If you were born in Cape Town near the ocean, chances are that you learned to swim very early. Swimming in the ocean is great, but if you want to choose it as a sport, you will have to put in some effort.
If you like water, you can join one of the swimming clubs. Most probably you will start with stroke correction classes. You will learn how to swim all four competitive strokes: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly. At this stage you will have to train twice or three times a week for around 45 min.
When you are ready to swim competitively, you have to pass the assessment test of Western Province Aquatics association. You will have to swim 50 m in each stroke. After that, you will be able to compete in Junior League. In swimming, Junior and Senior Leagues are not defined by age, only by your times. At this stage you will have to train three times a week for one hour. Junior League meets (competitions in swimming are called meets) take place once a month. There you can swim different distances with various strokes and get official times. Every year Western Province Aquatics publishes a brochure with qualifying times for Senior League and major swimming competitions. If you qualify for Senior League, you start swimming in the Senior League meets. You will have to train five times a week. You will also have to eat healthy, get enough sleep and care about your mind. To swim in one of the big swimming competitions, you have to make very fast times.
Another type of competition is Open Water events. Those are swam in the dam or in the ocean. You don’t need to qualify for them, but you have to be very fit. The shortest distance to swim in the open water is 400 m.
Whatever swimming lane you choose, I am sure you will enjoy it!
See you in the pool!
By: Daniel Wolson
Interested in finding out more about how to where to start swimming as a sport in the Western Cape? Send us your questions and we will reply to you!