By Shaanaaz de Jager
THE determination in the eyes of Herbert Hurd Primary pupil Hannah Haswell is not for nothing: she is the number one-ranked 400m u-12 freestyle swimmer in South Africa.
The sensational 12-year-old Grade 6 pupil was this week’s Weekend Post Sport Star of the Week.
“At first I tried to better my own time but then I heard that I was the fastest in my category. I was shocked. It felt absolutely awesome,” Hannah said of her feat.
Among her numerous achievements are that she swam for Eastern Cape Schools and the Eastern Province A League team in 2010 and 2011 respectively and in March will compete in the Level 3 national competition.
School swimming coach Hillary Aubert said Hannah was “very dedicated”.
“She achieved success beyond her age group. She has great potential to go very far with her swimming,” Aubert said of her charge, who admires Paralympic swimmer Natalie du Toit because of her tenacity.
Hannah, who lives in Westering, began swimming when she was in Grade 3.
“I enjoy swimming. My family, coaches and teachers are very proud of me and my achievements.” Port Elizabeth Amateur Swimming Club coach Mark Edge believes Hannah’s hard work and diligence will reap further reward in the future.
“She trains about 14 hours per week and is also proficient in other swim strokes,” he said.
This is a shortened version of an article that first appeared in the print edition of Weekend Post on Saturday February 25, 2012.