Lauren Boyle’s interest in elite swimming stems from 1996 when she was in her grandmother’s lounge in front of the TV watching Danyon Loader win one of his two Olympic Gold medals in Atlanta, USA. That may have been the moment sparking her to decide she really wanted to be in the Olympics one day. She had started swimming at the Tom Johnson Swim School in the old Big Top pool (now the West Wave Aquatic Centre) in Henderson, Auckland. The late Tom Johnson was a fabulous teacher and Lauren counts herself very lucky to have had Tom take a keen interest in her lessons.
In her swimming classes it was said that she had one of the most beautiful freestyle strokes seen at the time. Later her action would change and develop, mainly when she shifted to the USA in 2007.
Today as a leading New Zealand swimmer in the HPSNZ programme, Lauren holds strong ambitions for all the young aspiring swimmers in New Zealand and does whatever she can to help those athletes.
Lauren is an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley where she swam for the “Golden Bears”. Calbears.com describes her as a veteran of international competition, and she agrees that’s right having swam in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympic Games. She competed for Cal from 2007-10, where she was a six-time All-American and held the school record in the 1650-yard freestyle until this year. Lauren studied at the prestigious Haas School of Business where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Lauren says Cal was a great place to be. She raced and trained with some of the world’s best.
Since moving back to New Zealand she has devoted herself to her sport. Lauren represented NZ at the London Olympics (4th800m freestyle) and at the FINA World Championships in 2013 (triple bronze performances 400, 800, 1500m) At the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year she collected 1 gold and 1 silver medal. She is the Commonwealth Games champion in the women’s 400 metre free.
Late 2014 saw Lauren relocate again to work with one of the world’s leading distance coaches, Denis Cotterell. She lived on the Gold Coast for two years while preparing for the 2015 World Champs where she won two silver medals (1500 and 800m freestyle) and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio where she finished 9th.
Since 2015 Lauren has been an active ambassador for Water Safety New Zealand helping bring awareness to the issue of New Zealand’s high drowning rate.
Outside the pool Lauren loves gardening and cooking. She has recently become interested in DIY and is thinking of taking a woodwork class! When her timetable permits, Lauren is a regular speaker at business functions or sporting occasions to which she is invited.
“Swimming in New Zealand isn’t just a sport, it’s a life skill and people are encouraged into that way of thinking. As for elite competitive swimming, the sport has only a minor following here but I want to encourage more and more Kiwi kids into swimming clubs. Practice and good coaching can create in our young people the kind of passion for the sport I have. Being a pro athlete I know about sport and I’m passionate about sharing the effects of healthy living and hard work with New Zealanders.”