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Du Toit gets praise for developing swimmers

SOUTH Africa’s top sports personality Natalie Du Toit has been showered with accolades for being involved in the development of swimming.

She visited the Pimville swimming pool in Soweto on Saturday for the launch of Swimathon, a programme to reduce child drowning.

Swimathon is a programme of Swimming South Africa, who have roped in Lebogang Maile’s department of sport as partners.

Maile said: “What Natalie has been doing in terms of the development of swimming is wonderful, especially in the townships.

“She is imparting the massive knowledge and skills she has gained at the Olympics, Paralympics, Commonwealth Games and other international competitions to share it with the youth.

“Many youngsters in Soweto always see Natalie on television winning medals, they were over the moon to see her in their own backyard.

“Swimming South Africa has got the skills when it comes to the basics of swimming, that is why we formed a partnership with them in this project.

“We have been reading and hearing about stories of children drowning in the pools, and it is worse during the school holidays.

“The festive season holidays are upon us, that is why we are starting with the programme because schools are about to close.”

Swimathon involves a competition among 125 swimmers from the previously disadvantaged areas.

In addition, there are coaching clinics and water safety demonstration.

Water safety campaign consists of learn-to-swim lessons for children in schools, the community and the development of clubs at swimming pools.

The roll out of the programme also includes swimming lessons in Gauteng municipal functional swimming pools where Swimming South Africa will deploy instructors.

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