Sport24, in partnership with DHL and LSA, previews the athletes who will make the biggest splash at next month's DHL Lifesaving SA National Championships...
Whether it is in the Surf or the Pool, Sasha-Lee Corris is among South Africa’s most competitive and all-round athletes.
There are a few things to be certain of in life, but one of them is that Corris will feature prominently at the DHL Lifesaving South African National Championships in Gqeberha from 2-9 October.
Corris is one of the best in South Africa and among the most spoken of on the international circuit.
Equally, she is among the most understated in talking herself up as the premier female at the 2021 DHL LSA National Championships.
Corris, a Business Improvement Strategist, started competing 14 years ago as a 10-year-old, and in her formative years did just about everything there is to do in the sport.
As she matured, she started specialising in the surf swim and the run-swim-run, the tube rescue and the taplin relay.
She is among a very select group of lifesaving athletes who compete with distinction in the surf and pool.
"Being a swimmer, I've always enjoyed the pool and the surf and the respective challenge in both disciplines. The disciplines are very different but the demands are no different. They both test every aspect of one’s make-up," says Corris. "Leading into the nationals, I average four to five sessions a day to ensure I cover all the disciplines. Naturally I get super fit doing this too so a six-day day competition becomes easy for the body."
Corris, among the most high-profile competitors at the National Championships, takes nothing for granted and doesn’t conform to any stereotype when assessing the National Championships.
"With Covid and the uncertainty of everything I don’t even know who is competing this year, so I am not looking at whoever else may or may not be there. I prefer to keep my focus on my own training and racing and not worry about the competition. Personally, I believe this added pressure isn’t beneficial for an athlete’s mental health, and certainly in my case it isn't," she says.
"I have learnt over the years that I can't control the uncontrollable, I can only control myself and my race preparation. In the past, Carmel Billson has been a tough competitor who has allowed me to make sure I am always on top of my game and ready to race and I have a healthy respect for Tatum Botha, who I trained with previously and who has a massive work ethic."
Corris, who won the surf swim at the international Sanyo Cup in Japan in 2019 and was Team South Africa’s female captain for the World Championship in 2018, hopes the easing of Covid restrictions will allow her to compete at the 2022 World Games in the United States, as her performances have already meant qualification.
"I am hoping to make a final for the 200 Super Lifesaver and see how close I can get to the SA record. World Champs should also hopefully be happening next year, so, if I were to make the team my hopes would be to win the World Champs title for the surf swim. Later this year there is the African Champs in Egypt in December, and I hope to be able to win the surf swim there as well as the run swim run."
*Sasha Corris has represented LSA internationally seven times in the past eight years.
· 2019 Sanyo Cup Japan - 1st surf swim, 1st tube rescue, 1st surf swim relay
· 2019 ISRC Durban - 3rd surf swim, 2nd tube rescue
· 2018 World Champs Australia – Captained the team, finalist in the 200
· 2018 Sanyo Cup Japan - 2nd surf swim, 3rd surf swim, 2nd surf swim relay, co-captained the team
· 2017 ISRC New Zealand
· 2017 Sanyo Cup Japan - 2nd surf swim, 1st tube rescue
· 2014 Juniors World Champs - 3 x silver medals (surf swim, tube rescue, board rescue), 1 x bronze (taplin relay).?
2-4 October - Senior Surf
4-5 October - Juniors Surf
4-5 October - Nippers Pool