15-year-old Tainui swimmer guns for Youth Olympics

15-year-old Gold Heart Scholarship recipient Tyron Henare is a stroke closer to pursuing his Youth Olympic dreams for swimming. In July the six-time National gold medallist will put his skills to the test against the country's best at the 2018 Opens in the hopes to qualify.

Tyron Henry is currently New Zealand's top sprint swimmer for freestyle, backstroke and fly in his age group. He now looks to qualify for 2018 Youth Olympics in the hopes to make his mark on the world stage.

Henry says "My short term goal for this year is to qualify for Youth Olympics which will be held in Argentina this year."

"He's well driven and he's really committed to the cause of swimming and that's come from a really young age. He is a great role model for our young athletes, obviously being of Māori descent it's great to see Māori kids’ excel in our sport" says assistant Coach Sheldon Kemp.

Henare clocks up to 40km in the swimming pool per week all year round. His week includes nine pool sessions and three gym sessions on top of his NCEA studies at Pakuranga College.

Last year the Year 12 student reaped the fruits of his labour claiming bronze at the Australian Age Group Champs for the 100m freestyle and six gold medals at the NZ Nationals.

"Knowing that Australia is one of the best country's in the world for swimming, me winning [bronze] just set a bar and also me seeing where I am in the world" says Henry.

After receiving a $4000 scholarship to help fund his swimming fees and expenses he now looks to add to his medal tally next month at his second shot at Australian Age Group tournament. What he hopes will build his preparation for the 2018 Open meets in July.

"Getting bronze just made me think well I could actually get silver or gold not just in Australia but also the world."

Applications for this year's Gold Heart Scholarships close on Monday 9 April.