St Dominic’s Priory School pupil Tasneen Ebrahim will represent South Africa in the Cana Zone III Invitational Swimming Championship in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday and Sunday.
Tasneen, 13, is one of only three Eastern Cape swimmers selected to represent team SA.
“I am excited and proud to be representing South Africa and honoured to have been selected. “Once I got over the initial shock, it set in and now I’m really excited,” she said.
Tasneen started competitive swimming at the age of 11.
She then joined the Bay Eagle swim team under the mentorship of coach Debbie Lockett.
Within three months she had qualified for the regional age group Level 1 gala, held in East London, and at her first competitive event she reached four finals, making her one of the top eight in the Eastern and Western Cape regions in her age group.
“There are a number of swimmers going to represent their countries, so I am looking forward to the trip and to competing internationally, ” she said.
Tasneen will compete in the 1 500m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 400m individual medley, 200m individual medley, 200m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 100m butterfly, 100m breaststroke and the 50m in freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke and backstroke.
“I train every day from 5pm to 7pm, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5am to 6.30am. “I do about 6km a session, which totals about 40km to 42km a week,” she said.
Earlier this year, she undertook a challenge of competing in the Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics Open Water Series, at Marina Martinique, in the 3km open water swim, with the view to competing at the Open Water Nationals at North End Lake next year.
Her mother, Melissa, said: “She has swum SA qualifying times for the events already and is looking forward to competing for the Bay.”
“We hope our daughter will encourage others to believe and achieve what may sometimes seem impossible and out of reach, through hard, honest work no matter what your background or circumstances are.”