• Video: Young Hawke's Bay swimmer gets chance of a lifetime with scholarship to US university

Video: Young Hawke's Bay swimmer gets chance of a lifetime with scholarship to US university

A young Hawke’s Bay swimmer, who achieved success at the Trinbago 2023 Commonwealth Youth Games, has been rewarded with a change of a lifetime – a scholarship to a United States university.

Caleb Carlisle set the Youth Games alight by taking a bronze medal in the Men’s 50m breaststroke and now he is taking up a scholarship to join the swim team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“It's been a pretty big moment of my life upcoming. It's going to be a big change, big move, and I'm super excited to get that rolling. I started swimming when I was just 12 years old, which was reasonably later than most.”

“I had a passion for it and I went to my first nationals, went to AIMS Games and I just loved it, I loved the competition, I loved the people. I just kept going at it.”

“From then on, I just keep wanting to push. Where's the next stage? Where can I go next? And I got that taste of it in Trinidad when I went to the Youth Commonwealth Games, I got that taste of that international experience and I just loved it.”

Carlisle realised that there were opportunities out there, especially as states were recruiting. He contacted an agency and they agreed to help me.

“I just went from there and then sort of went around and I got a couple of offers from different states and Milwaukee just was the one that outshined for me, it was the one that just offered basically what I wanted. So I just took that one when I got it.”

Carlisle says last year was a big year, where he performed well at Nationals.

“I had an exceptional bunch of races in butterfly and my breaststroke, I smashed out the 100 fly and I made a qualifying time for Youth Commonwealth Games and my coach came over and he was like, ‘You made the time.’ I was like, ‘I didn't even know I made the time.’”

“I took that and then from then on, it gave something for the coaches in America to look at and see me perform recently. It was real good that I got a medal there because then there was something I could use and see. I could do breaststroke and I can do butterfly and that's a great thing. I think that I got chosen by Milwaukee for it is that I can do multiple disciplines.”

Currently, Carlisle is swimming with Napier Aquahawks.

“They're a great coaching staff. Shane Chapman, Tom and Dave. They work collectively together and it's an exceptional team and I love being here in this club. It'll be sad when I leave, but I'm excited as well.”