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South African Masters Swimming

Inspired by fun, friendship and fitness

by Sandy Murray, Chartered client.

Swimming is a great way to keep mentally and physically fit. Many of us, however, need considerable motivation to take the plunge – so to speak.

South African Masters Swimming is a fraternity of aqua enthusiasts who enjoy keeping fit and setting their sights on maintaining or shaving seconds off their previous personal best times. The year’s highlight is the Masters National Championships, which brings together swimmers across South Africa and beyond for a 4-day gala. The excitement of the 379 swimmers – aged 20 to over 90 – is invigorating; everyone is decked out in their club colours, greeting their comrades and competitors, and eyeing the 50m pool with apprehension – or eagerness to clinch bronze, silver, or gold medals.

I met Marion Hollander at Chartered, and we both swim for the largest team, Wahoo Masters. Our section of the stand is generally the most festive, with a swathe of 120 purple t-shirts, banners, silly hats, and other festive paraphernalia.

The 2024 Masters Nationals was a first for Marion: “This was the first time I swam in a gala since primary school – let alone a Nationals Masters Gala! It was terrifying, and I was completely out of my comfort zone. However, I managed to swim in all my races and even got a bronze medal for coming third in one of them. It ended up being a fantastic experience. I met many people, including Sandy, whom I recognised from Chartered Wealth! What a wonderful four days!”

I have swum with Masters for many years, inspired by my teammates who, well into their senior years, continue to relish their sport and strive to break South African records. Our oldest swimmer, Patrick Galvin, a 91-year-old Australian, holds breaststroke world records in his age group and South African Colours. Hosting our American team members added a bonus social dimension to the event for my family. Each member of my relay team earned a silver medal, a proud memento of the event.

Marion and I, fuelled by the fun, friendship, and fitness of Masters Swimming, are ready to set the bar of our achievements even higher for the 2025 40th Masters National Championships.

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