Hanim Abrahams is one of SA’s treasures in the sports arena where she is doing brilliantly in her young swimming carreer. She is full of joy and an influencer who leads by example wherever she finds herself. She was proudly flag bearer at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas where she did our nation proud with her stunning achievements.
She says “I would say that I am a very energetic person. I am an extrovert by nature, a very friendly and sociable person. A team player with a very competitive streak. I like to bring the GEES. Some would say I am bit weird…but I appreciate my bubbly nature. In the future I would like to retain my positive characteristics but I would like to be wiser and more mature”.
Athlete : Bio / Stats
Name & Surname Hanim Abrahams
Nick Name Nims, Nim
Date of birth 10 March 2002
Place of birth Cape Town, South Africa
Current City Cape Town
Weight 60 kg
Shoe Size 7
Club Curro Aquatics Durbanville
Coach’s Name Warren Deyzel
Out of Country events / meets
Zambia (CANA Zone Two 2013)
Egypt (Junior African Swimming Championships 2015 and 2017)
Italy (Treviso Swimming Cup 2016)
Angola (Under 20 African Youth Games 2016)
Bahamas (Commonwealth Youth Games 2017)
Indianapolis (FINA Youth World Cup 2017)
Secondary Sports Waterpolo, Netball and Cross country (all in the past)
Favourite City Cape Town
Favourite Song Martin Garrix & Troye Sivan- There for you
Favourite Movie Moana
School & Grade Herschel Senior Girls School, Grade 9
Sponsors I have no sponsorship. I do get support from Arena and Enduren nutritional products.
Facebook: @Hanim Abrahams
Parents Names, siblings
Dad: Yusuf Abrahams
Mom: Kulsum Abrahams
Brother: Irshad Abrahams
Sister: Ammaarah Abrahams
Q: Firstly – you were proudly part of team SA recently at the Commonwealth Youth Games. On top of that Flag Bearer! How did you experience it?
To be a part of any South African team is a huge honour. Being the flag bearer was a real privilege and personally very exciting. I would like to thank SASCOC for affording me the opportunity to lead the team at the opening ceremony and for making the whole tour possible.
The experience was amazing. I got to experience the beautiful Bahamas. I’ve made some good friends not only with swimmers but with other unbelievable athletes too. I learnt to make the best of my opportunities on tour. I also learnt what the essence of a true team spirit means.
Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in swimming and your journey in the swimming arena up to now?
I was introduced to swimming at a very young age. I started swimming lessons when I was about two years old. I would be in our pool whenever I could and my mom would have to haul me out. In grade R I tried out for the school swim team to be with my older sister. Many girls thought I was crazy as I tried out with the grade two’s.
I then started swimming at Cape Dolphins Aquatics (CADO) with renowned coach Brian Button at the age of six.
At the age of eleven I moved to Csanad Feldhausz at AquaSharks Academy (ASA). I loved swimming and training there and grew close to my team mates. I really thrived at ASA as I got National and WP records whilst at that club.
In 2013 at the age of eleven I was selected by Swimming SA to go to Zambia for the CANA Zone 2 competition. Throughout my time at ASA I was selected by Swimming SA to participate in Egypt, Italy and Angola.
The selections and results in summary are:
Junior African record holder in the 50 and 100m breaststroke (long course) for 13 and 15 year olds.
Achieved South African National 50m breaststroke records for 12, 13 and 14 year olds.
CANA Zone 2 Swimming Championships held in Zambia 2013. Gold in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke events.
In 2014 broke the South African National age group 50m breaststroke record for 12 year olds at the Western Province Swimming Championships.
In 2015 selected to represent South Africa at the Junior African Swimming Championships held in Cairo, Egypt. Won gold in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events in record times. Won silver in the 200 IM and was awarded a medal for being second overall in my age group.
The 100m breaststroke time of 1.11.93 was a new Western Province record. I missed the South African national record by 0.01 seconds.
In 2016 Swimming South Africa invited me to participate in the SA Swimming Grand Prix Series. This competition affords the elite South African swimmers an opportunity to race in four different cities over six weeks. At the age of 14 years I competed in the open age group category where I achieved a credible third place in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke events in the Nelspruit, Durban and Port Elizabeth legs of the competition.
At the SA Level 3 National Age Group Championships held in Port Elizabeth in March 2016 I won gold in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events. My 50m breaststroke time of 33.16 was a new national age group record. I also won silver in the 200m breaststroke, gold in the 100m butterfly, silver in the 200m butterfly, silver in 200m IM and bronze in the 400 IM.
The SA Senior National Swimming Championships held in Durban in April 2016 was billed as the Rio Olympic Trials. I broke the 50m breaststroke SA National age group record for 14 year olds with a time of 33.03. I made the 100m and 200m breaststroke finals with personal best times of 1:10.56 and 2:35.72 respectively. I also achieved a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly final.
In July of 2016 I was invited by Swimming South Africa to attend the Treviso Swimming Cup in Italy. At this event I was awarded the best junior female swimmer award.
Selected to represent Senior SA Swim Team at the Senior African Swimming Championships in Bloemfontein in October 2016. Achieved silver medals in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events.
Selected to represent SA at the Youth under 20 Games held in Angola in December 2016. Achieved four golds, 1 silver and a bronze medal.
The SA Junior Swimming Championships was held in Durban from in March 2017.
I achieved the following placings:
1st in the 50m breaststroke, 1st in the 100m breaststroke, 2nd in the 200m breaststroke,
1st in the 100m butterfly, 3rd in the 200 butterfly and 2nd in the 200 IM.
Participated in the Junior African Swimming Championships held in Egypt in March 2017.
I was privileged to be selected as team captain for Team SA.
I achieved gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events at the Junior African Swimming Championships. These were all new Junior African records.
Also won silver in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m IM and 400m IM events.
As part of Team SA I also won gold for the 4x100m medley relay as well as the mixed 4x100m
medley relay. The relays were also won in new record times.
The SA Senior Swimming Championships were held in Durban in April 2017.
I won two youth elite medals for the 200m butterfly (silver) and 100m breaststroke (bronze) events.
Also won a silver medal for the 4x100m medley relay.
After Senior Nationals 2017 at the age of 15 years I moved to Curro Aquatics Durbanville with my current coach Warren Deyzel. I am really very happy at this club. The coaching staff, parents and swimmers are like a family. They are supportive and back each other. It is the ideal environment for a young swimmer like myself.
I participated in the Commonwealth Youth Games held in the Bahamas in July 2017.
These games are held every two years with various sporting codes represented.
SASCOC announced that I would be the flag bearer for the SA team at a ceremony prior to our departure.
At the games I won gold in the 100m breaststroke event with a time of 1.10.14 to set up a new SA age group record. I also won bronze in the 200m breaststroke and a credible fourth place in the 50m breaststroke event.
Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.
I would say that I am a very energetic person. I am an extrovert by nature, a very friendly and sociable person. A team player with a very competitive streak. I like to bring the GEES. Some would say I am bit weird…but I appreciate my bubbly nature. In the future I would like to retain my positive characteristics but I would like to be wiser and more mature.
Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplished?
My highest achievement would be a gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas in a national record time of 1.10.14 for the 100m breaststroke. I was very happy with this swim as it was a personal best.
My greatest personal accomplishment was being selected to captain the South African team at the Junior African Championships in Egypt 2017. This put me in a position of leadership and got me to really grow. This also meant that I had to be a role model to the younger athletes. As the captain I enjoyed motivating and encouraging my team mates. I wanted to encourage them to make our sport not so much about the individual but more about the team. This meant that we could all stand together as a team holding hands and singing the national anthem proudly.
Q: So, you are a brilliant athlete – but name 1 thing you suck at?
I suck at a lot of things. I am really not the best dancer. I honestly have two left feet when it comes to dancing.
Q: Favourite food and who must cook it?
Home-made pizza. My mom makes the best pizza.
Q: Value of Education in a young person’s life?
In the words of Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Q: What is your definition of success in life?
Success is about your relationship with the Almighty.
Success is also about your relationship with others.
“Learning to make a difference” is our school motto and I feel this really reflects on the definition of success in life.
We also all have aspirations and goals we set ourselves.
Q: What’s your WHY? Why do you do what you do?
I have been blessed with swimming talent and it is something that I am passionate about.
I enjoy pushing boundaries, challenging myself and competing. Swimming has given me opportunities to meet people, experience places and different cultures.
The sport has also allowed me to develop and grow on a personal level.
Our nation and continent’s biggest asset is our youth. We need to guide our youth into sport and education. The lessons we learn in these areas will allow us to fulfill our true potential.
The example I would like to set is one of hard work and perseverance brings reward.
Q: What are you most grateful for at the moment?
I am most grateful for my belief in the Almighty. I am also fortunate to have a supportive and loving family. I attend Herschel Girls School which is one of the best schools in the country. What a privilege to be a student there. My swim squad at Curro Aquatics is awesome and my coach, Warren Deyzel is amazing. I have a lot to be grateful for and for this I am truly thankful.
Q: Anything else you would like to share?
I would just like to say keep smiling and always be positive! 🙂
Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!