In the spotlight today is the 11 year old Zander Landman, another little champion swimmer to watch out for. Zander is a dedicated young athlete who really enjoys his swimming, arriving at daily swim training with a big smile and eager to hit the water with his buddies, chatting, joking and laughing at the pool deck. This element and fun, joy and camaraderie around sports, especially the so called individual sports vs team sports is such a key ingredient for young children to guarantee sustained interest and progress in the sport.
Zander is proudly Northern Tigers Swimming affiliated and swims for Hillcrest Swimming Club in Pretoria. This young champion is a true star in and out of the water, always does his best and has seen the fruit of his labour many times over with his brilliant results in the pool. He knows how to balance things and makes a special effort to never neglect his academics. He has smashed many records, received provincial colours and represented Team Gauteng in the SA Schools Championships in 2014. I look forward to following his progress as he goes from strength to strength.
Read on to find out more about this splendid young champion:
Who are you, what sports are you passionate about, and in what year were you born?
My name is Zander Landman and I am passionate about swimming. My birth date is 05.08.2003. I am 11 years old.
At what age did you start swimming?
I started swimming at 8 years old. I was like a fish in the water from a very young age. I heard my friends at school say that they took extra swimming lessons and asked my mom to take me as well. That is how I started swimming.
Would you like to share some highlights about your own sports events so far?
I have broken 59 Provincial records when I was swimming for the Vaal Triangle. I have also broken 13 CGA short course records at the age 8 and 9. I have broken 5 Inter Provincial meet records when I represented Vaal Triangle against other Provinces. I missed a record by 0.04s, held by Ryk Neethling when he was 9 years old (that is a long time ago) on the 50m back. That was very close!
I have also achieved Provincial colours for the Vaal Triangle. I was selected to represent the Central Gauteng swim team and the Northern Tigers Swim team. I have also achieved my Provincial Gauteng School colors in swimming.
If you were not going to be involved in swimming, what sport do you think you would be involved in?
I played rugby when I was younger; I think if I did not swim I would have played rugby. I also like cricket and tennis.
Tell me a little bit about your home and school life?
I live with my parents. I have a brother, he is 6 years old and keeps me very busy. I am a pupil at Garsfontein Primary School and I love my teachers and friends. It is an honour for me to represent my school in swimming events.
How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics into your schedule?
It is very hard work to stay on top of everything. I especially need help when I prepare for a big swimming championship. I rely a lot on my parents to help me plan and to ensure I keep my focus on my academics.
Tell me about what you like to do to relax?
I enjoy cycling with my dad. I also like playing X-box games, watch movies, and just hanging out with friends.
What is your favourite food? And who must cook it?
I love mac and cheese from Woollies. I like chicken burgers – haha! I love MacDonald’s. My dad is actually a very good cook, I enjoy his food.
Who is your sports hero in the sports that you are involved in? What have you learned from him / her?
My sports hero is Graeme Moore the South African Olympian. I am in the privileged position to call him my friend. We met him when I was 9 years old. Since then I had the opportunity to train with him on a regular basis. He has taught me to be conscious of my body position in the water and to “feel” the water. I really look up to him and hope that one day I will represent my country like he did.
What is your personal favourite Bible verse / motivational quote?
I love this Bible verse, it always encourages me, especially when I am nervous – no matter what the situation.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
My favourite swimming quote is:
“The body achieves what the mind believes”.
Thank you so much Zander for taking this interview. I would like to wish you all the best for the Winter Swimming Championships coming up in June / July. I look forward to following your progress and exciting journey ahead. Blessings!