Ellen & Harriet The Swimfluencing Duo!

Meet Ellen & Harriet…….

Our next swimfluencer for the 23/24 season is a DUO! Ellen & Harriet from Christchurch will work together to inspire you to get in the water and maybe even tackle one of our Amphibians this season! You can read all about why they swim below and if you see them around Christchurch at events make sure to say hi.

Ellen Petersen

How long have you been swimming?Since birth I had a natural love for the water, through school it was swim squads, I wasn't elite, but I did compete at a local level and dragged mum and dad out of bed for all those early morning trainings. When I got to High School, I gravitated towards team sports and was led to the gritty sports of Water Polo and Surf Lifesaving. Since becoming a mum I have ventured more into Open Water Swimming and running.
Why do you swim?I swim to challenge my boundaries and to connect with others. I still have fears in the open water of "is that a shark, a dolphin, an eel, or is it a stick". I like the mental challenge that it brings because you need to learn how to move through those scary thoughts by bringing yourself back to the present moment and focusing on something as simple as breathing to move through those anxious thoughts. 5 years ago I entered my first Ocean Swim event, and I loved the positive atmosphere, the people and the encouragement. I enjoy that it allows me to go on SwimCations with my treasured swim buddies and see the country
What’s your favourite event in the series & why?I love La Grande Swim in Akaroa. Swimming the 5km point-to-point course is a big mental and physical challenge. It felt invigorating swimming from one side of the harbour to the other and knowing I did that all by myself
What do you hope to achieve by becoming a Swimfluencer?To encourage others to challenge their mindset in what they can achieve if they put their mind to it. Connect with other passionate and first-time swimmers. To encourage mums, dads and adults not to be ashamed of being a ‘beginner’, to book that swim lesson and show their children and friends that it is ok to learn to swim as an adult, if it's good enough for our children to learn to swim, it's good enough for us to commit to this journey. Let’s be role models for our tamarki and play our part in minimizing New Zealand's drowning rates.
If you had ONE PIECE of advice for a new ocean swimmer - what would it be?Book a lesson. Swimming can be hard to improve by yourself, without someone else watching your technique and showing you how to improve. Simple technique tips that are personalized to you can make you more efficient and less fatigued in the water. I want you to experience effortless swimming, where you effortlessly glide through the water and can truly enjoy swimming longer distances.

Harriet  Hrynkewycz

How long have you been swimming?Other than a 10 year break through my 20’s I’ve swum my entire life. I started off as a competitive swimmer in the UK. I was an allrounder but mainly I was a backstroker.
Why do you swim?I have always found the water my most natural place, especially now I find ocean swimming to be such a mood lifter. It keeps me fit, sane and most importantly I feel great doing it. I’d swim every day if someone could come up with a swim cap that keeps your hair completely dry!!!!
What’s your favourite event in the series & why?La Grande swim Akaroa - 5km, WHAT A CHALLENGE!
What do you hope to achieve by becoming a Swimfluencer?I am an ex competitive swimmer who got completely put off swimming for years in my 20’s as it was always about sprints (not to say I wouldn’t do it now though!) So I have loved coming back to it in my 30’s as a working mum of 2 and seeing results constantly and knowing there is always more. For me, I hope people in all walks of life and time can see that you can always come back to something you never thought you’d do again and find a real love for it! So if you’re new to swimming or thinking or quitting - find your people and get out there!
If you had ONE PIECE of advice for a new ocean swimmer - what would it be?Never let hair washing day get in the way of a good swim 😂 and if you have no hair….I envy you!! Also - never be afraid to talk to new people at events; you never know what friends you’ll make!
Ocean Swim Series