14-year-old conquers tough ocean swim

2018-05-09 06:00
Thomas Ivings (14), left, was the youngest participant in the recent Jendamark Bell Buoy Challenge. He competed alongside his father Clinton Ivings (right). Photo:SUPPLIED

Thomas Ivings (14), left, was the youngest participant in the recent Jendamark Bell Buoy Challenge. He competed alongside his father Clinton Ivings (right). Photo:SUPPLIED

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HE has been swimming since the age of four, so taking on the recent Jendamark Bell Buoy Challenge was a breeze for Thomas Ivings, who at 14 years and 16 days was the youngest ever participant to swim in this race.

Thomas, who is in Grade 8 at Grey High School, started swimming competitively at the age of seven and now swims for Infinity Swim Club with his coach, David Glover.

His mother, Karin, describes young Thomas as “a highly motivated and determined” individual who has always loved being in the water.

“He has just recently come back from Cape Town where he participated in the regional Level 3 gala and brought home a bronze in 100m breaststroke and silver in 200m breaststroke,” said Karin.

Besides swimming, Thomas loves to plays water polo and hockey. Swimming, however, remains his first choice, and he has been swimming the River Mile for the past four years with great enthusiasm.

He has now ventured out of the pool to the ocean and has participated in the ZSports Ocean Series for the first time this season.

Thomas took on the Jendamark Bell Buoy Challenge, which is a 5km swim from Pollok Beach around the Bell Buoy and back, alongside his father, Clinton Ivings.

Thomas competed in the wetsuit category and finished in the top 50 out of 155 swimmers.

“He was determined to finish the race, even with a strong current and ice cold water,” said Karin.

According to event organiser Michael Zoetmulder, the Jendamark Bell Buoy Challenge is Africa’s premier Indian Ocean swim and the toughest Indian Ocean swim in the world.

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