Friday, March 21, 2014

Violet Walrond: Olympic Swimmer by Philappa Werry

Violet Walrond: Olympic Swimmer by Philippa Werry
School Journal Level 4, March 2012

WALT: Skim and scan for key information.
Make inferences

Success Criteria: I can locate key information in the text.
I can formulate my own ideas about the text.

Referring to the title of the text and the images visible on the first page, what do you think the text is about? I think this text is about a girl swimmer by the name of “Violet Walround”.

Why was the 1920 Olympic games a historic occasion? This was a historic occasion because it was the first ever time that New Zealand competed as an olympic nation.

Who is Violet Walrond? Violet Walrond was New Zealand’s first female Olympian. She is still the youngest athlete ever to compete at the games. She was only fifth-teen when she was accepted to compete at the olympics. She trained with her dad even before she started to compete.

Why did Violet have no idea of what the olympics would be like? She had no idea because, she was trained by her dad at the local pools.

Who coached her? Why is it surprising that by having this particular coach she was able to make it to the olympics? Violet Walrond’s dad was her trainer. I think she made it into the olympics because her dad trained her so well, but its also very surprising how she could go to the olympics.

At what age did Violet start winning races? because of winning at this particular age, do you think she had been practicing for years prior? She began winning her races at the age of twelve. I think that because she kept on practicing and believing in herself, thats how she probably got accepted into the olympic games.

At what age do you think Violet began swimming, justify your reason. I think that she probably started swimming at about the age of 10, but started winning races at 12 years-old. I think this because normally, when you first start off swimming you focus on the basics then start to compete in races.

What did people refer to Violet as? Why do you think this was her nickname? People refer to Violet as “That Splendid Girl Swimmer”. I think she had this nickname because she swam very dainty and smooth.

Where were the first modern Olympic Games held? They were first held in Athens. Why is it ‘cliche’ that the games were held here? (think about Greek Mythology) I think that the games were held here maybe because it was supposed to be. Maybe because of the Greek Mythology and the history.

Who were the three New Zealand athletes that had competed in the 1908 games? Henry St Aubyn Murray, Arthur Rowland and Harry Kerr.

Why were the 1920 games held in Antwerp? I think that they were held there to honour the people who lived in that place.


What does the quote “money and distance had always been hurdles” analyse this sentence, what does this mean to you? I think this means that money and distance was a big problem for people. Such as if you were going some place far-away it would probably cost a fair bit of money.

Do you think it was difficult to raise money to send athletes to the Olympics? Why/ why not? Yes I think it was difficult. Because you’ve got to have the time and effort to even raise the money + it would take quite some time to raise money.

Think about the locations of where the Olympics were held in relation to NZ, would this make it more difficult to send our athletes to the Olympics? Yes, because most of the places that they held the olympics are far-away from New Zealand.

What were the Canadian team willing to help out with? The Canadian’s gave them a place to stay. How do you think the NZ team would have reacted to this kind gesture? I think they would have been grateful, and also very pleased.

When Violet and her other Olympian team members reached Antwerp they had no uniform, however they did have one particular plant embroidered into their hats, why did they have  this particular plant? They had a fern on their hats. Maybe they had this particular plant because they're from New Zealand (Aotearoa).

What other NZ teams have sports teams and names that are the same name as this plant? Silver Ferns (Netball)

How does this plan represent NZ? Because New Zealand is also known as Aotearoa and Maori first came to New Zealand. Some plants were special to them, they still are.

Look at the quote “amazingly Violet recalls no pre-race anxiety” what do you think this means? I think this means that she is a calm person. Why has the writer written this as being amazing? I think that the writer has written this because, this is what he/she thinks of Violet Walrond.

Violet was determined, can you give an example of a situation where you have been determined? I have been determined to finish off class work, so that I wouldn’t have to stay in class and finish it during my play time.


What did Violet finish as in her heat? She finished swimming.

Do you think the NZ team did well with receiving Bronze Medals? I think they could of done better, but I suppose they probably tried their hardest.

Think about the size and population of NZ compared to other countries who send athletes to the olympics, what might give larger more populated countries an advantage? Maybe they’ll get an advantage if people didn’t bother to even turn up to the olympics, or even if people were suffering a serious disease or sickness.

Why was Violet bored? She wasn’t allowed outside, because her Dad wanted her to keep on practising and focussing on her swimming. Where could she not go? She couldn’t go outside. For what reasons do you think it was disallowed for Violet and other athletes to leave? Because they had to focus on their swimming, they had to learn more techniques and tricks to help them win, they had to study swimming.

Out of all of the ‘Female Olympic Firsts’ what is your favourite sport? Swimming Why? I really enjoy swimming and learning new techniques and tricks when I am in the water.

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