SA’s Down Syndrome swimmers win silver

2010-10-14 00:00

TWELVE years of swimming at junior and senior national level have finally paid dividends for Jonathan “Johno” Fergusson (27), who was recently tasked with coaching the South African Down Syndrome Swimming team.

The SA Down Syndrome swimming team returned home on Saturday from Taipei, Taiwan, with six new world records and 21 South African records during the fifth world championships.

The Down Syndrome International Swimming Organisation (DSISO) was formed about 12 years ago. DSISO realised that swimmers with Down Syndrome were being outclassed in competitions by people with other learning disabilities who do not have the same physical disabilities often associated with Down Syndrome.

Fergusson, who is a member of the Penguins Swimming Club, told The Witness, “It was an honour to represent my country and bring home 35 medals to make us runners up to Australia.”

Team SA returned with eight gold, 10 silver and 17 bronze medals.

“It was a great achievement for us if you consider the fact that Australia and Britain had about 30 swimmers — and we only had 12 — to compete in the world championship,” said Fergusson.

He said he had been preparing swimmers for two years, little knowing that he was going to be the SA coach for Down Syndrome Swimming Team.

“I was urged by two of my swimmers to apply for the position and I was happy to be nominated for it.”

Fergusson lives in Chase Valley and lectures sports management at Varsity College in Pietermaritzburg.

Two months before leaving for Taiwan, he was in the United States and Netherlands to be trained by some of the world’s best swimming coaches. While in the U.S. he worked with Frank Buch of Arizona University, who has coached of best swimmers in the world.

His work includes working with the Aquarius and Sunfield swimming clubs in Raisethorpe and Howick.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.