Greytown teenager, top lifesaver

2016-11-09 06:00
Milla Herbst and a teammate in action.

Milla Herbst and a teammate in action.

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CONGRATULATIONS to Greytown teenager Milla Herbst, who has proved what commitment and dedication can be achieved through her outstanding performance in lifesaving.

In September, Milla competed for the Marine Surf Lifesaving Club in the world inter-club lifesaving championships in the Netherlands.

She took part in both the pool and surf events in the 15 to 18-year-old category. Milla, who turned 15 two days before the competition, was considered the “baby of the championships” competing against other­ under 19 year olds.

Lifeguards from 80 clubs around the world participated in the various­ pool and ocean events in Eindhoven and Noordwijk in the Netherlands. The Marine Surf Lifesaving Club team finished eighth.

Milla and her team won a bronze medal in the ocean women’s relay, and winning this third place was a tremendous achievement exceeding all expectations. They also made it to the finals in the rescue tube relay.

Training through winter was quite a challenge as Milla had to travel to Pietermarizburg Seals for this. She started training in Greytown when the pool water was 17°C and had to wear a full wet suit, gloves and boots as protection against the icy water.

The cold pool water prepared her well for the cold North Sea waters­ in the Netherlands.

There were also combined training sessions in Durban on the beach and at Kings Park pool that had to be attended as there were team members from Cape Town and a few from Gauteng and Northwest Province.

There were times where they had to train in the sea during storms with lightning and thunder and running on the beach with downpours of rain.

Showing her mettle and determination Milla also had to keep fit and in Greytown took part in a boot camp under special supervision of Hilary Bruss to ensure she did not get a sports injury.

JP van der Merwe, a former Greytown High pupil, also took her for sprinting sessions as this was part of the events. There was also training sessions with the national lifesaving coach and other national personnel, who managed and chaperoned.

Apart from travelling far and for many hours, Milla also had to keep up with her schoolwork, write tests and exams. She is thankful to Wembley­ College for supporting her during the preparation time for this international event.

The Kia Motors sponsorship made participating possible as all kit and equipment had to be rented in Europe and the brand name Lizzard­, kitted the team out in clothes that made other teams envious.

Nicknamed "the Golden Mermaid" at school, Milla has the support of her parents and her siblings in her positive approach and tremendous achievements.

And for now, the new season has started, so it is back into the water again after a small break of a month and a half.

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