Competitive swimming in Cape Town. The sport that will build and develop at least 10 character traits.

Competitive swimming is not only a sport. IT'S A LIFESTYLE! A sport that will build resilience. These amazing athletes are prodigies of nature. Let us look at 6 questions normally asked about competitive swimming:

1. What is competitive swimming?

Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, freestyle and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay.

A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

Competitive-swimming

2. At what age should your child start competitive swimming?

Every child is different but a reasonably good time for a swimmer to start competitive swimming is between the ages of 8 and 12. Although, some Aquawolf children participated from age 6!!

Swimmers need to be able to comfortably swim at least 50 metres of all 4 strokes and have a basic understanding of correct technique.

3. What is expected from parents of a competitive swimmer

Always remember, it’s the swimmer performing the sport, not the parent. Let them take ownership of the sport by letting them have their own goals. How they swim is not a reflection of you. All you need to do is to encourage and remember parents are the backbone of the sport of swimming.

The lifestyle of a swimmer and swim parent is no joke. Swimming is a ‘complicated’ sport. Competitive swimming needs dedicated parents. A swim parent is a parent to all the swimmers.

They need to be an official, know their swimmers times off by heart, know the rules, be a shoulder to cry on, a motivator, etc. Best advice I can give you is to speak to one of the experienced swim parents at your local club.

Competitive-swimming
Swim meetings can be very long. Note the young children on their own mission doing homework while older brother or sister are swimming...it's a family outing

4. What are the benefits of competitive swimming? They will develop and build at least 10 character traits that will serve them well in their future.

Swimming is a confidence-building sport. Swimmers are goal-oriented. Swimming is a low impact sport and recommended to keep kids healthy while it builds endurance & strength.

It improves memory function and thinking skills. The number of splits and stroke counts swimmers do, make them excellent time managers.

Swimming cultivates a strong work ethic. To be dedicated, consistent and to push yourself to achieve goals will get you far in the pool, and general life.

Swimmers will learn how to handle pressure & setbacks. The healthy nutrition habits of swimmers will contribute to a healthier lifestyle.

5. Is competitive swimming expensive?

Some schools do offer swimming as an extra-mural activity and they do have interschool competitions, although covid-19 made it impossible during 2020.

To be able to participate at Cape Town Metro & Western Cape aquatics meetings, swimmers will have to join an affiliated club to be capitated with Swim South Africa to take part.

Some clubs are based at gyms as there is a shortage of 25m covered & heated pools in the Western Cape. That means parents have to be members of that specific gym. Training fees vary from club to club anything between R600 to R1200 per month. 

Competitive-swimming

6. What is the cost of equipment, registrations and gala entry fees?

The basic equipment needed is swim cap, swim fins, goggles, kickboard, hand fins and a pull buoy. And of course a swimsuit. I’m not going to mention brand names, but boy oh boy…a jammer for men & swimsuits for girls can vary between R600 to R3000.

Goggles are also pricy. There are reasonable quality goggles available for +/- R175 but the brand names are anything from R500 and up. Fins, kickboards, pull buoys, hand fins & swim cap should not be more than R750 per set.

To register as a level 1 (intro level) swimmer with CTA, is R100. (Swimmer R50/parent R50) To register as a level 2 swimmer and up, Its R550 per swimmer and R130 per parent. Gala entries are approximately R40.00 per event. 

Aquawolf swim club has 4 different squads

Our squads are relatively small as we believe in attention to detail when it comes to training swimmers. Maximum of 5 swimmers per lane. Coaches do not have eyes in the back of their heads.

YELLOW SQUAD

Promoted from our AquaPups and able to swim all 4 strokes. Here our swimmers develop stroke techniques and also start working on endurance. All the latest techniques are  introduced and these swimmers are able to register with Cape Town Metro Aquatics and start to participate in Junior League galas. Sessions are 45 min.

BLUE SQUAD

Promoted from Yellow squad. Stroke development and techniques gets more and more attention and also more emphasis on endurance and they get introduced to understand their goals bringing down those times . At this level they also aim to start qualifying for level 2 times at galas. Sessions are 60 min.

GREEN SQUAD

Promoted from Blue squad once they have qualified with Senior League times. Attention to detail to prepare these swimmers to qualify for Level 3 times in all strokes. More intense training but still a lot of fun. Sessions are 60 – 90min.

 

ALPHA SQUAD

Swimmers are being prepared to participate in WC Championships and striving for  National qualifying times. Intense training and still fun. Training sessions are 90 min+

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Swimming is a lot like driving, or walking, in that there are accepted norms for how we share the space we use. Here are 10 rules swimmers should be aware of when sharing a lane with a fellow paddler – READ MORE – By Olivier Poirier-Leroy

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