Student-athlete, Harold du Bois de Vroylande, has accomplished a lot for someone who started eighth grade this year. Competing in the Long Course National Belgium Championship over the summer, Harold swam a 1:08.06 100-meter butterfly swim, earning him third place in the final!
The SCIS swimmer talks us through the preparation and his mindset leading up to the championship, what it means to be a medalist for his home country, and his future looking ahead.
Congratulations on your success at the Belgian Nationals this summer, can you talk us through the final process of preparing for the meet?
Looking back, my final sessions at SCIS were pretty relaxed compared to normal. But the long training period leading up to the last few weeks were quite tough so that I could build muscle and improve my speed. Then, once every two days I had extra training sessions outside of the water. That helped my endurance and improve my flexibility. Lastly, I also went for a two-week camp in Italy just to prepare right before my swimming competition.
Can you describe your mindset and thoughts going into the meet?
Conferences will focus on how well students are doing in school and how they can improve. Have a look at your child’s homework, tests, and assignments before the conference and prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask the teacher.
Which races did you qualify for?
I qualified for the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, and the 100-meter breaststroke.
Out of those four, which did you feel that you were performing well within?
I think my 100-meter butterfly was certainly my best race. I managed to get a bronze medal at the national level, which is the biggest achievement for me, and I hope to use this as something to help me get better in the future.
Looking back, can you tell us what was going through your mind going into that 100-meter butterfly?
I’d say my best stroke is probably the butterfly. Therefore, I kept telling myself “this is probably one of the races you should be having under control”. So, all I tried to do is go in strong and not give up. I decided to go in with the mindset of trying my best and proving myself in the pool.
How does it feel to be a medalist for your country?
I still can’t really believe it. It feels really good to be able to tell people, yeah, I’m a medalist for my country. To be a national medalist in eighth grade is really a dream! Of course, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of my coaches, SCIS, and my mum and dad for helping me wake up at four in the morning for practice!
What are your goals going into this 2019-2020?
In the academic year of 2019-2020, I’d like to be as good inside the pool as I am outside of it. For me, that means being as good in academics as I am in swimming. Balancing both will be my priority so that I can be getting on the honor roll or the principal’s honor roll if I work hard enough.
Those are fantastic goals! Any last comments and thoughts?
I’m happy to say that I’ve qualified for this year’s national championship. I qualified by a few seconds and in almost all of my races, so I should be back in the competition stage in 2020!
Congratulations Harold and good luck with your competitions this year!