Provincial champs L1 2016

Provincial champs Level 1 2016

Provincial champs 2015

Monica Botha aged 7 at the 2015 Provincial champs – 6 Gold medals of which 3 were provincial records

With all the club galas, age group and other fun events on the swimming calendar, only 3 events are critical for us to swim every year:

  • KZN Junior championships in September.
  • KZN Aquatics Provincial champs in February.
  • Swimming South Africa regional championships in March/April.

Monica swam her first Level 1 Provincial champs at the age of 7, in 2015.  She won all her events in the 8 & Under girls age group and set 3 new provincial records:

  •  50  m Freestyle @ 37:84 – record stood at 37:96
  • 100 m  Freestyle 1:23:17 – record stood at 1:35:12
  • 100 m backstroke @ 1:40:79 – record stood at 1:46:35

This year, we are facing an issue as in the 2015-2016 season, Monica swam the 50, 100 and 200-meter Freestyle in level 2 qualifying times:

  • 50 meter @ 35:66 seconds
  • 100-meter freestyle @ 1:18:90
  • 200-meter freestyle @ 2:51:28

The Speedo KZN Aquatics Level 1 Provincial championships will be held at Kings Park swimming pool on 20-21 February 2016.  In the rules on the entry form, it states the following:

  • A Swimmer that has swum one Level 2 time may not swim in these Championships.
  • If a Level 1 Swimmer swims a Level 2 time:
    a. After the KZN Premier Championships held in December 2015 and did not swim in the KZN Premier Championship, the swimmer may enter the level 1 championship but may not swim the event or events that they achieved a level 2 qualifying time.

We were not clear on this point, so contacted the gala secretary as the Swimming South Africa rule states the following:

Swimmers 10 years and younger are encouraged to swim Level 1 even if they have qualified for a higher level. Similarly, swimmers 11 years with Level 3 times are encouraged to swim at Level 2. The choice, however, is left to the individual and their advisors.

I.e. due to Monica’s age, she would still be allowed to swim these events regardless of her times.  We received a message from the club stating the following:

Please note that KZNA has responded to me regarding the rule and they said
that the swimmer may enter as long as they have not participated at KZN
Premier Champs last year and do not enter their level 2 qualified times.
For Monica, I think those events are 100 and 200 Free.

This, in short means, that she is not allowed to enter the 100 and 200-meter freestyle events at the Provincial championships in February.  The Provincial championships is a development gala so even though we are disappointed, we still maintain a positive outlook on the event and will now focus our efforts on the 100 m butterfly which will be the last event on the first day.  Monica has this habit to swim her best times at the end of the day, not the beginning.

We get the question: “Why do you not let her swim level 2 championships as she has 2 qualifying times?”  Well, as her parents we watch her closely and she is just a normal 8-year-old.  We know the level of competition increase as they move up the ranks and we experienced some rivalry already at the age group galas.  Monica needs to mature some more in order to swim level 2.

We will keep her at Level 1 until she reach maturity or gets bored swimming Level 1 events.