STIRLING High School pupil and Aquanova swimming club synchronised swimmer Tayla Jade van Huyssteen has once again made her family, school and club proud by qualifying to represent South Africa at the Senior Fina World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
TJ, as she is affectionately known in swimming circles, has always been a high achiever. In 2015, she represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Synchronised Swimming competition invitational meet where she helped the South African team finish in second place.
In July last year, she represented Team SA under 18s in the Junior World Championships in Russia, and was awarded her Junior National colours by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc).
The Grade 10 pupil will leave for Hungary tomorrow with the rest of the SA team as the Senior Fina World Championship starts on July 14.
Asked what started her off in this sport which took her to such heights, TJ had this to say: “I watched a level 2 synchronised swimming competition in Cape Town in 2013 and it piqued my interest. I felt that it was something I could do.
“My coach, Lynn Shone, encouraged me to start as she felt that I had all the necessary strengths to succeed in the sport.
“My mom, Janet, has been a tremendous pillar of support and strength throughout all my training, driving me to practices and accompanying me to all the qualifying competitions. I am extremely grateful for all her sacrifices,” TJ said.
In addition to synchronised swimming, TJ still finds time to excel at her academics, music, dance, hockey, water polo and biathle.
Buffalo City Aquatics is proud of this young lady and her achievements thus far.