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Fresh & Hungry – Sune van Jaarsveld

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Sune van Jaarsveld is fresh, hungry, and deeply thoughtful of where she is in her young swimming carreer at the moment. She is much challenged, but definitely not defeated. Her perception of education is so rich, because it is inclusive on not only formal education and its value, but also of informal and life education. The latter being a much neglected area in raising a powerful next generation of successful adults in our country.

She says “I am a dedicated hard working girly girl.  I am very trustworthy as everybody confides in me and trust me with their secrets.  I am also a very loyal friend and will never betray your trust.  Smiley is my nickname as I always try to smile, even in the worst situations.  I always try to lighten up a bad situation.  Do not underestimate my kindness for being weak, as I am very focused and very goal orientated.  I give great hugs and massages!”.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name& Surname Sune van Jaarsveld
Nick Name Smiley/Sue/Soenmy/Sunetjie/Sussie/Sannie and my brother calls me “Vettie”
Date of birth 20 June 2001
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1.70
Weight 63kg
Shoe Size 7
Club TUKS
Coach’s Name Linda de Jager
Out of Country events/ meets CANA Zone 4 in Angola and twice to Mozambique on NTS tours
Secondary Sport/ sports It was hockey, but not anymore
Favorite City I like traveling and Hong Kong is always a favorite with Amsterdam a close second choice
Favorite Song/ type of music Spanish Pop and to name a few favorites:  Sucker for Pain, Wild thoughts, Rise Up
Favorite Movie Fathers and Daughters
School & Grade Die Hoerskool Menlopark Grade 10
Sponsors My Mom and Dad
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Sune.vj – Instagram

Sune van Jaarsveld – Facebook

Web site I do not have a website…..YET!
Parents Names, siblings Magdel, Riaan and my older brother Hano van Jaarsveld

INTERVIEW:

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?

My brother took swimming lessons and I had to stand outside the pool and could only watch him through the sliding doors.  I remember I only wanted to go in and also swim.  Eventually the swimming coach allowed me to sit inside and watch my brother swim.  I was 2 years old.  That was the beginning.

Currently my journey is very difficult as there is way more “downs” than “ups” and being a 16 year old girl that is busy to grow does not make my swimming easier….

I progressed quickly through the levels and has been competing at SA Junior level, as well as SA Senior level.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I am a dedicated hard working girly girl.  I am very trustworthy as everybody confides in me and trust me with their secrets.  I am also a very loyal friend and will never betray your trust.  Smiley is my nickname as I always try to smile, even in the worst situations.  I always try to lighten up a bad situation.  Do not underestimate my kindness for being weak, as I am very focused and very goal orientated.  I give great hugs and massages!

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

Being chosen for:

CANA Zone 4 team

SA Schools team

Competing at SA Junior and SA Senior

Personal Accomplishment – medaling in the Youth category during SA Seniors

Q: So, you are a brilliant athlete – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

Table tennis and darts, but I am a very good pool player

Q: Favourite food and who must cook it 😊 ?

My mom’s tomato stew.  Also my own scramble egg concoction.

Q: Value of Education in a young person’s life?

It is very very important.  Not only formal education but also life skills and informal education.

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

Being the best person I can be and being a great friend.  Success is not about achievements, but about who you are.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

I cannot image my life without swimming, racing or going to training.  Swimming has sculptured me in who I am currently.

I would like to be a mentor for the younger girl swimmers in my squad to show them that you can push through hard times and adversity.  I want the younger swimmers to realize that you never give up and that just train harder.

When I end my swimming career, I would like people to say:  “Sune was a great sportswoman and ambassador for swimming.”

Q: What are you most grateful for at the moment?

That I am injury free and the support of my parents.  Also for my new Polaroid instant camera.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

I love my coach Linda….but I sometimes dislike her a lot, especially during hard training sessions and will tell her that.

Without her support I would not have been the swimmer I am currently.

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!

 

Home Interviews Sports

Fresh & Hungry – Mosa Thetsane

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Today I am much encouraged by the hard word, resilience and determination of Young Judoka – Mosa Thetsane. He is determined to influence our youth to stay off the streets and away from drug abuse and lost lives by committing themselves to sport. He is just back from the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas were he proudly represented our beautiful nation.

He says about himself “I would say I’m a very quiet, honest, and sometimes shy person. I am one that always smiles and laughs. My dream is to see myself competing in the biggest competitions like World Championships and Olympic Games. I would also like to attend the training camps in different countries, in order to gain experience”.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Mosa Thetsane
Nick Name Samosa
Date of birth 06 March 2000
Place of birth Bloemfontein,Free State
Current City Bloemfontein
Height Not sure
Weight Under 55kg
Shoe Size 6-7
Club Elite judo
Coach’s Name Preston Davids
Out of Country events/ meets Region 5 Games in Angola, under 20years-Under 55kg: 3rd place; African Championships Cadets – Egypt 2017 (under 18 years) and Juniors (under 21years): Cadets-2nd place and Juniors-5th place,

Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas (under 20years ):under 60kg-3rd place

Secondary Sport/ sports Soccer
Favorite City Pretoria
Favorite Song/ type of music Jezebel by Sade (R&B music)
Favorite Movie Fist fight and Grown ups
School & Grade St Bernard’s high school,Grade 11
Sponsors N/A
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Facebook name (Mosa Thetsane) and Instagram(thetsanemosa)
Web site N/A
Community / church projects involved in Bloemanda,Tau street and church(St Mark Catholic church)
Parents Names, siblings Father: Paul Thetsane,Mother Nthabiseng Martina Thetsane,brother: Lehlohonolo Thetsane and sister: Mathetsane Thetsane

INTERVIEW:

Q: Firstly – you were proudly part of team SA recently at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Congrats! How did you experience it? Lessons learned?

At first I found it hard but, I have managed to cope and adapted to the stunning lifestyle of the Bahamas with it’s great and wonderful weather. The lessons I learned is to never stop until you obtain what’s best for you, and never to underestimate yourself and your fellow opponents.

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Athletics tell me a little bit about how you started in Athletics and your journey in the Athletics arena up to now?

At the age of 11 years as a little boy, I started Judo in 2011 at St Mary’s Primary School in Bloemfontein in the Free State. My first Judo mentor and subject teacher was Esme Joan Redpath. Earlier in 2013 I joined the FSSSI Gym (Free State Sports Science Institute). My journey was one of the hardest and most challenging but yet so enjoyable with wonderful memories!

Q: Who are you?

I would say I’m a very quiet, honest, and sometimes shy person. I am one that always smiles and laughs. My dream is to see myself competing in the biggest competitions like World Championships and Olympic Games. I would also like to attend the training camps in different countries, in order to gain experience.

Q: Share about your sporting journey so far?

I had it tough in Egypt at the African Championships Cadets 2017. But still managed to win Silver for the under 18 years (under 55kg), and for the under 21 years (under 55kg) where I obtained 5th place). So actually it did affect my life/sports because somehow I have seen that I have the potential to be the best and never underestimate my fellow opponents.

Q: So, you are a brilliant sports Person  – but name 1 thing that you suck at J

Singing

Q: Favourite food and who must cook it  ?

Pasta, beef meat ,cheese burger and pizza. My mother shall cook or buy them 😊

Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?

Roman 10:2-4 (It says “don’t impress God with your moral efforts”)

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

Never stop believing in the great things, fighting for the best, keep sweating for your hard work and efforts you put in.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

I would like to say to our youth – to  never stop believing in their dreams, no matter how good or bad situations are!! And choosing the right path instead of going for the wrong things like the use of drug substances,  because it may lead to pregnancy and death of  our young brothers and sisters.

WHY, the reason why I do what I do is because it has benefits for me, in a way that it keeps me away from the bad things like the use of drug substances and joining the gangs. I would say I may be a quite a good influence on my nation’s youth, and I am striving to set an example and being a role model to the youth by mentoring.  I would like to mentor them do more and to never stop achieving what’s best for them.

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!

 

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Fresh & Hungry – Felicity Passon

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Felicity Passon, is real girl power and determination in action. She hails proudly from the beautiful Nation Seychelles. Her early life is shaped by sacrifice, the hard sacrificing of leaving home and kindred to go out into world in pursuit of her dream of becoming a great swimmer. Yet despite all the odds against her, she continues to do our African Continent proud by her sterling performances and results in the swimming pool. She is also proudly a Youth Olympian and has just recently competed at the Fina World Champs in Budapest.

She says “I think that I’m quite a determined and motivated person. I work hard in the things I’m passionate about, and if I really want something I go out and get it. In May 2016, just after competing at SA nationals I underwent a minor heart surgery (an ablation) to sort out a problem I had been dealing with for a while- Supra Ventricular tachycardia. I was out of training for a while before the procedure and after it as well. I think that was the point in which I was my most determined. I hated seeing everyone being able to swim and train and not me. I thought I was getting left behind, and I would have too much catching up to do when I got back in- if I got back in. But it all made me stronger, I was determined not to let anything stop me from achieving my goals”.

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Felicity Passon
Date of birth 11th July 1999
Place of birth Dubai, U.A.E
Current City Plymouth, U.k
Height 173cm
Weight 65 kg
Shoe Size UK 6  (EU 40)
Club Plymouth Leander
Coach’s Name Robin Armayan
Out of Country events Upcoming: World Championships in Budapest 2017 (also 2013-2016)

SA Nationals: 2014, 2016, 2017

Secondary Sport Swimming, Running
Favorite City Barcelona
Favorite Movie South Paw
School & Grade Plymouth College- Just finished my final year (A-Levels) Starting Uni in August 2017
Instagram names

Facebook name

Insta: felicity_passon

Facebook: Felicity Passon

Parents Names, siblings Mum: Lydvine Passon, Dad: Neil Puresh, Sister: Charlotte Passon

INTERVIEW:

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 began training and swimming competitively when I was about 12 or 13. Competing at small local competitions, then internationally. (see question 4 and 2)

Q: Who are you?

I think that I’m quite a determined and motivated person. I work hard in the things I’m passionate about, and if I really want something I go out and get it. In May 2016, just after competing at SA nationals I underwent a minor heart surgery (an ablation) to sort out a problem I had been dealing with for a while- Supra Ventricular tachycardia. I was out of training for a while before the procedure and after it as well. I think that was the point in which I was my most determined. I hated seeing everyone being able to swim and train and not me. I thought I was getting left behind, and I would have too much catching up to do when I got back in- if I got back in. But it all made me stronger, I was determined not to let anything stop me from achieving my goals.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

Achieving a world championship qualifying time in the 50m back, and qualifying for Youth Olympics in 2014.

Q: You are studying away from home – how are you experiencing this?

I left home at a young age to pursue my swimming career. I trained in South Africa for 4 months, without being at school in 2014, by myself. It was tough but it made me realize that once my 4 months was up and I had to return to home, even if I missed it so much I knew that if I wanted to go further with my swimming I would have to leave home. I then began school in Thailand at the British International School Phuket on a full scholarship. They had a great swimming program. After a year of that I moved to the UK to Plymouth, and began my 2 year journey which is now sadly coming to an end.

Q: In your opinion, what is the value of Education in a young person’s life?

I think that education is extremely important. You have it for the rest of your life and it opens up more opportunity for you in the world.

Q: So you swim well and are doing well in academics but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

Hmmm one thing I suck at… Video Games- No co-ordination what-so-ever. My breaststroke is the worst thing ever- it’s basically illegal.

Q: What’s your WHY ? 

Coming from a small island with limited resources, I feel like I have so much to fight for to prove myself to everyone and the world that I can be just as good as a lot of people. Starting from the bottom, where I used to get absolutely thrashed when I competed internationally, I used to be so intimidated, to now being better or on the same level as those same girls.

I hope that I can have a positive influence on younger athletes- it doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s what you make of yourself, you just have to fight for yourself and what you believe.

Q: Plans for 2018?

I’m starting university in America this summer in Texas- SMU. I’m really looking forward to the American college and swimming experience. I also plan on competing at Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Felicity Passon of Seychelles competes in the women’s 100m butterfly heat during the World Short Course Swimming Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, 15 December 2012. Photo: Hannibal/dpa +++(c) dpa – Bildfunk+++

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!

Home Proudly South African Swimming

Arizona Wildcats’ two-decade run produced some of top male swimmers on the planet

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3 South Africans in University of Arizona Top 10 list of men’s swimmers

During Arizona’s 20-year run as one of the NCAA’s leading swimming powers, 1993-2012, the Wildcats recruited globally to match any of the national contenders.

South Africa. Venezuela. England. Israel. Mexico. France. Brazil.

In 2004, then-UA assistant coach Augie Busch noted the impressive times of a Venezuelan swimming at a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, academy. Albert Subirats had moved to America in part to learn English, get a scholarship to an NCAA school and work toward the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Now, Augie Busch has returned to Tucson — his official press conference is Tuesday afternoon at McKale Center — intent on reopening the global recruiting lanes that helped turn Arizona swimming into a consistent NCAA championship contender.

Here’s our Top 10 list of UA men’s swimmers, which reflects the foreign influence of the Frank Busch years:

1. Ryk Neethling. The South African distance freestyler won nine NCAA individual championships, second in Pac-12 history. He then converted to sprints and helped South Africa win a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in the 4×100 freestyle relay.

2. Albert Subirats. A three-time Olympian with six Venezuelan records, Subirats became such a celebrity in his home country that a newspaper headline read “SUBIRATS BRONCE!” – something like ‘‘Subirats is king” – after leading Arizona to the national championship.

3. Kevin Cordes. Although he missed a 2016 Olympic bronze medal by inches, Cordes won six NCAA individual championships at Arizona and has been America’s leader in the breaststroke on and off dating to 2013. He was twice the Pac-12’s men’s swimmer of the year.

4. George DiCarlo. His gold medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was a tip that UA swimming was a rising power. He won two NCAA championships in the 500 freestyle.

6. Simon Burnett. Recruited from Great Britain, Burnett won the NCAA freestyle in 2003, 2005 and 2006 and helped four UA relay teams win NCAA titles.

7. Chad Carvin. America’s 1997 men’s swimmer of the year won two NCAA individual titles at Arizona, set three American records and made the 2000 Sydney Olympics team, assisting on a gold medal relay team.

8. Seth Pepper. Part of Busch’s building years at Arizona, Pepper won the 1993 men’s 100 butterfly and added a second and two third place finishes in the NCAA finals. His brother, Martin Pepper, won the 1996 NCAA 100 butterfly.

9. Mariusz Podkoscielny. The Polish distance swimmer was a standout for Busch’s first UA team after winning the 1989 NCAA title in the 1,650 freestyle. He added a second-place finish in 1990 and a pair of No. 3 finishes in later seasons and became the head coach at Oregon State and Miami of Florida.

10. Darian Townsend. After transferring to Tucson from the Florida Gators, Townsend, of South Africa, won the NCAA title in the 200 freestyle in 2008, was second a year earlier and was part of four NCAA championship relay teams.

by  Greg Hansen Arizona Daily Star

Home Proudly South African Sports

2017 Commonwealth Youth Games – 24 July 2017

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A big congratulations to team South Africa on your outstanding performance at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games that were held in Nassau, Bahamas from 19-23 July.

Team SA concluded the Games with a medal tally of 18 medals (eigh gold, three silver and seven bronze) and placed 5th on the overall medal table. Fifteen of the total medals were obtained by athletes from swimming, whilst the other three, which were all bronze came from Judo, Athletics and Boxing athletes.

Team SA  had representation in six of the nine sporting codes that were showcased on the Caribbean island.

The six codes were: Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Boxing, Judo, Swimming and Tennis.

The Team will be departing from Bahamas on Monday and arriving in South Africa on Tuesday night. We wish them safe travels back home, and once again we congratulate our athletes on a great performance and holding the South African flag up high at the Games.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

Sport Athlete Event Medal
Athletics Boitumelo Mayo 400m Hurdles Bronze
Boxing Siyakholwa Kuse 46-49Kg Bronze
Judo Mosa Thetsane -60Kg Bronze
Swimming Hanim Abrahams 100m Breaststroke Gold
    200m Breaststroke Bronze
  Rebecca Meder 400m IM Silver
    200m Freestyle Bronze
    800m Freestyle Bronze
  Mariella Venter 100m Backstroke Gold
    200m Backstroke Gold
    50m Backstroke Bronze
  Jarryd Baxter 200m Backstroke Gold
    400m Freestyle Gold
    200m Freestyle Silver
  Luan Grobbelaar 200m Breaststroke Gold
  Michael Houlie 100m Breaststroke Gold
    50m Breaststroke Gold
    200m Breaststroke Silver

Medals per Sport

Sport Gold Silver Bronze Total
Athletics     1 1
Boxing     1 1
Judo     1 1
Swimming 8 3 4 15
Total 8 3 7 18

Medals per Demographics

Medal Female Men Black White Coloured
Gold 2 4   5 3
Silver 1 2   3 1
Bronze 3 3 3 2 1

Final Medal Tally

Rank CGA Total
1 England 23 16 12 51
2 Australia 14 14 11 39
3 New Zealand 8 14 9 31
4 Scotland 8 6 7 21
5 South Africa 8 3 7 18
6 Singapore 7 4 6 17
7 India 4 1 6 11
8 Kenya 3 1 0 4
9 Canada

 

2 7 9 18
10 Wales 2 6 5 13

by Sascoc

Home Sports

2017 Commonwealth Youth Games – 23 July 2017

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MEDAL TABLE

CODE GOLD SILVER BRONZE
Judo     1
Swimming 8 3 4
Total 8 3 5

DAY 5 RESULTS

Venue Sport Discipline Round Event Gender Athlete/s Results
B. Kelly Kenning Aquatics Centre Swimming Finals Finals 800m Freestyle Female Rebecca Meder Bronze
Finals 200IM Female Rebecca Meder 5th position
Finals Mixed 400medley relay Male Dune,Michael,Jarryd,Mariella 5th position
Thomas Robinson Nat. Stadium Athletics   Semifinals 1 200m Female Caroline Mosime 6th position
Semifinals 1 200m Male Luke Davids 2nd position
Semifinals 1 200m Male Jayson Weber 6th position
Finals 100M Hurdles   Antoinette vd Merwe 5th position
National Tennis Centre Tennis   QF   Female Minette van Vreden vs Morgan Cross (Wales) match forfeited due to shoulder injury
Kendal G L Isaacs Gymnasium Boxing   QF     Siyakholwa Kuse vs Sanchin (India) Lost against India

DAY 6 COMPETITION SCHEDULE

Venue Sport Round Event Gender Athlete/s
Thomas Robinson Nat. Stadium Athletics Finals 200m Male Luke Davids
Finals 400m Hurdles Male Adam Mayo
Finals 4X100M Male Keletso,Lindokuhle,Marli & Adam

by Sascoc

Home Proudly South African Sports

2017 Commonwealth Youth Games – 19 July 2017

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Team  South  Africa  competitors  arrived  safely  and  settled  in  the  Bahamas  for  the  2017  Commonwealth  Youth  Games.
The  team  departed  on  Sunday  16  July  after  attending  a  farewell  braai  at  Garden  Court   Isando  on  Saturday   night  and  arrived   on  Monday.   They   are   staying  at   Baha  Mar   a   beautiful  hotel  in  the  city  which  is  in  the  vicinity  of  all  the  competition  venues.
The  Opening  Ceremony  of  the  Commonwealth  Youth  Games  was  on  Tuesday,  18  July   2017  and  the  flag  bearer,  Hanim  Abrahams,  a  gold  medallist  in  both  the  Senior  and  Junior   African  Swimming  Championships,  led  Team  SA.

Beach  Volleyball  
Team  SA’s  Beach  Volleyball  duo  opened  their  campaign  on  Tuesday  18  July  in  a  match   against  Cyprus  at  Malcolm  Park  Beach  Soccer
Facility.  They  lost  their  first  match  to  Cyprus  and  they  will  be  competing  against  the   hosts,  Bahamas  this  afternoon.

DAY  1  RESULTS
Sport     Event   Athlete’s  name     Results/Comment   Beach  Volleyball     Men’s  Twos   Lukholo  Jooste   &  Aviwe   Mamfanya   Lost  to  Cyprus   Judo   Mens 60kg   Musa Thetsane,   He suffered a knee injury during his fight against Bahamas. Second up was Zambia and he lost. 3rd fight he fought against Malawi and he won.

DAY  2  COMPETITION  SCHEDULE  

Swimming

Women 50 Butterfly Prelims 1 F Dune Coetzee

Men 50 Butterfly Prelims 2 M –

Women 200 Freestyle Prelims 3 F Dune Coetzee

Women 200 Freestyle Prelims 3 F Rebecca Meder

Men 200 Freestyle Prelims 4 M Jarryd Baxter

Women 100 Backstroke Prelims 5 F Mariella Venter

Men 100 Backstroke Prelims 6 M Jack Oliver

Men 100 Backstroke Prelims 6 M Laun Grobbelaar

Women 200 Breaststroke Prelims 7 F Hanim Abrahams

Men 200 Breaststroke Prelims 8 M Michael Houlie

Men 200 Breaststroke Prelims 8 M Laun Grobbelaar

Men 1500 Freestyle Prelims 9 M Jarryd Baxter

Women 50 Butterfly Finals 1

Men 50 Butterfly Finals 2

Women 200 Freestyle Finals 3

Men 200 Freestyle Finals 4

Women 100 Backstroke Finals 5

Men 100 Backstroke Finals 6

Women 200 Breaststroke Finals 7

Men 200 Breaststroke Finals 8

Men 1500 Freestyle Finals 9

Tennis Singles
1st Round M
Siphosothando Montsi F Minette van Vreden
Mixed Doubles
1st Round
Siphosothando Montsi Minette van Vreden

Beach Volley

Doubles M Lukholo Jooste Aviwe Mamfanya

by Sascoc

Home Soccer Sports

Coastal Carolina University signs South African Tyrone Mondi

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July 2017

Conway, S.C. – Head Coach Shaun Docking of the 2016 Men’s Soccer Sun Belt Conference Champions Coastal Carolina University, has signed the final recruit of the 2017 signing class.

Tyrone Mondi will transfer to CCU from the University of Northwestern Ohio. The signing of Mondi closes what may well be one of the top recruiting classes in the history of the CCU men’s soccer program as the Chants look to build on last season’s Sun Belt title and second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Mondi hails from Bloemfontein, South Africa and in 2016 was called to the U-20 South African National Team Training Camp. This summer the midfielder has spent his time with the NPSL League playing with the Detroit City FC. He has recorded two goals and seven assists so far.

Mondi served the 2016 season as a redshirt at Northwestern Ohio and will have four years of eligibility remaining with the Chanticleers.

The Chanticleers will report to training camp Tuesday, Aug. 8 to begin preparations for the upcoming 2017 season. CCU will begin the season with an exhibition match at North Carolina Sunday Aug. 13 and will open regular season action Friday, Aug. 25 at George Mason. Their first home match is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 1 against UNC Greensboro at 7:30 p.m.

Home Sports Swimming

Australia’s best young swimmers get first dibs at world class technology in Canberra

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Future swimming stars have descended on the capital as Swimming Australia looks to discover the next Ian Thorpe or Libby Trickett ahead of the world junior championships in August.

Twenty-two athletes have travelled from all over the country to spend the week learning from Olympic athletes experiencing the best sports technology the AIS has to offer as part of the NextGEN Australian Commonwealth Games camp.

Members of the Swimming Australia NextGEN Squad pose for a group photo with former Olympian Matt Abood during their camp at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, Australia on Thursday 6 July 2017. NextGEN Australian Commonwealth Games camp members with Matt Abood. Photo: Ben Southall

Olympic bronze medallist Matt Abood will be on hand to mentor the group as they are exposed the rising stars to the most innovative technology at the AIS, including 3D motion capture technology and underwater cameras.

Even the national swimming team hasn’t used some of the technology before but Swimming Australia’s high performance pathway manager Jamie Salter isn’t heaping pressure on the next generation.

“We don’t put any expectation on medal targets,” Salter said.

 ​”We are able to take video footage from numerous angles and get instantaneous analysis.

“We are also looking at 3D motion capture whilst we do get all the video footage it just provides us with deeper analysis of whats going on in the stroke.”

Ranging from 13 to 18 years old, the aspiring athletes were selected to be part of the week-long trip following their performances at the Australian age championships in April.

The pathway system has enjoyed plenty of success over the past four years, with over 80 medals won from youth teams – over 40 percent of those being gold – at major events.

The success didn’t stop at a youth level however, with 30 swimmers from the squad moving on to represent Australia in major international teams including Rio gold medallist Kyle Chalmers.

The young group hasn’t been exposed to the high tech world of modern sports before and Salter says the experience will enable them to become better in the pool.

“They haven’t been exposed to too much of this sports phsycology and nutrition before,” Salter said.

“It’s just giving them an awareness on how phycology and additional support can help them and how they can build on it.”

Despite having world class technology at their disposal, the program isn’t aiming to improve times – it aims to build the devolving athlete’s resilience.

“It’s not that they are swimming fast, it’s the manner that they are swimming,” Salter said.

“It’s the resilience that they show and their ability to put in a performance when it counts.”

With the world at their feet and Australia’s best resources in front of them, Australian swimming is at an exciting cross roads.

With the young group still bonding a growing as a team, it is still a long road until Tokyo 2020 but the future looks bright for Australian swimming.

“That’s the bit that excites me the most, it’s the passion that they bring to the pool every day even though we are still eight weeks away from the junior world championship,” Salter said.

“For me its a very very exciting journey we are starting on.”

by CanberraTimes

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