WOODRIDGE College pupil, surf lifesaver and St Francis Bay resident, Amica de Jager, returns home this week from the World Lifesaving Championships in the Netherlands as a World Champion.
Amica, a Woodridge Surf Lifesaving Club member, represented South Africa as a member of the Junior Springbok Lifesaving Team where she competed against the best lifesavers in the world. Amica then went on to represent Durban Surf Lifesaving Club at the World Lifesaving Club Championships held at the same venue (as Woodridge SLC do not attend this event).
She achieved a gold medal in the Tube Rescue Relay and a gold medal in the Tap-lin Relay (swim, board, ski, run). She furthermore won silver medals in both the Surf Swim and the Oceanwoman (swim, board, ski) events.
Amica recently earned her second Springbok cap when she was selected to represent the South African National Lifesaving Team at the Orange Cup, which will take place in Holland in November.
Amica, who is the Woodridge College Grade 11 Dux student, is a surf and pool competitor who specializes in the swim, board and ski paddling events. She is a member of the national team who set new SA records in the 4 x 25m Manikin Relay and the 4 x 50m Medley Relay events, and she won a world bronze medal in the Oceanwoman Relay.
"Woodridge SLC perform voluntary beach patrols on Main Beach St Francis Bay on Sundays during summer."
Amica who is the Woodridge College Grade 11 Dux student, is a surf and pool competitor who specializes in the swim, board and ski paddling events.
She is a member of the National Team who set new SA Records in the 4x25m Manikin Relay and the 4x50m Medley Relay events and she won a World Bronze Medal in the Oceanwoman Relay.
"Amica achieved a 6th place in the Surf Swim and a 7th place in the individual Oceanwoman Event (swim, board, ski)," said de Villiers.
"At World Club Championships, Amica achieved Silver Medals in both the Surf Swim and the Oceanwoman (swim, board, ski).
"Amica achieved a Gold medal in the Tube Rescue Relay and a Gold medal in the Taplin Relay (swim, board, ski, run)."
She earned her second Springbok cap recently when she was selected to represent the South African National Lifesaving Team at the Orange Cup, which will take place in Holland in November.
"Congratulations too must go to her Coach, local legend Haydn Holmes of LIQUID LINES," said de Villiers.
"Haydn, who as a Woodridge Surf Lifesaver also represented South Africa at World Lifesaving Championships in Japan in the 1990’s, is Amica’s instructor in swimming as well as board and ski paddling.
Woodridge College pupil Amica de Jager has made quite a splash in swimming circles of late. She returned recently from the South African Swimming Champs in Durban where she performed superbly, achieving one silver medal and one bronze medal.
In addition to this success she achieved a host of personal bests during this prestigious competition. As a member of the East Cape Senior Team she competed at the South African Inter-Provincials and will soon join the Woodridge Surf-Lifesaving Team for the South African Cham
The National Champs were held in PE over the recess and she had this to say: "It was the SA lifesaving nationals. I got 21 medals in total: 6 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze. I got gold for U19 surf swim, board rescue, 200 obstacles, 100 tow and tube, 50 manikin rescue and 200 super lifesaver. And I also won the U19 Victrix Ladorum in the pool and came 3rd overall for senior women in surf.”
Having been runner-up in the past two years, 17-year-old Amica de Jager is going for gold in the 93rd River Mile in Cannonville just outside Port Elizabeth this weekend.
Part of the two-day SPAR Summer Festival, the feature men’s and women’s mile events will anchor Sunday’s programme in Africa’s oldest open water swimming event.
Having twice been pipped at the post, De Jager is hoping to secure a first place this year.
“I’ve come painfully close two years in a row so hopefully it will be third time lucky,” she said.
In her final year at Woodridge College, she is feeling confident as she has been training for the South African nationals in open water, pool and lifesaving – all of which take place over the next two months.
The teenage star has had a successful season, having won the 5km and 10km Nelson Mandela Bay Aquatics Championship titles. She is also the 3km leader in the Aquelle Ocean Racing Series.
De Jager has adopted a determined attitude towards the race and feels her achievements this season are evidence that she is good enough to win.
Full of challenges, the River Mile is an event which keeps the swimmers on their toes, but De Jager felt this worked to her advantage.
“In open water, everything is unpredictable. The weather, current and layout are always different and changing continuously.
“I feel as though I can adapt to most situations and am motivated and determined. As an open water swimmer, you need to be adaptable and prepared for anything.
“In open water, swimmers are constantly jostling, each fighting to get in the best position to win. Strategies and tactics are always at play.”
Having represented South Africa at the lifesaving world championships, De Jager felt her hard work had paid off in achieving some of her goals.
She added that she owed much to her coach, Haydn Holmes.
“A previous winner of the River Mile, Haydn is my role model. He has helped me with every aspect of swimming and I hope that I can make him proud.
“My goal is to finally win it to become part of the history surrounding this epic race.”
Although defending champion Jess Canter is not swimming this year, De Jager said there would be several swimmers to watch, especially Kirsten Marriot.
Looking ahead to the race, she said her strategy would be simple.
“I want to put myself in the best possible position to win.”
SCHOOLBOY Cole Craig and recently matriculated Amica de Jager came out tops in the 94th staging of the Nelson Mandela Bay River Mile held at Sundays River yesterday morning.
More than 1 000 participants enjoyed the great weather at Colchester in an another action packed event hosted by Zsports Event Management.
The Mile swimmers battled with a weaker than normal incoming tide.
But 17-year-old Grey High’s Craig handled the conditions well to win his first River Mile men’s title in a sprint finish with Pearson High’s Slater Black who, less than two hours earlier, had won the Blu Smooth Wetsuit Mile.
Young up-and-coming local open water swimmer Dennis de Villiers was third, just seconds behind Black.
Former Woodridge College water sports star De Jager successfully defended her women’s title with a strong challenge from Paige Black and Jessica Booth.