Masters set for Bay splash

Large contingent of swimmers expected for national championships

Newton Park Swimming Pool will be a hive of activity when the MTN SA Masters Swimming Championships take place in the Bay in March
Newton Park Swimming Pool will be a hive of activity when the MTN SA Masters Swimming Championships take place in the Bay in March
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

Swimmers are in the final stages of preparations ahead of the MTN South African Masters Swimming Championships to be held at Newton Park pool next month.

Featuring close to 500 swimmers from across the country, Nelson Mandela Bay swimmers will have to pull out all the stops if they are to shine in front of their home crowd when the competition gets underway from March 20-23.

Speaking about the competition, PE Masters Swimming Club vice-president and event local organising committee member Antonelle Saporta said the event was returning to the Bay for the first time in almost a decade.

“The competition was supposed to be held in Cape Town this year, but due to their water crisis, we tendered for it and managed to secure the hosting of the event,”
Antonelle Saporta, PE Masters Swimming Club Vice President

“The competition was supposed to be held in Cape Town this year, but due to their water crisis, we tendered for it and managed to secure the hosting of the event,” Saporta said.

Saporta said the competition which would see competitors from the ages of 18 up to 80 years old.

“So this is a nice landscape to come and participate after having done it competitively and there will be some competitive swimmers as well as swimmers coming to do it just for fun,” she added.

Saporta said the competition kicks off on Wednesday, March 20, with the Open Water Championships to be held at Marina Martinique in Jeffreys Bay. That will include one and three-kilometre open water events on the same day.

From there, Saporta said swimmers will make their way to the Newton Park swimming Pool where the championships will take place.

Included in the line up will be all the stroke disciplines with the freestyle starting at 50m all the way up to 800m. While the other strokes will start at 50m up to 200m.

“There will be two sessions per day, a morning session and afternoon session with a lunch break in between. There will not be any medal ceremonies due to the volume of events,” she added.

Trophies and special accolades will be awarded at the awards gala event on Saturday evening.

Saporta added that due to the event being hosted in the Bay, it gave athletes even more motivation to do well.

“We lose a lot of the youngsters in swimming because if they don't qualify for SA senior nationals, there is nowhere else for them to swim. So we as the masters community try to pick them up so we don’t lose them,” she said.

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