Introducing our new head coach - Vesna Tomic!
Tauranga Synchro is excited to announce the appointment of a new head coach, Vesna Tomic. Want to find out more about Vesna? Read on...
Where are you from?
I grew up in Serbia, in Southeast Europe, and lived there until we moved to New Zealand about two and a half years ago. We came here for our two teenage children, to give them more opportunities. We wanted to live by the beach in an English-speaking city with a good climate and we ended up in Mount Maunganui. We are very happy with our move here
How did you get into synchronised swimming?
I actually started my sporting career in karate. I did karate for about 18 years and was the youngest karate master in my town. I coached karate for about four years. I also have a dance background as well as gymnastics and swimming.
I picked up synchro as a recreational sport, as something fun to do. I loved the water and joined a local club. At university I did a Masters Degree in Sport and Physical Education. My studies helped me to understand the human body, sports training and teaching methods. It was the perfect coaching base.
Years after I left university, I was asked to coach at my old synchronised swimming club. I started as assistant coach to our learn-to-swim athletes and progressed to head coach and club president. I went onto become head coach of the national team in Serbia. Overall, I coached synchro for over ten years. I also have an Olympic Committee Coaching Certificate.
What did you do in New Zealand before joining Tauranga Synchro?
Over the past two years I have been a swimming instructor at Baywave. I was a supervisor at Bayswim swim school and team leader.
I wanted to stay connected to synchro after we moved here so I approached Synchro Swim New Zealand. I have been judging at nationals since 2018. I was also a New Zealand Pikopiko squad (15 & under) coach in 2019 and took a team to Malaysia to compete at the Malaysian Open
What is your coaching philosophy?
My focus is to teach the athletes to challenge themselves. To always strive to beat themselves and improve. It’s about making small steps, being better than you were the previous month, and the month before that. Those little steps add up and that’s how you make progress.
For me, coaching is not just about synchro, it’s about learning life skills. Looking at the whole of an athlete’s life. The most important thing is for athletes to grow up strong and healthy, ready for their lives ahead of them. I want to teach them that anything is possible. That they can accomplish anything if they want it enough.
What do you enjoy most about synchro?
I love the creativity, the ability to express yourself through music and movement. And I love a challenge, and coaching synchro is a challenge.
What do you like about New Zealand synchro?
I love how people work together as a team, and the passion for the sport here. It’s lovely to be part of the community and the wider synchro family.
It’s pretty good being a synchronised swimmer in New Zealand. There’s a good balance of sport and life away from the pool.
Do you have any advice for synchro beginners?
You need to be passionate about synchro. Exercise out of the water is equally as important as exercise in the water. Work on your figures on land. Enjoy the music, dance at home and stretch!
What do you do in your spare time?
I love the beach - that’s why we chose to come here. I love bush walks, watching movies with my family and reading. Painting was another hobby of mine in Serbia.
How would you describe yourself?
I am optimistic – I see the positive in everything. It’s all in the way you look at things. I believe that everything happens for a reason.
I love learning, I embrace challenges and I’m persistent – I never give up.
How have the first weeks in your new role been?
From my very first training session here with Tauranga Synchro I felt like I was home. It makes such a difference doing something you really love. It felt great to be back doing the sport I feel so passionate about.