Halfway through Term One, the Sun Valley swimming Squad set off on an adventure of a life time. All the training, planning and organising was complete, and it was time to get to the George/Knysna/Plett region and have a “jol”.

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The Swimming Squad of 32 students from U10 – U13 set off bright and early on a Thursday morning. The vibe was electric as both the Swimming Tour and Waterpolo Tour began their trip.

The bus ride was filled with fun, laughter, dancing and great experiences at the number of pitstops along the way. From games on the fields, Dassies Fontein Farm Stall visits, to impossible “Claw Machines”, the trip up was seriously entertaining. Throughout the Tour, this group of youngster blew the coaching staff away with their maturity and exceptional manners.

The boys and girls arrived at their beautiful accommodation – The Russell Hotel. A stunning, central hotel with the most magnificent rooms. It was a cooker of a day, and they needed a cool off so the coaches decided to take them down for some fun near the Heads.

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The boys and girls competed in TWO major galas during the Tour.

The first Gala was the Laerskool George-Said Gala. This Gala was incredibly competitive. Sun Valley took on the top swimmers from the area including huge swimming schools and strong clubs. The vibe around the pool was intense with huge crowds of parents and supporters looking on. Our swimmers performed superbly well and achieved pleasing podium placements. The gala was designed in such a way that the swimmers swam in heats. Their times were then transferred onto a spreadsheet to determine who finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st. Needless to say, we had many students achieving 1st places!

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With over 12 schools/clubs competition, the event was closely contested. In the end, the SVPS Squad, despite not having U8 and U9 swimmers present, finished 4th overall – what an achievement!

The second Gala was the Greenwood Bay College Gala which took place at the Plett Municipal Pool. This event was a great amount of fun, as we once again competed against some strong Swimming School and Clubs from the Plettenberg Bay region. It was beautiful to see and hear the amazing cheers and support from our Squad as their peers/team mates swam their hearts out for SVPS!

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It was a nail biting finish as hosts, Greenwood Bay College (GBC) and Sun Valley were a matter of points apart entering the final few races. In the end, it was our IM(Individual Medley) Swimmers including Ben Anderson, Ben Hansen, Maddy Strydom and Anna De Klerk who took the team home and achieved the FIRST PLACE at the gala winning by only 4 points! The entire Squad LAUNCHED themselves into the pool as they celebrated the win. 

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Besides the exceptional swimming on Tour, the Tour Group enjoyed some amazing field trips around the Knysna/Plett region. They visited Radical Raptors – a company that focuses on community awareness as well rescue, rehabilitation and release of Birds of Prey – a phenomenal experience for our boys and girls!

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They also got the opportunity to visit the beloved WATER SLIDES where the boys and girls (and coaches) spent an afternoon enjoying lunch together, flying down the slides and swimming. These water babies could not get enough of it!

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As usual, the meals on Tour were a highlight. The Sun Valley students stood out with the gratitude they show towards the waitrons and restaurant owners.

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To Sum up, this Tour was one to remember for the following reasons:

  • Exceptional Swimming
  • Even when swimming one of their less favourites strokes, or coming up against a much stronger individual,  these kids gave their all and showed such pride in their school and their personal performance.
  • The maturity shown both in the pool, and on field trips.
  • Every single child acted as a true ambassador for Sun Valley.
  •  Emotional Intelligence displayed both in victory and defeat.
  • Support, Vibe and “Gees” shown on the side of the pool and on field trips.

It was an honour and a joy to be part of this Tour experience. Thank you to the amazing group of coaches that attended this Tour.

Swimming Squad, you guys ROCK!

 

 

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