L impopo’s Schools Aquatics team finished sixth overall at the 2017 National SA Schools Swimming Championships that was held at the Polokwane Municipal Swimming Pool last week.
The team won 34 medals of which seven were gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze.
Among the best performers for the team were Ivan Beukes, Nathan Struwig, Heinrich Strydom and Kristin Lottering.
Nathan won gold in no less than four multi-disability items namely the 50 m and 100 m backstroke, 50 m and 100 m breast stroke. Ivan won gold in both the 100 m backstroke and butterfly events, bronze in the 100 m freestyle and silver in the 200 m. Heinrich won gold in the 50 m backstroke and silver in the 200 m. Kristin added her name to the medal standings with gold in the 50 m butterfly event and silver in both the 100 and 50 m backstroke.
Rob Anderson, Competitions Manager and Vice President of Limpopo Aquatics says they are proud of the achievement of the swimmers and glad to have played host to the event. “We are thrilled by the achievements of our athletes who won various medals on their home turf. It is a privilege to be on the podium and we are happy for them,” Anderson said.
He added that visiting parents, swimmers and coaches all gave positive feedback. Reportedly they all felt welcome and Anderson expressed gratitude to the community for making them feel at home.
Ivan said he was delighted to have won medals for his team and added that he was looking forward to winning more in the upcoming National SA Schools Swimming Championships. “I am happy with my performance. I want to win more medals in the next championship and I think with the help of my coaches I can achieve that dream,” he said.
The overall championship winner was Gauteng with a total of 154 medals -74 gold, 48 silver and 32 bronze. The runners-up were KwaZulu-Natal Aquatics with 109 medals followed by Mpumalanga.
The event was organised by Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, Swimming South Africa and National Schools Aquatics.
Story and photos: Herbert Rachuene