Have just been beaten hands down by a bunch of eleven-year-olds. I'm pleased to say I managed to stay one arm length's in front of the eight-year-olds. But those bigger kids....
I was invited to Kamalinee Primary School on the outskirts of Durban - a short drive past the oil refinery in an area that's described as lower middle class Indian. It was strange to be greated by Deputy Head Sonia Singh - a fellow Punjabi by heritage - who spoke English with a strong Indian accent, but who had never been to India. Durban is home to South Africa's largest Indian community. Years of apartheid meant that instead of integrating into the local community, the Indians remained culturally separate and isolated. Hence the strong Indian accents. But this isn't the only legacy. White only beaches and swimming pools meant that historically, this is a community that can't swim.
But at Kamalinee, things are changing. First of all, it's no longer a segregated school. Kamalinee is the first school in the area to introduce Zulu into the curriculum and twenty per cent of it's pupils are now black. So far there are no white pupils, but the teachers hope this will change in time. I was impressed by the dedication of these teachers who work after hours and at the weekend for no pay to teach out of school clubs. The school is lucky to have a 25m outdoor pool and the swimming club is one of the most popular in the school. Every pupil can swim - some of them very well indeed. The kids practice after school and at the weekends thanks to the teachers who give up their free time to train them. Recently, they've been winning all the medals in the local galas.
Which brings me to those eleven-year-olds. OK, the pool is only 1m deep so I thought it better not to dive, so I guess they had a bit of an advantage. But I actually finished last. Still, I think I managed to leave with my pride intact. I overheard one kid saying to another "wasn't it nice that Miss swam slowly and let us win". Yes, wasn't it nice of me!