The upmarket town of Stellenbosch, with it's university, has a rich tradition of excellent state and private schools. The wine-growing region stretches south along the slopes of the Hottentots-Holland mountains to Somerset west and the Strand. The area has a number of notable schools, including the private schools of Rhenish Girls and Someset College, and the state of schools Paul Roos Gymnasium and Bloemhof Meisieskool. The changing demographics and forced anglization of education has resultred in Stellenbosch university losing it's staus as an Afrikaans university, while Raul Roos and Bloemhof have retained their essentailly Afrikaans nature, albeit the schools are fully bilingual. They have also all developed water polo as a school sport, and compete nationally in various tournaments.
Like elsewhere in the country, swimming is mostly done at local clubs, and Rhenish has a synchronised swimming coach. Somerset College is another post-1994 English private school. There are also a number of primary schools in the area that have swimming pools. Hoërskool Stellenbosch does not have a swimming pool, and does not fireld any aquatic sports teams.
The school has an eight lane 25m pool, and an active swimming program, with a professional coach. They compete in various local and Boland league events. The school also offers water polo.
Laerskool Stellenbosch swemspan vir 2017.
Located close to the university, on the banks of the Eerstervier, Paul Roos is another powerhouse of South African sports, having produced the most Springbok rugby players of any school in South Africa. In 2017 it won the Kearsney national tennis tourneament for the 10th time - making it by far the dominant school in that sport. The school is particularly well endowed, as one of only four schools in South Africa to it's own annual Rhodes Scholarship award.
Bloemhof Hoër Meisieskool
A sister-school and close neighbour of Paul Roos Gymnasium, the school is force in netball, although it does offer swimming and water polo.
The private school for girls in Stellenbosch, the school participates in swimming and water polo. Together with neighbouring Bloemhof Meisieskool, Rhenish is ranked 33rd and 34th in the water polo SA Schools rankings in 2017. The swimming team tours to Durban every alternate year and the swimming team participates in the weekly Western Province swimming league and they attend the A League Boy/Girl Gala that they have won for 11 consecutive years. Carli Antonopoulos swam in the 2014 Midmar Mile and came 13th (women’s open event), and since she has been selected for the South African Junior Open Water Swimming Team in various events.
The primary school have implemented swimming squad sessions, where the children train after school in order to develop their potential. Commitment to these squad sessions is crucial. Our swimming team participates in local galas in the Helderberg basin, which are hosted on various days of the week. It also holds an annual Inter-House gala, to get as many children as possible involved.
Although the school lacks it's own swimming pool, it uses the Beaumont Primary 6 lane 25m pool (below), as well the 50m indoor pool at the Strand. Despite this, Parel Vallei boasts an impressive success in auatic sports:
Some of the top swimmers from Parel Vallei are the likes of Lucy Saunders who achieved Springbok colours in life-saving and Ashley Oliver who was selected twice to the SA Junior team which participated in Brazil and won a bronze medal at the Senior SAs.
Christine Zwiegers achieved gold at the Level 3 meeting and a silver medal at the SA Senior championships.
Yolandi van der Merwe was chosen as the senior WP captain for the SA championships and represented SA at the Open Water swimming championships in France.
Christine Zwiegers, Yolandi van der Merwe and Shannon van Konynenburg also received bursaries to study at overseas universities on the strength of their excellent swimming achievements.
Shannon van Konynenburg at the University of the Pacific, California.
Yonandi van der Merwe studied at the Unversity of Pittsburgh. Her bio there reads:
Helped lead Parel Vallei to four Interschool Swimming Championships...three-time Parel Vallei Swimmer of the Year...five-time full Western Province Swimming Colours...member of Strand Aquatics Club team from 1999-2007...competed for the University of Stellenbasch (Maties) for two seasons...competed for South Africa's Junior National Open Swimming Team in 2007-08...received Parel Vallei's Rose Award for good conduct and courtesy in 2008.
From left: Senior Victor Ludorum : Johan van der Spuy, Junior Victor Ludorum : Tiaan Groenewald, Senior Victrix Ludorum: Annissa Koekemoer, Junior Victrix Ludorum: Lana Nel.
The school says about school swimming:
Swimming at Beaumont has a rich history as one of the top sports at Beaumont. Many of the swimmers that have come through our teams have gone on to swim overseas and at home at provincial and even national levels in their adult careers.
Swimming takes place primarily during the first term in the year, and starts as soon as the pool temperature allows in term 4. A solar heating system is in place to help us start as early as possible but due to the size of our 6 lane, 25m pool, sometimes the extended winters of the Cape don’t allow us to train as often in term 4 as we do in term 1. Below are the 2017 Boys and Girls swimming teams.