2019 National Swimming Championship

Date: 04 Jun 2019 // By: Tracy Elizabeth Ritchie

On the 17th May 2018, a small team of exactly six swimmers, with their parents to support, sleepily climbed aboard a bus to begin their nine-hour trip to Accra. A small team they might have been, but in heart and spirit, they were ginormous! As they were new invitees to the National Swimming Open Championship, the team only had two weeks in which to prepare.

Swimming Banner

Their coach, Ms. Elizabeth Tracy Ritchie, Gye Nyame class teacher, was incredibly proud of the fact that they rose wholeheartedly to the challenge and not a single swimmer missed out on the daily sessions of ‘torture’, as they were drilled in preparation for the gala. The Open Championship was open to all swimming clubs and schools for various age categories and was under the FINA and CANA rules and regulations.

Ms. Ritchie

Luckily, the team arrived in Accra in time for a visit to the University of Ghana pool in which they would be competing. As only one member of the team had ever competed in a gala before, they all practiced diving off a starting block and swimming the length of a 50m pool for the very first time, but that did not dampen their exuberant spirits.

Selorm gala

The new day dawned and the team and its supporters, along with a multitude of others, arrived at the pool looking absolutely fantastic in their Golf shirts generously sponsored by ATS, ready to compete. That is exactly what they did!

Sedi diving

Our Team!

Age Group



Girls 9-10 years

Sedinam Ako

50m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle. 50m Butterfly

Girls 11-12 years

Agustina Valenzuela

50m Backstroke, 50m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly

Boys 13-14

Nii Lomoeteh

50m Breaststroke, 50m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle

Boys 13-14

Jose Valenzuela

50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly

Boys 13-14

Ewan Kintzel

50m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle

Boys 13-14

Selorm Ako

50m Freestyle, 50m Breaststroke, 50m Butterfly

Boys 13-14

Nii, Jose, Ewan, Selorm

4 x 50m Freestyle Relay

Boys 13-15

Nii, Jose, Ewan, Selorm

4 x 50m Medley Relay(60)

Agustina swimming

The gala started at 9:00 hrs and the boys swam their last relay just after 18:30hrs that evening. Throughout the entire day, event after event, the ISA swimmers showed what true sportsmanship and perseverance is all about. The team left with no medals, although most of them obtained first places in their heats. A medal, however, would just have been a ‘cherry on the top’, because what they left with could never be bought in a store. Each one of them left with such a sense of pride and achievement and are absolutely determined to keep training to compete again. Isn’t that what it is all about? 

Swimming Team

Well done, Selorm and Sedinam Ako, Jose and Agustina Valenzuela, Ewan Kintzel and Nii Engmann. All of us salute you – you held our ISA flag high. Thank you too, to the parents who supported us, not only by being there all the way, but by the myriad of phone calls and best wishes.

Mrs Valenzuela cheering

A special thank you, again to our kind sponsors, ATS, for making them look like the incredible team that they were, OA Travel and Tours for a generous discount on the transportation and Adehye Guest House for hosting the team in Accra.

Parents Dads

Our parents deserve special mention for taking time to travel with the team and ensuring that our team remained motivated and proud of their participation. 

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