Jeppe swimmers travells KwaZulu-Natal to swim in Midmar Mile Challenge

Eighteen Jeppe swimmers travelled to KwaZulu-Natal last weekend to swim in the Midmar Mile Challenge, and according to Gabriel Delporte, one of the seniors in the group, he can’t remember having so much fun at any sporting activity in his time at Jeppe.

Jeppe swimmers travells KwaZulu-Natal to swim in Midmar Mile Challenge
Jeppe swimmers travells KwaZulu-Natal to swim in Midmar Mile Challenge Image credit: Facebook

KwaZulu-Natal: Eighteen Jeppe swimmers travelled to KwaZulu-Natal last weekend to swim in the Midmar Mile Challenge, and according to Gabriel Delporte, one of the seniors in the group, he can’t remember having so much fun at any sporting activity in his time at Jeppe.

“It was great, from the moment we left school on Friday until we got back on Sunday night,” he said. “Everything was set up so that we could get the most out of the experience. I really hope we will be able to do more open water events as a group in future.”

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The mood was a bit gloomy when they left on Friday morning because it was raining, Gabriel said, but everyone soon cheered up, and the banter started on the bus, bringing everyone close together. “By the time we stopped in Harrismith for a break, we were all firm friends already,” he said.

The closest accommodation they could get was at the Drakensberg Amphitheatre Lodge, which was two hours from Midmar, so they spent Friday and Saturday there. “It was a beautiful place, although we couldn’t see the mountains because it was clouded in,” said Gabriel, “but there were these communal dorms and we were spilt into groups according to grades for some further fun and bonding.”

There was quite a big lake at the lodge, so the swimmers were able to get a feel of the water on Saturday morning, and Mr Laurie Stegmann, who accompanied them, was able to give them some tips about swimming in open water. “That was very valuable, as it was the first time for most of us, and his advice on breathing and on where to position yourself proved very valuable in the race on Sunday. Our time at the lake ended with a mud fight which we all enjoyed – the teachers had to kick us out of the water in the end.”

Ms Jess Bothma, the mistress in charge of swimming, had been listening and taking notes during the chirping on the bus on the way down, and she used that to devise a general knowledge quiz that the boys participated in after supper and it was also a lot of fun, according to Gabriel.

Then it was an early night ahead of the race on Sunday. “It went well, I think,” Gabriel said. “Everyone completed the swim within the cut-off time, and I did it in 45 minutes, which I was happy with for a first attempt.”

It was straight back onto the bus after the race for the long ride home, and the group got home tired but happy and with new enthusiasm for the sport of swimming at Jeppe.

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Well done to all the boys, and thank you to Ms Bothma and Mr Stegmann for making it happen.