Post about Swimming in Africa for College Swimming message boardEdit
- harvested in October 2008
I'm not too sure if this is a topic that comes up much on this site but I am a former swim coach who has moved on to development in Africa. Not being able to totally step away from swimming, I've participated and helped how I could in Senegal (also known as SEN) and now Uganda (also known as UGA) .
The state of African swimming (excluding South Africa (also known as RSA) and N. Africa who dominated the African Swimming Championships I attended in 2006, and did well in the 2008 Olympics) is on the verge; coaches and swimmers have more access to resources thanks to the internet and FINA, general development in African countries means that more and more swimmers are getting what they need for a successful swimming career and an increasing number of young swimmers are truly excited about the sport.
FINA has brought western coaches in to give clinics here in the past and I believe that African coaches have taken some away from these clinics but I also have reason to believe that the presenting coaches were unaware of the cultural issues that can really complicate matters that we western coaches see as simple. For example, caloric intake; can a swimmer in Senegal (also known as SEN) get enough calories from their mostly rice diet to fuel them through 4 hours of training in a day? How do you get swimmers who were raised in a culture where very little is on a schedule to show up to practice every day and on time?
On to the request: I feel like I have a bit of a handle on some of the cultural issues that pop up after living on the continent for 3 years but I have been away from coaching for a few years. I have been asked to put on a coaches clinic but I have actually never attended a coaches clinic. I am looking for any information/resources I can get to put together a coaches clinic for coaches in Uganda.
my email is becca[dot]schwartz[at]gmail.com
Thanks in advance for your help!
I want to sincerely thank everyone who responded and offered their help with this project. I was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer number of people who were interested.
However, I was also sort of hoping that my post might start a discussion. Swimming in developing countries is not something that most of us think about - I NEVER thought about it before I moved to Africa.
Like I said in my first post, I think that swimming in Africa is on the verge of really breaking out but first there do need to be some big steps made. I think that the great performances turned in by Coventry of Zimbabwe, Dunford of Kenya and Mellouli of Tunisia, are serving to motivate and inspire the younger kids. When will African countries be truly competitive with the west? What will it take? and how can we help?