KZN School Swim Champs 2018
January through to March is usually a quiet time on the swimming front. We only swim a couple of Age group galas.
These months are, however, very busy months for school-going learners. The schools start in January with inter-house galas. They choose teams to represent the respective schools in Districts based on the outcome of their inter-hours galas.
Each district selects a team to compete at the KwaZulu Natal (KZN) Provincial schools championships.
KZN Schools selects a team to represent the Province at the annual National Schools Championship based on the outcome of the Provincial school championships.
How do schools swim champs work for homeschoolers?
We have to take one step back in order to answer this question. We get this question a lot. Let’s take a moment and first look at our homeschooling option.
Note up front that we may only comment on the homeschooled option we use. Check with your host school regarding regulations, requirements, and rules if you wish for your learner to participate in Schools swimming.
Monica is registered with the National Home Education Academy (NHEA), which acts as the host school keeping records, deals with the curriculum, the Department of Education, Umalusi and ensure that the learner stays on par with school-going learners. NHEA uses American-based PACES.
PACES is an acronym for Packet of Accelerated Christian Education (PACE®). ACE learning programme meets the minimum standards and critical outcome-based standards as determined by the Department of Education in South Africa. (Note: Monica writes independent exams every 3 years to confirm that she is on par with school-going learners.)
It is a requirement that every homeschool registers with the KZN Department of Education (DEO) and we have to notify the DEO should the learner stops homeschooling and go to an official learning institution. We receive a letter from DEO when we renew our registration every 3 years. The Department also send inspectors to visit and ensure that we as parents understand the role the DEO plays in homeschooling and keeping standards high.
Districts school swim champs
In 2017 I do my timekeepers course and ask the officials if homeschooled learners are allowed to participate in School galas. January 2018 we receive a circular confirming that Monica may enter as part of the Umlazi district, on condition that we send the letter from DEO with her entry. Our homeschool is registered with the DEO, therefore, Monica may swim school champs.
Yay, we can swim school galas and see how far Mica progress!
The Primary District school swim champs takes place on 3 February 2018 at a private school in Umhlanga. We enter Monica into the 11-11-year old age group. 6 Events:
50 LCM meters:
100 LCM meters:
The cold and wet weather has no effect on Monica. She wins most of her events at the districts gala. We do not receive official results at this gala, however, Monica wins all her races except backstroke where she places second in the 12&U age group.
KZN Schools notifies us that Monica is selected to represent Umlazi District at the KZN Provincial school swim champs.
Provincial school swim champs
24 February 2018: The Provincial school champs takes place at Kings Park swimming pool in Durban. Swimmers may only enter 4 events at this swim meet. Monica swims in the 11&Under age group.
We have a healthy, strong swimmer in February and she swims some interesting personal best times:
100m freestyle 1:07:21
100 backstroke 1:21:32
50 freestyle 31:15
100 breaststroke 1:32:97
We learn after this gala that, unlike the other provinces, Swimming South Africa does not record the times in the database.
We are very proud of our swimmer and how well she performs at school swimming. We honestly thought it was going to be much tougher. It is clear that Monica adjusts well amongst the school-going learners and that she thrives under pressure in different environments. A well-adjusted, independent homeschooler for sure.
What happens after Provincial school swimming champs?
KZN Schools advise that they will choose and announce the selected Provincial swimmers in July 2018. This team will represent the KZN Province at Schools Nationals, scheduled to take place in December 2018.
We return to the pool with normal training as Swimming South Africa Regional Championships takes place in April.
On 17 June 2018 we receive an update from KZN Schools swimming:
At a meeting held on 26 May 2018 in Gauteng, all stakeholders present (SSA, SRSA and SA SCHOOLS AQUATICS) agreed that schools competitions should be integrated with SSA events as the same children were involved in both schools and SSA events. The final communication in this regard will come from National.
There will be no schools tournament for this year.
We are presently trying to put together an event that will involve swimmers that have swum in our Provincial
trials. A positive outcome of our plans will be relayed to you in 14 days.
We encourage all swimmers to continue with training for this outcome.
We do not mind too much if there is no National swim meet. Monica swims KZN Premier champs in December 2018 and we focus our plans and energy on this event. This is just an interesting exercise for us as we now know that Monica copes well as a homeschooled learner regardless of competition and conditions.