Swim to inspire: what is this about?
What is Swim to inspire?
Swim to inspire is something Monica started at a young age without realizing it. Mica swam her first 25-meter freestyle race at Westville Sprints in 2013. Granny attended the gala with us.
From 2014 we could not always take Granny with us. Our family, in particular, Mica’s godfather workes outside the country. She is always thinking of her family and started swimming races (dedicate) to family members that cannot attend. We video her races and make it available on Facebook and YouTube for our family to watch.
Swim to inspire develops on its own as the opportunity presents itself.
Swim to inspire other swimmers:
2018 Swim to inspire
December 2017, Monica decides that she wants to focus on times, not swim for medals anymore. This is music to our ears as we know that our goal setting and the work she puts in to achieve her goal times is working.
In May 2018 Dad Coach Jan lands a coaching position at a local swimming club. Monica does not train alone at the local gym anymore. She now has a squad!
Dylan Gander is a 10-year-old swimmer at Aqua Lifestyle Centre where Coach Jan is squad coach. He works really hard and puts everything in every day.
10-14 July 2018, Monica touches on an SA National Junior qualifying time at TYR Prestige Championships in the 100-meters freestyle (1:06:64).
Dylan swims his heart out at this swim meet and drops approximately nine seconds on his 100-meters freestyle time between heats and finals, but touches fourth.
Monica decides that she would like to pay her bronze medal forward to motivate Dylan to keep on working hard and reach his goals. Once he reaches the success he has to pay a medal forward to a junior swimmer in the squad.
In December 2013 we get new neighbors. Monica is still six-years-old and she and Amber (7) inevitably become friends. Monica is training during the holidays and Amber accompanies her to her training sessions, walking up and down the side of the pool while Monica swims.
In 2015 we help Amber with her strokes on Saturdays and Mica guides Amber with her swimming. There is no coach and club Amber can join at this point in time in Toti. She swims for her school.
February 2016, we invite Amber to join us for a fun gala at Kings Park swimming pool. She does not win any medals and Mica decides to give Amber one of her medals with an instruction. Amber has to work towards her own medals now and when she wins, pass a medal on to another swimmer to motivate them to work hard at swimming and swim for their own medals.
We continue to help Amber with her stroke correction throughout 2016 and the girls, (now best friends) swim Seagulls fun gala fun gala at the end of 2016. Amber swims her first individual medley and she is a bit disappointed as she does not as well as she wanted to. Monica gives her another medal as motivation not to give up but keep on trying.
A new swim club opens at Amber’s school at the beginning of 2017. She continues to swim and does extremely well in backstroke, winning a trophy at her inter-house gala. We are ecstatic and so happy for our friend.
Inspiring swimmers from other clubs:
October 2017 a coach from Johannesburg brings a team of swimmers down to compete at the Seagulls short course champs. They stay with us and the one girl Alexia is Monica’s age. It is the first time that Alexia see the sea and we take them swimming at the Baggies beach tidal pool where Monica did her first backstroke turn when she was six-years-old.
At the gala, Monica did pretty well. Her new friend, however, won her heats but did not Podium. She was doing all of this on her own and Monica felt that she would like to give Alexia a medal to take home with her.
Alexia wins the Junior Victrix Ludorum trophy at her school that year and all her events at the school gala. The girls remain friends.
Paying success forward in 2017:
January 2017: There is not much swimming meets in January and February every year due to schools swimming. We are still waiting to hear from KZN Schools if Monica will be allowed to swim school trials as a home-schooled learner. As a result, Monica cannot swim at these meets.
We decide to take a weekend trip to Richards Bay to swim Ushaka championships. It is just a fun weekend away for us. Monica cleans the medal table with some 9-and-under meet records. She decides to pay her success forward by giving a medal to Pongola Swimming Academy.
The club has to hand the medal over to a dedicated swimmer that works very hard and is very committed to swimming but did not win any events yet. The swimmer has to pay it forward once they reach success. We are quite confident that the swimmer will inspire others as we have seen this work in so many ways.
Monica also supports Childhood cancer awareness as part of Swim to inspire.