Childhood cancer awareness Go Gold September

What is Go Gold September?

Go Gold September childhood cancer awareness

Childhood cancer awareness swim

Go Gold September Childhood cancer awareness is a cause we choose to support as a swim family.  Gold in September is an International childhood cancer awareness non-profit organization.  This project aims to inspire initiatives which will lead to research in order to find a cure for childhood cancer.

  • Awareness leads to funding
  • Funding provides financial support for research
  • Research leads to new improved cancer treatments with the hope to find a cure for cancer.

September is earmarked as childhood cancer awareness month in North America. Gold is the chosen color for the month after an 11-year-old Girl called Annie experienced the effects of childhood cancer in her own family. Learn more about Gold in September and how you can get involved.

Why do we support Go Gold September?

  1.  Monica’s health:
    Healthy and happy

    Health improving after 8 years!

    Monica has been sick since she was 1 month old. Our memories of age 1-5 is a haze of hospitals, tests and a sick child that ask Mom, why do I get the sick? At the age of 5, our pediatrician made a final diagnosis. Monica suffers from Asthma and we start treatment. Our family is forever grateful for the current good health that Monica enjoys.  We cannot imagine what it must be like for parents to receive the news that their child has cancer.  For that reason, we want to pay it forward and show our support even if it is just creating awareness.

  2. Dedicating events at swim meets with family and friends:
    Monica loves to swim for a reason.  It is something she started doing at a young age – i.e. she would dedicate a race to Granny, her godparents or our friends.  Why does Monica dedicate her events?

    I love them and miss my family.  If I swim for someone special I swim faster.

  3. Swim to inspire:
    In 2015 Gold in September ran an awareness campaign on Facebook.  As a sign of our appreciation for Monica’s good health and in support of the families with sick children, we decided to join the campaign by creating awareness.

What will we do in 2016 for Gold in September childhood cancer awareness?

Go gold for childhood cancer

Gold ribbons and black and gold swimsuit for childhood cancer

  • Video dedicating all events at KZN Junior championships to childhood cancer awareness.
  • We will give handmade gold beaded ribbons to our swim friends at KZN Junior Champs to wear in support of Gold in September.
  • We challenge our fellow swim friends to join us in support and also swim to increase Childhood cancer awareness on 24 and 25 September 2016.
  • Monica will spread the word about this project to all her friends on social media.
  • Monica will swim in her Gold and black AP-12 swimsuit in support of Go Gold September.

Pre-season swimming – time to prepare for the season

When do you do pre-season swimming?

Pre-season swimming or training takes places between 1 May to September every year when the official swimming season opens during the KZN Junior championships.

Pre season training - KZN Jnr champs 2015

Opening address 2015 KZN Junior champs (Click to read)

The swim calendar starts with 2 short-course swim meets (Seals Pietermaritzburg) in June, followed by the Prestige gala in July and Age group galas up to August.

The 2016 KZN Junior championship is scheduled for 23-25 September.

KZN Aquatics adjusted age groups for this championship to 13 & Under in 2015.  The goal is to allow Coach Graham Hill and fellow coaches an opportunity to spot young talent to be selected for Project 2022.

Project 2022 is a comprehensive program placing the most talented 13 – 14-year-old swimmers in training for the 2022 Commonwealth games.

Minimum age is 13-years-old.  Monica is, therefore, too young to be selected. She also does not swim KZN Junior times, which is the minimum requirement. (We mention this as some fans asked.)

What do you focus on during pre-season swimming?

During pre-season swimming we focus on three elements:

  1.  Basic fitness and core strength after the resting period.
  2.  Stroke correction – i.e. do what we do better and smooth out any stroke-related issues.
  3.  Set goals:  Review the results from the Swimming South Africa database and set new goals for the season with a plan to achieve these goals.

How do you decide what your focus should be during pre-season swimming?

Monica did not have a good SSA Level 1 champs.  Her times were 3 seconds off her personal bests throughout the swim meet.  (Regardless of the gold, silver and bronze medals which we are immensely proud of.)

We allow Monica to enjoy her swim holiday as she calls it during April (the swim box is closed, no training, not even talking about swimming).  In May, we sit down and we do a review of the previous year’s results. During this review, we watch her 200 IM videos. Monica asked if we could work more on Breaststroke and Butterfly as she aims to improve her stroke and times in these events.

Yes, dear subscribers, we do have a very mature and wise 9-year-old swimmer. Her level of commitment is above average for her age.  She is also fully aware of her strengths and weaknesses.  We love the level of maturity she displays even though, at the best of times, she is just a kid.

Based on the discussion we all agreed on a to-do list of stroke correction points which needs attention and set off to the pool on 1 May to start our preparation for the 2016/2017 season.

Pre-season swimming achievement:

The above video was taken during a fun Saturday session at the pool with Monica’s friend.  As everybody knows, Monica still battles at the best of times with asthma.

We have been working towards increasing her lung capacity over a 3-year period.  At the pool on the day, we were all trying to see how far we could swim underwater without stopping to breathe.  What a surprise!  25-meter underwater without taking a single breath.

This is progress at its best.

One can clearly see how she starts with a breaststroke start but then change her mind and do dolphin kicking the rest of the way as it is faster.

Now that we know she can swim 25-meter without taking a breath we can focus more on underwater work at starts and turns.

Just some fun with awesome results!