The pool is normally where swimmers are ‘born’. A pool provides a safe environment to get comfortable in the water, learn swim technique and improve fitness. Once swim technique and fitness have been achieved the options become plentiful. If you are of a competitive nature then competitive swimming, triathlons or an ironman event may be your calling. If you enjoy the fitness of swimming but are also drawn to the relaxing and ‘zen like state’ that can be achieved with longer swims or you just enjoy swimming in a natural environment then open water swimming
Swim FitandAbel – we are open water swimming specialists.
We strive to develop, encourage, lead and educate in order to grow our awesome sport of open water swimming.
- Adult Learn to Swim
- Open Water Coaching
- Swim Safety
- Swim Events
- RealSwim Adventures (Sportive Swimming)
- Swim Products
- Swim Technique Analysis
- Training and Development
- Community Engagement
- Advocacy on behalf of open water swimmers
You can expect:
- Expert swimming knowledge.
- Willingness and ability to listen to your needs.
- Exceptional customer care.
- Honesty and integrity.
Bespoke Swim services tailored to your abilities and aspirations.
Together we can redefine your limits and achieve great things
Meet the Team
Dan walks the talk … In July 2017 Dan swam the English Channel in 11 hours 15 mins. In September 2017 he went on to become only the third person to swim a circumnavigation of Rarotonga in 11 hours and 2 minutes. Check out the highlights here ; English Channel or Cook Islands Swim
On March 22 2013 Dan completed the 88th successful swim crossing of New Zealand’s 26km Cook Strait. His time of 6 hours 15 minutes is the fourth fastest swim crossing of Cook Strait.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand it did not take long for Dan to show he was going to take life by the horns and make the most of it. A competitive swimmer from an early age Dan competed at a National level from 1988 through to 2008. This 20 year elite career included national titles, a 4 year stint in the USA at the University of Iowa (a Division I college) where he graduated with a BSc and academic accolades. Dan’s last National swimming competition meet was in October 2008 at age 33, when he was a finalist in the mens 100 Butterfly.
After graduating college in 1999 Dan took a short ‘break’, during that period he trained upcoming swimmers both in the water and in the gym, while working in the marketing profession for a well recognised adventure clothing and equipment manufacturer. Living his ethos of making the most of life Dan also used this time to become a qualified pilot and experienced scuba diver.
In 2001 Dan joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a commissioned officer. He immediately made an impact graduating top of his commissioning class in June 2001 and was awarded the trophy for top graduate in academics, leadership and personal qualities. Amongst his achievements during an eight year career, Dan qualified as a Navigator, was the air tasking officer during relief efforts in Indonesia and Thailand after the 2004 Tsunami and also worked in the Demitilarized Zone in South Korea, providing an essential diplomatic role between international delegations, South Korean political and business interests and the military (a role for which he was highly commended).
During his career Dan maintained a high level of physical fitness, focussing on swimming and general fitness, including winning mutliple New Zealand National Masters swimming titles and records. He also achieved his Commercial Pilots licence in both New Zealand and Australia.
Dan retired from the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 2010 after a satisfying and rewarding career . As a new challenge Dan moved from New Zealand to London and started working as a manager at a health club for a well recognised fitness brand. Over the next 12 months Dan transformed the club from a poor performer to one of the best performing health clubs in London. Dan also managed to ‘squeeze’ in an epic relay swim across the infamous English channel in October 2010, and with his team mates raised over £9000 for UK charities.
In 2011 Dan became a UK National Masters swimming champion for the first time.
In 2012 Dan has raced and won age titles in the State NZ Open Water swim series. He also competed in the NZ National Long Course Masters Swim Championships winning multiple events and setting National Records in the process.
In 2013 Dan was the age group category winner (30-39 years) at the Epic Swimming championships in both the 10km swim and the 2.5km swim held at lake Taupo New Zealand.
In 2016 Dan Abel won non wetsuit Epic Masters 2.5km Lake Taupo / first in Age non wetsuit http://oceanswim.co.nz/ 3.3km / first open teams division Wanaka Challenge 70.3 in Feb 2016.
2017 Completed a crossing of the English Channel in 11 hours 15 minutes – check out video of the swim here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q33mmnS49AA&t=7s
In the UK Fit&Abel delivers the swimming coaching services under contract to SwimTrek at the Tooting Bec Lido – Londons premier open water swimming training venue.
In New Zealand Fit & Abel provides swim coaching, open water swimming clinics, open water swimming adventures and swim safety services based out of Christchurch.
Dan is Head Coach for Fit&Abel in both hemispheres and also continues to write (Contributing writer for OutdoorSwimmer Magazine), film, photograph and share his passion for swimming, especially in the open water. Check out the updates on our facebook page
Bachelor of Science Recreation Management
CYQ Level 3 Qualified Personal Trainer
UK ASA Level 2 Swim Coaching Award
Swimming NZ Accredited Coach
Member UK Institute of Swimming
Member Swim Coaches and Teachers of New Zealand Inc
Member New Zealand Swimmers Association
Member World Swimming Association
RLS Beach Lifeguard
Surf Life Saving New Zealand qualified lifeguard
First Aid at Work certified
Pre Hospital Emergency Care certified
Anna is a well known open water swimming enthusiast and authority in New Zealand. She has a long history in competitive swimming, water polo and surf life saving. Anna has been an integral part of the Fit&Abel development since our inception , especially the growth or our RealSwim brand – focussing on encouraging and nurturing adult participation and enjoyment of open water swimming.
In ‘Real’ life Anna works as an IT consultant. With Fit&Abel Anna can be found on a number of our RealSwim Adventures and is always happy to share her swim knowledge and expertise with our clients.
– BSc Biology
– Lake Taupo swim (40.2km) https://nemo49.wordpress.com/the-swim/
– Qualified Beach Lifeguard
– First Aid qualified
– Works as swim support each week in Wellington for her local swim group.
Swimming has been part of Melanie’s life for 50 years. Her father raced yachts in the 1970’s so swimming lessons were implemented from an early age at Wharenui swimming pool. Melanie graduated from the learn to swim programme into the competitive programme and was mentored by the likes of Jaynie Parkhouse and Mark Treffers. Melanie made her first national swim team aged 14 years at the Edmonton Commonwealth Games and continued to represent New Zealand at Word Championships, Olympics and numerous other international events. Melanie was New Zealand Swimmer of the Year in 1980 and gained a bronze medal at the Brisbane Commonwealth Games two years later. She retired from her competitive swimming in the mid eighties and moved to Bermuda to take up a coaching position. Once there Melanie also established a vibrant Surf, Tri, Masters swimming programme as the sport of Triathlon was taking off world wide.
The nineties were spent raising a family in Christchurch and Melanie continued to swim in the Masters programme and coach part-time at Aquagym. Unfortunately Melanie was widowed in the late 90’s and life took a different turn. She went back to university to gain a law degree and practiced commercial litigation until 2014 but still continued to enjoy her swimming with a masters squad at Wharenui.
Life has now come back full circle and Melanie once again is coaching and swim guiding with Dan at Fit&Abel.
– BA Education
– LLB (Law)
– NZ International representative swimmer
– Current active Surf Life Guard
– St Johns First Aid qualified
Originally from England where Chloe swam at National level and moved to NZ in 2008. Whilst continuing to swim Chloe also took her passion for swimming and used it to help teach and coach the younger members of the squad, gaining her Swim Coaching Certificate. Alongside this Chloe is an active volunteer surf lifeguard and volunteer at Sumner Lifeboat (coastguard affiliated) since 2012. In 2016 Chloe completed and was first female (3rd overall) in Lake Taupos Epic Swim 17.5km (swimming it all non wetsuit) and went on to swim the Foveaux Strait, total distance swum due to currents etc around 30km beginning her marathon swim career. In 2017 she swam both the Cook Strait and the length of Lake Taupo.
Chloes’ passion is open water and helping adults achieve their goals, whether their goals be distance, speed related or simply learning how to be safe and enjoy exploring the open water. Chloe coaches all levels of swimming from beginner learn to swim through to advanced technique analysis. You can book in to a private lesson or group with Chloe check out the Fit and Abel Coaching Schedule. Chloe also works alongside Dan Abel delivering swim holidays and custom solo swims. For more information on these check out RealSwimadventures.com
Surf Lifeguard – Advanced lifeguard
CIMS – Co-ordinated Incident Management Systems Lvl4
First Aid Certified
Previous Coastguard experience
Marine VHF operator
Irb Crewman and Irb Drivers award
Health and Safety Diploma Lvl 6
Fifth person to complete the open water NZ Triple Crown – Foveaux Strait (8th person ever) , Cook Strait and Lake Taupo
I have been teaching swimming for 13 years, having worked in Northern Ireland, Australia and now New Zealand, where I have lived for the past 7 years.
I remember my first lesson with a boy called Michael, an autistic boy who loved the water. His parents wanted him to be safe in and around water. He loved the feeling of the water pressure on his body and gained confidence, becoming an independent and safe swimmer.
Since Michael, I have been able to help many apprehensive students gain competence, confidence and coordination in the water. This is achieved by teaching to the individual needs of each student and ensuring that they enjoy their time in the water.
Establishing Aqua Juniors Special Needs Swim School has allowed me to realise my ambition to provide a safe, quiet, distraction-free, environment, that is accessible to everyone. I am privileged to have a job that allows me to help young people develop while having fun.