PMB Seals’ head coach dreams bigSee page 4

2015-08-06 06:01
Pietermaritzburg Seals’ head coach Sibani Makhanya was recently named one of Team South Africa’s coaches for the Africa Games, to be hosted by Brazzaville, Congo, from 4 to 19 September.
PHOTO: ian carbutt

Pietermaritzburg Seals’ head coach Sibani Makhanya was recently named one of Team South Africa’s coaches for the Africa Games, to be hosted by Brazzaville, Congo, from 4 to 19 September. PHOTO: ian carbutt

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PIETERMARITZBURG Seals’ Sibani Makhanya­, one of Team South Africa’s coaches for the 2015 Africa Games, is making his mark in swimming circles and has his sights on one day becoming head coach of South Africa’s Olympic team.

In 2007, two years after starting swimming in KwaMashu, he met leading coach Graham Hill, which led to him joining Seagulls Swimming Club, where he made big strides.

However, after finishing school in 2009 he no longer had transport to make it to early morning training, so he decided to turn his attention to coaching.

“I was inspired by Graham Hill and I said to myself, ‘maybe one day I want to be the Olympic coach.’ I learnt everything from him.

“Then I went to work with Wayne Riddin [who, like Hill, was also a South African Olympic coach] at Seals. Working with Wayne is an unbelievable experience. I learn as much as I can from him, and even now I am still learning,” Makhanya said.

His hard work and passion was rewarded earlier this year when he was promoted to head coach at Seals, a club which has produced numerous Olympic swimmers including Ryk Neethling, Terence Parkin, Darian Townsend, Darryl Cronjé, Brendon Dedekind, Theo Verster and Nick Folker.

“I said to myself ‘Wayne believes in me’, and that gives me motivation to keep going forward. Whenever I have a problem I go to him and he always helps me, anywhere, anytime.”

Makhanya recently attended the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

“I was the first African guy to go with the team. I said ‘Wow! I love this.’ Everyone was so friendly. From the first day to the last, I was smiling and excited. It was amazing.

“My ultimate ambition is to be the Olympic coach. I want to wear that ring. There’s a special ring that all the coaches wear,” he said

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