Teen swimmer a splash closer to Olympic dream

Shaanaaz de Jager

A PORT Elizabeth teenager, who is competing at a top Africa swimming competition in Zambia later this month, believes she is a step closer to reaching her goal.

Tarryn Els, 16, of Collegiate Girls’ High School, dreams of swimming in the Olympics one day and has been selected for the South African team to compete at the 10th Africa Junior Swimming Championship in Lusaka, Zambia, from November 28 to December 1.

Tarryn, who swims for thebPort Elizabeth Amateur Club and her school, is writing exams and preparing for the competition.

“Hard work has paid off. This is the first time I am swimming for South Africa. I am nervous and excited about going to another country and competing there. I also look forward to seeing how the people live there,” she said. “I believe I am a step closer to reaching my goal to swim at the Olympics.”

Tarryn, who swims butterfly, has broken numerous Eastern Province records including the 100m for her age group 14-15 years, the open record and the 200m record for her age group. In August she won silver for the 200m butterfly and bronze for the 100m at the SA short course in Pietermaritzburg.

Tarryn’s mother, Caroline, who also loves swimming, is very proud of her.

“She trains hard and also does well at school. Maths is her favourite subject and she won first prize this year for geography.”

Tarryn is coached by Mark Edge.

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