In what can only be described as the new normal, Mpumalanga Swim (MPS) hosted its online swim awards
The guests of honour ran the gamut from beginners to the more advanced swimmers, who were recognised for
their dedication to the sport in the province.
In his opening remarks, the MPS president, Emile Veenhuyzen, thanked the officials for their behind-the-scenes
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He said, “Tonight we celebrate the excellence, development, perseverance, diligence and the work, sweat and
sometimes tears, that our swimmers put into the season.
“It is all about rewarding everyone for the part they played in making Mpumalanga a swimming province of hope, possibilities, dreams, achievements and respect”.
Veenhuyzen singled out a number of local officials, most notably acclaimed local coach, Norma Kumm, who received an honorary award for her commitment to the development of the sport.
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Kumm has officially retired from coaching after years on the Mpumalanga swimming scene. After the national lockdown was instituted in March, all sports and social gatherings were prohibited, which meant that local swimmers could not compete.
The impact of this and other government regulations were felt by local swimmers and coaches who had to resort to new ways of training to keep fitness levels up.
Despite this setback, local coaches, officials and swimmers pushed on, embracing the new normal to stay afloat
regardless of the turbulent times.
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Veenhuyzen continued, “Life and swimming as we know it will never be the same again. With our combined efforts, we trust that it will be better than ever before.
“The unfortunate negative impacts were the cancellation of all our national events and the ending of the sports programmes.
“It has been a period of disappointment for our swimmers after their hard training throughout the year.”
Nevertheless, he recognised the efforts of a number of local swimmers such as Brooklyn Croxon, Ingrid Banza and Timara Froneman for their stellar performances pre-lockdown.
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“We would like to thank those who were selected for the national team for the first time, especially Brooklyn, Ingrid and Timara, for their selection into the 2020/21 national high performance squads,” said Veenhuyzen.
The season ahead is bound to be filled with memorable performances from a dedicated group of coaches, officials and swimmers eager to make their mark.