Mat’land swim­ming board to train teach­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ngqwele Dube Sports Correspondent

THE Mata­bele­land Am­a­teur Swim­ming Board (MASB) will em­bark on a train­ing pro­gramme for teach­ers in an ef­fort to lure more swim­mers into the sport. The board is en­gag­ing schools that have func­tional swim­ming pools and would be sec­ond­ing coaches to train teach­ers to en­sure they are equipped with the right skills to pass onto fu­ture swim­mers.

MASB chair­per­son Nokuthula Cypri­anos told jour­nal­ists, at a Sports Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion (Spoja) South­ern Re­gion in­ter­ac­tive fo­rum last Thurs­day that they hoped to see more swim­mers com­ing on board, par­tic­u­larly from pub­lic schools.

Swim­ming is largely dom­i­nated by swim­mers from pri­vate schools, which ei­ther have pools or easy ac­cess to them.

Cypri­anos said they saw the need to in­volve more teach­ers, as most in charge of swim­ming did not know how to swim.

“There is lack of skills train­ing on the part of teach­ers be­cause most of them would have only qual­i­fied as teach­ers, but they don’t know swim­ming al­though they find them­selves in charge of the sport in their schools,” said Cypri­anos.

“This af­fects the de­vel­op­ment of new swim­mers be­cause it be­comes more of re­cre­ation than fo­cused train­ing to pro­duce fu­ture swim­ming cham­pi­ons. We are ba­si­cally teach­ing them how to im­part swim­ming skills to the kids,” she said.

MASB plans sec­ond­ing coaches to Ku­malo Pri­mary, Baines Ju­nior and SOS Pri­mary to work with the teach­ers. Cypri­anos said they also hold all-com­ers galas in which swim­mers that are not ac­tively com­pet­i­tive get a chance to com­pete on their own.

She said this in­tro­duces new swim­mers to the com­pet­i­tive world and is also an op­por­tu­nity for tal­ent iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

“We in­vite Gov­ern­ment schools that have swim­ming pools to all-com­ers galas as a way of in­tro­duc­ing the young swim­mers to the com­pet­i­tive side of the sport in a less in­tim­i­dat­ing en­vi­ron­ment and where they do not face swim­mers al­ready tak­ing part in the main com­pe­ti­tions.

“Some get picked to join clubs, bring­ing them into the main­stream of the sport,” said Cypri­anos.

She re­vealed that they are also work­ing with Nust, whose stu­dents have been at­tached to swim­ming clubs as part of the learn­ing process, as part of pro­duc­ing more swim­ming coaches.

She said lack of fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity had seen them fail­ing to re­sus­ci­tate derelict swim­ming pools in the west­ern sub­urbs. Mpopoma, Lu­veve and Bar­bour­fields swim­ming pools could be used as an en­try point for swim­mers from the west­ern sub­urbs, but the coun­cilowned fa­cil­i­ties are not func­tion­ing.

How­ever, there are ac­tive ef­forts to ren­o­vate and re-open the Bar­bour­fields pool.

Mean­while, the sixth and fi­nal Mata­bele­land Gala was held on Fri­day night with the Mata­bele­land Cham­pi­onships next on the cal­en­dar from De­cem­ber 1-4. — @ rasmthembo

Nokuthula Cypri­anos

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