Fish Eagles masters swimming team features at nationals
Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 13:23
The Fish Eagles Masters swimming team (from left): Tanya Osborne, Alan Dando, Pippy Bishop, Moneque Roos, Jill Black, Mike McDonald, Lanie Farrelly, Judy Dixon and Loy Park. Photo: Supplied
SOUTHERN CAPE NEWS - Although the Fish Eagles Masters swimming team had only nine members participating in the Masters’ Swimming National Championships held in East London from March 15 to 19, they managed to bring home 32 medals between them.
Loy Park, the oldest member of the team at 85, won two gold, two silver and a bronze. Park is from Little Brak River.
Alan Dando from Knysna is 81 and won two gold, a silver and a bronze. These octogenarians prove that swimming is a great way to keep fit and active. The oldest competitor at the championships was 92, and the youngest was 20.
The championship had 493 competitors and the first event of 800m freestyle had 18 heats with 10 swimmers in each heat. This was followed by the shortest and fastest event, the 50m freestyle.
The first day ended on a high note with the mixed medley relay. There were 40 events over the four days and included the open-water competition, 1km and 3km, at Wriggleswade Dam near Stutterheim, when 280 competitors braved the misty, chilly conditions.
The Fish Eagles Masters swimming team hail from the Garden Route and Cape Town. Tanya Osborne, Jill Black, Pippy Bishop and Mike McDonald live in George where they train at Virgin Active and Conville pool, with open-water sessions at George Dam. Lanie Farrelly and Judy Dixon live in Sedgefield and have to travel to Conville to train or practise in Lake Pleasant. Moneque Roos lives in Cape Town, where she is spoilt for choice.
To build up team spirit there are organised training sessions at Conville and Lake Pleasant, and pre-championship carbo-loading at La Piazza. Not only did the team make an impression in the water but the sponsored gear had other teams looking on with envy, especially the colourful costumes.
The Masters’ Swimming Nationals will be held in Pretoria from March 14 to 18 next year, and any potential competitors can contact Dixon for information on 072-390-6667.
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