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Olympians Gwitha Shand and Violet Walrond


Gwitha Shand and Violet Walrond (aged 17) pose on the diving board in Sydney in 1923 at the Australian Swimming Union championship where Violet won the 100 yards freestyle. Gwitha came second. Gwitha won the 220 yards and 440 freestyle and Violet placed second.

Violet's father Cecil (Tui) Walrond stopped her from competing later that year as she and her sister Edna (a diver) were 'too much in the public eye'. Violet did not go to the 1924 Paris Olympics but Gwitha Shand did and was competive in the 100 metre freestyle where she reached the semifinal. She also reached the final in the 400 metre freestyle but did not finish the race and retired after 300 metres. Gwitha, a Cantabrian, was a friend and constant competitor with Violet during her national and international career.


Image: Walrond family collection

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Olympians Gwitha Shand and Violet Walrond, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated