of Auckland, with Nat his health-conscious wife and 4 kids (5, 9, 12 and 15).

He sits poolside each week at Northern Arena watching his children at their learn to swim lessons and suddenly it dawns on him… All of his kids are better swimmers than he is. When summer hits, his kids will be enjoying the water due to their water confidence and he will have to watch from the side-lines once again due to his lack of swimming skills.

Flynny never really learnt to swim properly, he knew the basics (or so he thought), but the stark reality is that he can’t swim 10 metres in any body of water. If any of his family were to get into trouble in the water, he would not be able to help and more than likely drown himself whilst trying to save them.

Unbeknown to Flynny, this statistic is true. He sits smack bang in the middle of the age group and sex of the *highest fatalities caused by drowning in NZ (*5 year average). Whilst he has run a half marathon not so long ago, his swimming fitness is non-existent.

Step in Scott Rice, Event Director of the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series, who invited Flynny to prepare for, and participate in, an ocean swim (or two) this summer. Flynny was hesitant knowing that his skills in the water are limited, but with a mixture of fear and excitement, and the help of Northern Arena and blueseventy, he has decided to embrace the challenge.

3 x Olympian and Head of Swimming Dean Kent, giving Flynny tips from the side of the pool

The Challenge

On 12 December, to swim the 500m event at Takapuna’s Harcourts Cooper & Co. Swim the Shore and then other swims in the national Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series.

With only three months of preparation till swim one, it’s going to take a lot of commitment and hard work, it will push Flynny’s mental and physical toughness to the max. He will be guided through his training by Northern Arena’s swim coaches during their SwimFit swim sessions 4 times-a-week under the watchful eye of  3 x Olympian and Head of Swimming Dean Kent. Flynny will slip into a wetsuit and the ocean thanks to blueseventy in November as part of his final preparation for his goal event on 12 December.

Northern Arena logoBlueseventy logo


Watch Flynny as he strives to gain confidence, and increase his ability and safety in the water for himself and his family. Follow his journey in pursuit of success in the Banana Boat New Zealand Ocean Swim Series event by keeping a watch on this webpage, subscribing to our email newsletter and following on social media.

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Keen to join Flynny and swim an event?

That’s great. Check out our full line up of events and choose which is best for you. If you’re just starting out and need some lessons or technique support, contact your local swimming pool for the right solution for you. If you’re Auckland based, try Northern Arena. If you have some swimming experience and would like a swim program to prepare, then head to our ‘Get Prepared’ webpage and download a free swim program.

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Flynny in pool for the first time