Branden Willows is the next in what is becoming quite a long line of Jeppe boys to be awarded national colours this year.
He represented the country at the Orange Cup – an international fresh water Life Saving competition in Holland in June. The team came second, behind Holland and Italy, and Branden won a silver and a bronze medal in his individual events, and a bronze in the line throw which is a team race.
Branden also has provincial colours for open water swimming. He is busy preparing for the open water season, which is about to get under way, and has his eye on the Midmar Mile next year where, for the second year in a row he will be doing the “eight miles” for his chosen charity, Choc.
“You swim eight races, four on Saturday and four on Sunday, with sponsors donating to the charity on your behalf,” he explained. That means he swims in, but doesn’t race, in his age group event, so he has no idea what best time he is capable of.
He trains for life-saving and open water swimming with the same coach at Ellis Park and still finds time to swim for the school in inter school galas. “I don’t take pool swimming very seriously, but I’m looking forward to the school season that is about to start,” he said.