TuksSwimming is one of the largest sports clubs at the university with a membership of 380 competitive swimmers and 80 non-competitive swimmers. Last year a number of TuksSwimming’s competitive swimmers represented South Africa internationally at events such as the Commonwealth Games, the African Senior Swimming Championships and the World Short Course Championships.

Who is in charge?

Perdeby spoke to TuksAquatics manager, Steven Ball, about the upcoming swimming season which runs from 1 May to 31 April. Ball says TuksSwimming’s goals for this year extend from growing the Learn-to-Swim program to ensuring elite swimmers continue to qualify and compete internationally. Ball believes the management and coaching staff “play a vital role in the progress, development and performance of our swimmers, both locally and internationally.” TuksSwimming provides coaching through satellite programs in addition to the training done at LC de Villiers. There are currently 15 coaches excluding undergraduate sports science students.

What’s happening?

The TuksSwimming calendar includes local events such as the SA Senior and Youth Nationals on 11 April in Port Elizabeth. Major international events that swimmers from Tuks are competing in include the FINA World Championships held in July in Shanghai, the World Swimming Championships being held in Peru and the World Cup Series.

Swimming Star

The name William Diering has become well-known in the world of men’s 100m and 200m breaststroke. Having swum for Tuks for the last six years he has reaped the benefits of having access to the superior gym facilities, physiotherapists, sports psychologists and training facilties provided by TuksSport and the High Performance Centre. Diering also credits his coach, Igor Omeltchenko, with his swimming successes which include competing for South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and winning a bronze medal in the 2008 Manchester World Short Course Championships. Diering has his sights set on competing in the World Championships in Shanghai this year and hopes to compete in the 2012 London Olympics.

Thanks to the recent improvement in the standard of swimming in South Africa, Diering never felt the need to seek opportunities overseas which swimmers such as Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoeman did. Diering’s advice to aspiring swimmers is to bear in mind that “It’s not your aptitude, but your attitude that creates your altitude.”

When can I swim?

The pool at LC De Villiers is available for the use of all students from 11:00 – 14:00 from Monday to Friday; 13:00 – 15:00 on Saturday and 10:00 – 14:00 on Sunday. Students who wish to swim during the winter months have to sign up for a non-competitive membership of R300.

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