Mat’land swimming board to train teachers
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