More than 200 swimmers have signed up for the annual Nedbank Madibaz swimming gala at the Newton Park pool in Port Elizabeth on Friday and Saturday.
The meeting, which is open to all swimmers, has attracted competitors from as far afield as East London and George.
Madibaz Sport swimming manager Melinda Goosen said the gala was an opportunity to showcase what the club had to offer to the Eastern Cape community.
“As the local university we are the next step for all school-leaving swimmers.”
She said the club have come a long way over the past couple of years and placed third at last year’s University Sport South Africa (USSA) gala.
“This gala is an opportunity to showcase our talent to the broader community as we strive to become the top swimming university in the province.”
As it is coming at the start of the season, Goosen added it was a chance for swimmers to gauge their form against the best swimmers in the region.
She said top Madibaz competitors Alard and Alaric Basson, who trained with the Olympic team in Italy last month, would be leading the varsity’s challenge.
Others expected to do well are NMBA junior swimmer of the year Jessica Beukes (PEA), former Eastern Cape sportswoman of the year Kaylene Corbett (PEA), open water stars Amica de Jager (Aquabear) and Ian Venter (Aquabear) and SA junior lifesaver of the year Daniel Jones.
Goosen said Nedbank’s investment in the club helped them to become involved in many levels of the sport.
These, she said, ranged from learn-to-swim classes for students to assisting with water safety classes at schools and presenting galas for elite swimmers.
The meeting starts at 5.30pm on Friday and continues at 8am on Saturday.