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Athletes Commission for SSA

Swimming South Africa (SSA) is setting up an Athletes Committee, a Sports Science and Medical Committee, an Athletes Development Committee and a Senior Coaches Committee, as well as the appointment of a volunteer to act as Performance Manager, as part of a restructure.

These developments follow on from the recommendations made in the Commission report into Olympic and elite level swimming, generated last year.

The Athletes Committee will be chaired by an appointee of SSA, who will be supported by at least two recently-retired national team members, and one athlete representing those with disabilities. The Committee will be appointed for a four-year term, and nominations have already been called for from SSA’s membership.

The Sports Science and Medical Committee will be convened by medical sports expert (Dr Demitri Constantinou) and will include a sports physician, a physiotherapist, a biokineticist, a dietician and a doping specialist. It is envisaged that this committee will consist of six or seven members. Nominations have been called for from Swimming SA’s membership and tertiary institutions.

An Athletes Development committee has also been appointed, to be convened by Professor Denver Hendricks, with the aim of providing strategic direction from grassroots swimming through to High Performance level.

A Senior Swimming Coaches Committee has also been established to be headed by experienced coach Dean Price, who was elected for the position by his coaching colleagues who have guided swimmers at international level.

Swimming SA CEO Shaun Adriaanse said he was pleased to announce that Kirsten van Heerden had already been appointed as the volunteer Performance Manager, and would act in this capacity until the end of April. It was hoped that a full-time Performance Manager would be appointed in due course.

Adriaanse said he had no doubt that Van Heerden, who has represented South Africa at international level, would bring passion as a volunteer, which she would be able to combine with her knowledge, to make a difference in working with Warley in preparing athletes to excel at international level.

Her brief includes the implementation of systems that provide holistic support to squad members, including camps, scientific and medical support, and technical and logistic support.