Fourteen-year-old open water swimmer, Alexis-Jade Marshoff, is on her way to represent the country in Mauritius. Marshoff has been selected as part of the Junior Open Water team which will be participating at the first CANA ZONE IV World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships to be held in Mon Choisy, Mauritius, from 2 until 3 December 2017.
Marshoff started swimming at 15 months old when her mother, Candice Marshoff, took her to the Supersport Health and Adventure club to learn more about water safety. This is when she started working with coach Simon Gray.
“We took her and her older cousin to the lessons and Simon Gray would always say, ‘I’m going to make you champs one day’. I think he says that to all his kids. They’ve been swimming non-stop since then,” explained Candice Marshoff.
Marshoff added that Alexis-Jade, who often spends two hours a day, six days a week, practising, has always stayed focused and is now reaping the rewards. “Swimming is an individual sport and it helps them to clear their minds and think. Lexi has always been a centred girl and never had a problem balancing between sports and her books, and swimming has helped her with this.”
Marshoff said that when they first received the news that she had made the team, she could not believe it. “When it sunk in that it’s the South African team she started to get excited. It’s a very huge achievement for us and for the family. A couple of years ago her cousin, Raul Henney, was the first non-white swimmer to win the national open water competition, and she looks up to him a lot,” added Marshoff.
Marshoff’s coach, Simon Gray, has been her coach from the beginning and has watched her grow into a champ swimmer for their club, Super Seals. He added that she had been putting in a lot of work and it is now paying off. “Lexi’s swimming journey has been very good. She’s had a few niggling shoulder problems and has been going through rehabilitation for this. But she has been doing well and now she’s qualified for the major levels champions. All the hard work has paid off at last and she now has the opportunity to go there and do her best,” said Gray.