KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs 2016

Sponsored by Speedo SA & hosted by KZN Aquatics

KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs 2016

KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs 2016 took place at Kings Park swimming pool 20-21 February.  Total of 9 medals, 1 silver, 8 Gold and 8 meet records.

KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs: background

February every year is earmarked as the month in which swimmers earn their keep and the time when all hard work starts paying off.  In Kwazulu Natal on the East Coast of South Africa, we have 3 events which are quite important to swimmers:

  • Speedo KZN Junior championships held in September every year.
  • Speedo KZN Provincial championships – level 2 and 3 registered swimmers have their provincial champs in December every year whereas the Level 0 and level 1 swimmers compete in February every year.
  • Swimming South Africa Level 1,2,3 Regional championships normally combined with the National championships in March of every year.  This event earmarks the end of the season and swimmers’ National rankings are published on the SSA website.

In February 2015 aged 7, Monica set 3 new meet records in the Girls 8 & Under age group:

  • 50 m Freestyle @ 37:84
  • 100 m  Freestyle 1:23:17
  • 100 m backstroke @ 1:40:79

Meet format:

Swimmers swim all events at the KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs as timed finals – in other words, there are no heats in the mornings and finals at night time.  The swimmers are divided into a 10 lane timed final heats based on their recorded times in the Swimming South Africa and Kwazulu Natal Aquatics database.  It is, therefore, a rule that all swimmers have to be registered with KZN Aquatics and Swimming South Africa and have recorded times in the database.

KZN L1 swimming champs meet results

Level 1 qualifying times in each age group is also a requirement.  In our case, Monica faced a bit of a problem as she has two level 2 times: the 100 and 200-meter freestyle.  As a result, she was not allowed to compete in these two events regardless of her age (eight-years-old).  We did not mind much as she worked very hard on Breaststroke and Butterfly so our focus was on these two events.

Trophies, medals and points:

The top 10 swimmers score points depending on where they place. At the end of the swim meet the top point scorers at the meet wins a trophy (one for males and one for females) with a trophy for the club with the most points.  Gold, silver and bronze medals are presented to the top 3 swimmers in each age group.

KZN L1 Provincial champs 2016 medalsWe entered Monica for all strokes and events 8 & Under (excluding the 8 & Under 100-meter freestyle and 10 & Under 200-meter freestyle which she was not allowed to swim due to level 2 qualifying times.)  There was a total of 9 events over 2 days.

The 200-meter breaststroke, backstroke, and individual medley were 10 & under events.

Results KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs 2016:

Total of 10 events over 2 days – 9 medals of which one is silver for the Women 10 & Under 200m backstroke and 8 meet records.  One 10 & Under 4th place in Women 10 & Under 200 m breaststroke.

  • Meet records Women 8 & Under:
    • 50 m Breaststroke @ 49:93 – Meet Record, Gold, personal best (2014 @ 50.19)
    • 100 m Backstroke @ 1:33:02 – Meet record and gold (2014 MR @ 1:46:35)
    • 100 m Butterfly @ 1:53:33 – Meet record & gold (2014 MR @ 2:00:77)
    • 100 m Breaststroke @ 1:47:36 – Meet record and gold, personal best (2014 MR @ 1:52:06)
    • 50 m Backstroke @ 43:23 – Meet record and gold (2011 MR @ 43:58)
    • 50 m Butterfly @ 43:30 – Gold
    • 50 m Freestyle @ 36:57 – Meet record and gold (2011 MR @ 37:96)
  • Meet records Women 10 & Under:
    • 200 m Breaststroke – 4th place meet record @ 3:46:95 – (top 4 all set new meet records) – (2014 MR @ 3:51:31)
    • 200 Backstroke – Silver meet record @ 3:16:86 – (top 3 set new MR – 2014 MR @ 3:33:35)
    • 200 m Individual medley – Gold medal and the first time Monica won a Women 10 & Under event in a time of 3:18:16
  • Trophy for the female swimmer with the most points:
    Monica placed third in this part of the awards section with a total of 113 points. Second place had 127 points and first place 128. The other swimmers were allowed to swim 12 events vs Monica’s 10 events due to her level 2 times for the 100 and 200-meter freestyle.

Women 10 & Under 200 LC meter IM

Swimming South Africa has a rule, which states that swimmers under 10 are encouraged to swim Level 1 until they reach the age of 10.  Level 2 Age group starts with 11 & Under events.We would like to keep Monica at level 1 for another year or so in order for her to grow and mature as the level of competition intensifies as the swimmers move up in the age groups.

This might, however, be the last time that Monica will be able to swim in the KZN L1 Provincial swimming champs as she already has 2 Level 2 times.  We would have to wait for the new season which starts on 1 May 2016 to 30 April 2017 to see how many level 2 times she swims before September 2016 as it will indicate whether she has to swim the KZN L2 Provincial championships in December 2016.

We are awaiting official results on the Swimmersden web site.

Golden mile swimming – the company we keep

Golden Mile Swimming:  Company we keep

Golden mile swimming

Golden mile swimming Master swimmer Mr. Champion with Monica at the training pool

In Swimming, the company we keep serves at the best of times as an inspiration.  Swimming is just one of those sports people take part in from young to old.  When older, the swimmers are known as Master swimmers.

Meet Mr. Vince Champion, master swimmer and Golden mile (Midmar) winner.  Mr. Champion is religious about his daily training.  We see him daily at the gym where we train and we became friends with Mr. Champion as we all have swimming in common.

Mr. Champion is also an avid Monica supporter and really admires Monica’s ability to train on her own.  I guess he also finds inspiration from this young swimmer on a daily basis.  Mr. Champion started speaking to Dad Coach in 2014 when we first started to train at the gym.  This master swimmer takes an active interest in Monica’s progress and always want to know how she is doing a the swim meet.

The Midmar mile open water swimming

The Midmar mile is an annual open water swim held at the Midmar Dam North of Pietermaritzburg.  Famous swimmers such as Ryk Neethling swam and won the event.  In 2009, a record number of 13,755 entries were received  which was recognized by the Guinness book or world records as the biggest open water swimming event.

Golden mile swimming:

The Golden mile open water swim takes place during the annual Midmar mile held in Kwazulu Natal South Africa.   Gold collector’s item medals are awarded to all competitors who finish within 60 minutes. Trophies are also awarded to the winners of each category and to the oldest female and male swimmer.

Winner of the Golden mile trophy:

Golden mile swimming trophy

Inscription on the Golden mile swimming trophy – “You have overcome adversity”

Mr. Champion told us that he was in a vehicle accident and had to swim as part of his physiotherapy and recovery process.  He trained for a period of 6 years and then swam the Golden mile, which he 60 minutes 25 seconds which earned him the Golden mile trophy.

Mr. Champion was so proud of his achievement and he wanted to share his story with us that he bought his trophy to the gym to show it off.  It is an honor to know people like this and it serves as an inspiration for Monica to know that swimming is not just a sport for young children, but also when you are older.

Mica and the masters:

Monica has a history with Masters swimmers.  In December 2014, our family joined in the Masters swimming fun during the last swim meet where Monica swam in a couple of events including the fun Christmas relay.  Being part of these unique events teaches humility, respect and swimming fun regardless of age.