Linnea had been invited today by school, to the '3rd Brunei 6-8 Years Old Swimming Championship' hosted at the big Stadium. I let her make her own decision if she wanted to participate, as it meant that she was going to miss the Kids Halloween Hash - but she wanted to, so off we went.
Nathan was flying, as usual, so it was her and I settling in for a long afternoon. I had heard that these events can take quite a long time, and for the participants there is a lot of waiting around, since there are quite a few heats. Today there was nearly 350 kids competing.
It was Linnea's first "real" swimming competition, apart from the ones she has done at JIS - and once we arrived at the Stadium and saw all the people she gasped "But Mummy, do I have to swim against other people than JIS people?!?" Well, yes, it's a competition!
Hence the tears in this photo, "I wanna go hooooome"...
We didn't. Instead she went for some warm-up with the rest of the JIS team, all dressed in black and with black JIS swimming caps:
Wearing this swimming cap was a bit new too. We had to be careful with her ears and new earrings, and it made her face look all funny!
A bit of a team get-together before the competition started:
- GO JIS!!!
Then they got walked over to the waiting area to get sorted for their heats, the older girls looked after her so nicely.
Linnea's first event was backstroke. Unfortunately that didn't happen.
She walked over to the waiting area fine, but once she got seated with the girls in her heat she broke down completely and I got called over. I think it all was a bit too daunting, especially since she was the only JIS girl in her heat. I tried to cheer her up and she did walk up to the chair by her lane, but ended up in tears and refused to swim, so that one was a no show for her.
I must admit I'm not the best at pep-talk, but after the tears stopped we agreed she would try again, and at least do one race.
She used to be in the Dolphins Swimming Club at school, but she hasn't been anymore for quite a while. The only swimming she is doing currently, is that one session a week they do at school. So I guess she's just not used to the competitive part of it really.
In the next race, she was in a heat with a JIS girl from Year 3 (every heat had girls from all three age groups, but they only competed against the girls in their own age group in the end... Very confusing for this virgin swim-Mum...). I applied the "out of sight" method, she couldn't find me to cry to, so she just kind of had to get on with it! :)
It was her favourite, breaststroke:
Yes!! She did it! She swam!
She didn't swim super fast and she was awfully preoccupied by watching where all the others were and how fast they were swimming, but hey - at this stage just that she did swim was a win!
Then, more waiting:
Walking up to her last race, this one was freestyle:
No, she didn't win any medals this time. But - she didn't come last either!
She only missed her PB in the freestyle with 0.95s - but improved nearly 2.5s on her breaststroke PB! Well done Linnea! I'm proud of you for overcoming your fear, and for doing the best you could!