New stars in the making | SASCOC - SASCOC

New stars in the making

This weekend sees Swimming South Africa continue to set the benchmark in the development of swimming talent through their programmes of Learn to Swim and the Telkom SA Level 1, 2 and 3 Age Group Swimming Championships.

It is from this background that the likes of Commonwealth and Olympics stars Chad Le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh emerged. And the next generation is about to make its mark from 1-3 April at the Telkom SA Level 1 Age Group Regional Championships in Kimberley, East London and Germiston, in partnership with Sport and Recreation South Africa.

In line with the SASCOC long term participant development model, schools from around the different provinces have also been integrated with the Telkom SA Level 1 Age Group Championships.

All three events will deliver some mouthwatering racing and duels in particular the likes of Otto Wijand, Jordan Bartlett, Luke Nel, Tiaan Schuler and Ludwig van Jaarsveld are expected to shine.

At the Joan Harrison Aquatics Complex in East London, Otto Wijand and Jordan Bartlett will have a busy weekend, in particular Otto as he competes in five events. Wijand is ranked number one in the region in the 100m freestyle, 200m individual medley, 100m and 200m backstroke and 100m butterfly.

In the 50m butterfly as well as the 100 and 200m freestyle, local girl Bartlett will be hitting the water as the fastest qualifier. Racing against the likes of Zerina Bester and Chante Jarvis from the Western Province, the competition is bound to be tough.

Luke Nel is the name that immediately catches the eye at the Telkom SA Level 1 Age Group Championships taking place at the Delville Swimming Pool in Germiston. The Central Gauteng swimmer leads the 2011 rankings in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke. And although he may not be as versatile as some of the other swimmers, it does remind of Cameron van der Burgh who specializes in the Breaststroke category and is now a World Record Holder, Commonwealth and World Champion.

Expect titanic clashes between Tiaan Schuler and Ludwig van Jaarsveld at the Karin Muir Swimming Pool in Kimberley. The two will meet in the 50, 100 and 200m backstroke as well as the 100m butterfly, with van Jaarsveld also entered in the 200m individual medley, 200m freestyle and 50m butterfly. In most cases Schuler has the faster times coming into the Championships and Van Jaarsveld does have the heavier work load, but at this level and with the competition intensity expected, the races will certainly keep the spectators entertained.