Khethiwe and Demi fly flag for Tuks

Posted on January 12, 2009

Both Khethiwe and Demi were selected by Swimming South Africa for the first time and did themselves proud. Young Demi won the 50m Butterfly, Backstroke and Freestyle, the 100m Freestyle and 200m IM improving on average a second since the NTS Championships in December, and Khethiwe was defeated only in the 50m Butterfly behind training partner Demi. The other races, 50 and 100m Breaststroke, and 200m Breaststroke were all comfortably won.

Both started swimming at the age of 3. Both parents wanted their daughters to be water wise and pretty soon discovered they had talent. For Demi the move to Tuks came 18 months ago when Mom Manuela decided she needed top coaching and went on a hunt around Gauteng to find the best coach and the best facilities for her daughter. Khethiwe’s mother, Zandi was referred to Rocco and the HPC by her daughters’ former coach from Hillcrest. He had accepted a position abroad and recommended that the youngster make the move to Tuks.

Demi’s determination, drive and dedication are quite evident. She leaves school in Boksburg 3-4 times a week at 13h45 to make the 50km plus trip to the HPC to train under Roco Meiring, then travels home and most often than not only starts her homework at 8pm. Khethiwe does have it bit easier in that regard as she stays in Silverlakes, some 15min away from the High Performance Centre. But both have to deal with the training put together by Rocco Meiring, and hours in the pool does tire one out. However based on the recent results, that training is paying dividends. “Both girls are incredibly talented, hard working and very dedicated. Its an absolute pleasure to have them in my squad,” says Meiring.

Meiring certainly does have class in his fold. Khethiwe is ranked No 1 in South Africa in the 200m Breaststroke and 200m IM and ranked No 2 in the country in the 100m Breaststroke behind training partner Demi Lopes. The Tuks Swimming Club certainly has two future stars in their fold to continue the ongoing tradition of a strong swimming Legacy at the High Performance Centre and the University of Pretoria.

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