© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

US college athlete forced to stay out of the water

Emma Olsen
Ellie Eastwood swim training at a beach near her house in Whangarei
Ellie Eastwood swim training at a beach near her house in Whangarei  Ellie Eastwood

Making ocean swimming illegal during lockdown has halted a US athlete from training

Ellie Eastwood, 19, had been swimming in the ocean outside her home in Whangarei since returning from New York on March 16.

Since the Government banned ocean swimming, the Wagner College student was forced to completely stop training.

"I was very disappointed to hear the news as it was something which kept me really motivated and active."

Eastwood said she had to do her least favourite form of training in order to stay fit. 

"I have to go running, even though I don't enjoy it. I'm also doing body-weight, at-home workouts and going on walks with the family, but nothing compares to doing actual swim training."

At college, Eastwood trains 20 hours a week, whereas at home it's less than 10. 

"I am definitely not reaching the same progress, but it is also a good time to reflect, relax and work on strengthening my injuries."

The Government announced the country would go into Alert Level three next week, allowing people to swim in the ocean again.

Eastwood was excited to hear the news.

"It's going to be awesome to get back in the water, although the ocean is definitely getting a little cold now. However, I'll tough it out until we get to Alert Level two and then hopefully some pool facilities will be able to open."

The entire semester is cancelled, and the earliest Eastwood will be flying back to college is the end of August.

"I think I'll have a little bit of time to get back on track. I try not to stress over it as we are all in the same boat."

Last year Eastwood showed the US what Kiwis are made of and was 0.66 milliseconds away from beating the 400 IM NEC conference meet record time.

"I think I can do it this year....I truly believe in positive mindsets. I am determined that a setback now will not dictate my season."

Ellie Eastwood at a swim competition competing for Wagner University
Ellie Eastwood at a swim competition competing for Wagner University Ellie Eastwood