Savanah van Nieuwkerk

Motivation is one of the main character traits that makes Savanah van Nieuwkerk successful at swimming.

The 14-year-old Grade 9 student at Frances Kelsey Secondary has the right mindset to continue progressing with the Duncan Stingrays.

“Savanah’s doing fantastic,’’ said Stingrays’ head coach Leanne Sirup.

“She started with our team when she was quite young and she’s been steadily improving.’’

The efforts of van Nieuwkerk to juggle pool time around her basketball practices showed Sirup she was committed.

“She adjusted her schedule on her own accord, quite impressed with that,’’ said Sirup.

“We set goals at the very beginning of the year,’’ said van Nieuwkerk. “She (Sirup) helps me try to achieve those goals.’’

Marked improvement from the time she started competitive swimming has made it all worthwhile for van Nieuwkerk.

“I think when I was younger, it was hard — just motivation, getting to the pool, getting in the water,’’ she said.

“Practices were insane. But as you progress, it kind of gets easier.’’

The breaststroke has always been van Nieuwkerk’s best, but she’s also strong in freestyle and butterfly.

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