His first competitive swim. He was nervous and excited. The pool was full of people. The whole club was there. Coaches, parents and ASA officials looked on. Occasionally shouting at swimmers, rounding them up and giving them tips. Reminding them sternly not to eat.
His was event 16, the 50m. Butterfly. He simply didn’t have the experience to beat out the older swimmers, but he came 4th out of 7, and we were thrilled. The 100m Freestyle was a bit harder, he’s never had to swim that distance before, not like this. He fell behind after 50m. But he kept it up, kept pushing. He came third out of three, to the sounds of the crowd clapping and his clubmates cheers.
Dev was pleased, and we were over the moon for him. We soon learned he had been disqualified from the butterfly for not keeping his legs together. He was crushed, swore he’d never do another gala.
He got dressed and we left the pool, not even knowing what his time for the freestyle had been.
I explained to Devon that it was his first time, and he’s not emant to WIN, but to learn from it. I really heaped the praise on, and when he went to bed, he had a smile on his face, and had promised he would try again.