Tuesday, April 5, 2011

News: The Grant Boys Western Province Champs

As you remember I mentioned the boys participated in the Nippers (which falls under the Fish Hoek Life Saving Club) Western Province Champs and did really well.  They have really taken to this sport and have achieved good results in almost all the competitions.  The team got some press coverage for the event!  

In fact this weekend is the SA Champs and they have been selected for every event individually and for teams.  I am so proud of them and Chad (who is still in the younger age group called Starfish ) has been chosen to be the team mascot - no surprises there.  He may be 7 already but he is still so handsome (dare I say cute?!!) He apparently has to walk out in front of the team when they do their march on with flags.  They had their last practice tonight and of course the coaches wanted to have one more team talk before the event. 
 They train really hard and at the moment they have been practising 5 days a week, mostly evenings which in this part of the world means wet suits and freezing water, though they normally get hot chocolate after practises.  During the competition they participate in sprints, flags (run for flags, one less flag than participants, elimination each round until 1 winner and this could mean up to 10 heats one after the other), body boarding, malibu's, long distance running, surf swim, run-swim-run, tapeline relays(run, swim, body board and malibu), sprint relays, malibu relays and body board relays.  As you can see lots of events! And they participate in every single one over 3 days! And to qualify they have to also do an oral exam and time trials for swimming just to be included in the competing team.  This is definitely not a sport for the faint hearted. 

And the best part of all of this is that we know that God has given them these exceptional talents and we pray that they will continue to give Him all the honour in everything they do.  We have seen Him grow them through some of the things they have experienced - swimming amongst jelly fish and being stung and still needing to carry on racing, being disqualified for false starts, losing in races, winning,  injuries because of unwise behaviour, learning to be a team player, persevering when weather conditions are really unpleasant, being dumped and hit by boards, and so many more.  They have earned the respect of their peers and coaches - and their mom:) We often underestimate our children and their abilities, but give them the right opportunities and they can and will amaze you.

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