Hi there! My name is Bea De Vera and last Saturday, June 6, was the first time I covered an event for Swim Philippines. The event was the 8th Speedo Jumpstart Novice Swim Carnival and it was held at the Philippine Columbian Association in Paco, Manila. A novice meet is a competition in which the swimmers will swim in their very first competition to be eligible in upcoming major events such as the G-League. Being a swimmer myself and done with my own novice meet, I have observed many things in my teammates’ novice meet and this one as well. In my observations, I came up with 7 reasons why watching a novice meet can make anyone appreciate swimming even more.
- The nervous game is so strong
How can it not be? It’s the swimmers first time to compete in a big event like this and the swimmers competing here don’t know who they are up against with but they do know that there maybe people stronger and faster than them. They only have one shot at every event. Once they are up on the blocks, they are on their own.
- The all-out support
Since this is the first ever competition of the swimmer, they need all the support they can get from their coaches, teammates, parents and companions. By all the support, I meant every ounce of your being will be used for cheering them on. I have seen a lot of swim meets and novice meets have by far the most supportive crowd ever. I think that there is a magical force in the voices of the crowd that makes their preferred swimmers go faster.
The novice meet has a lot of awards to give away to the best performing swimmers or teams. They have the gold, silver and bronze medals for the top three male and female finishers of their age group, ribbons for the 4th to 8th places, the sought after MOS or Most Outstanding Swimmer award per age group for the male and female who garnered the most number of gold medals, the championship league trophies for the team who garnered the most points (yes, swimming has a point system) and special awards for the youngest and prime swimmers of the league.
There is no age limit whatsoever in a novice meet. A participant can be 42 and still be the Most Outstanding swimmer, or be 6 years old and outshine everyone. They even give awards to youngest and eldest swimmers. Well, as the saying goes, “Age doesn’t matter”.
- It all comes down to this
From the first day they started swimming to their last training day, the novice meet is where they put their trainings to the test. They have to swim their fastest today and beat their competition. All the efforts have to be worth it.
- It has only just begun
Now that their novice meet is over and done with, the real challenge will begin. They now have to face swimmers in various competition who they already faced in the novice and maybe the ones they have already seen swimming in the Palarong Pambansa.
Now those were the 6 things that make the novice meet special! It was so exciting to watch the swimmers swim their hearts out in their first competition. It kinda makes me want to relive my novice meet again (huhu I really wish I could). I hope all the kids who swam the 8th Speedo Jumpstart Novice Carnival would continue to the G-Leagues or regular competitions! Congratulations to all the awardees and remember, just keep swimming!
Bea De Vera