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Meet the Young Athletes: Duné Coetzee

Today meet one of SA’s top Junior Swimmers Duné Coetzee. She is humble, confident and on her way to the her first international Champs as part of Team SA in Egypt! Well done Duné! She is a well balanced athlete and a true and stunning ambassador of  SA for what youth sports should look like: being a champion in and out of the water! Multi talented and an up coming little artist too, I need not say more because this is her brilliant description of herself ” I am Duné Coetzee – daughter of Jesus Christ and He is the love of my heart and that is the reason why I’m doing so well in life. I have the best family in the entire world. We love each other and our house is filled with love and fun. God blessed me with enormous talents which I use and train for His glory! I am disciplined, goal orientated and nothing will stop me to become the best that I can be. I will always go further than what you expect of me and I will always surprise you. I flourish under pressure and love competition because it brings out the best in me. When others worry and are afraid I’m filled with faith and joy because I know my life isn’t about me but about God. I’m a leader, and by setting an example, I intend to inspire my friends and others with my passion to live life to the fullest”.

Awards received at the 2015 NTS Gala Evening

Awards received at the 2015 NTS Gala Evening

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Duné Coetzee
Nick Name Dune
Date of birth 14 May 2002
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1.69m
Weight 47 kg
Shoe Size 5
Club Tuks
Coach’s Name Linda De Jager
Out of Country events/ meets None yet. Selected for Junior Africa Championships taking place in Egypt from 17 to 20 October 2015
Secondary Sport/ sports Netball until recently – from now on going forward I will only focus on swimming
Favorite City Pretoria
Favorite Song/ type of music Pop and Afrikaans music (Heuwels Fantasies, Karen Zoid and Francois van Coke)
Favorite Movie Divergent and Insurgent
School & Grade Laerskool Anton van Wouw, Grade 7
Sponsors Speedo/HPC
Twitter and Instagram names Instagram :@dunecoetzee

Twitter : @Coetzee_dune

Briefly describe yourself as a person. See Introduction Above
Rebecca Meder and Trisha Pollicutte with me on the podium for 50 Fly

Rebecca Meder and Trisha Pollicutte with me on the podium for 50 Fly


Q: Who are you, what sport or sports are you passionate about, and in what year were you born?

I am Duné Coetzee and was born in 2002. I’m passionate about swimming. I love most sports and love to watch and support, but my main passion is swimming.

Q: At what age did you start swimming and why?

I started swimming when I was a baby so that I could become water safe. At school I started swimming in galas when I was 7 years old. When I was 9 years old my parents decided I should join a club because I showed some natural ability. I enjoyed swimming ever since!

Q: Would you like to share some highlights about your own sports events so far?

My biggest highlight was at this year’s Level 3 National Championships in Port Elizabeth where I had some major personal successes.

I had a huge battle with Rebecca Meder from Western Province in the 200 meter Freestyle where we both dipped under the South African National Age Group record she had set just a month earlier. She out touched me by 0.09 split seconds which was hard to swallow as it would have been my first SA record. Before the race I dedicated the swim to my aunt who passed away a month earlier from cancer. I really wanted to win it for her! I knew it would be hard to beat Rebecca as she was the record holder and I was almost 6 seconds off her pace going into the race. But I decided to dedicate the hardest event for me to win to my aunt. She would have been extremely proud to see me battle it out with Rebecca!

Fortunately I managed to break two more SA records in the 100 meter Freestyle and 50 meter Butterfly events. I also just fell short of the 100 meter Butterfly record which was a bit disappointing but, considering everything, was still a huge accomplishment for me personally.

I qualified for the SA Short Course championships where I swam in finals with some of South Africa’s major senior swimmers like Karin Prinsloo, Rene Warnes and Vanessa Mohr.

Medaling with big names such as Karin Prinsloo and Marlies Ross at SA Short Course

Medaling with big names such as Karin Prinsloo and Marlies Ross at SA Short Course

Q: If you were not going to be involved in swimming, what sport do you think you would be involved in?

I would have loved to play tennis. I just haven’t ever done it, so I have no way of knowing whether I’d be any good. But seeing how competitive the game is, I’m sure I would have loved it.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your home and school life?

I’ve got a sister Lise who also swims and whom I love very much. I can’t wait for her to also develop into the swimmer she can be. It is a dream for both of us to represent South Africa at international level one day. My mom and dad work very hard to make our dreams come true. For this I’m very thankful.

I’m in grade 7 in Laerskool Anton van Wouw. I’m really privileged to be in one of the best schools in Pretoria! Our school has won the Inter-Schools swimming competition for 10 years in a row. This year I hope to lead them to an eleventh title.

Q: How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics into your schedule?

To swim at the level I dream of takes a huge amount of discipline. So the foundation for being disciplined has been laid since I was very young. This makes it easier to handle all the other commitments like school work around my swimming schedule. I use every available moment before I start training after school to do my homework. After practice I sit and study or finishing up homework till late in the evening. Weekends are also the ideal time to catch up on homework when I’m behind.

Q: Tell me about what you like to do to relax?

Lie around doing nothing and listening to music – I love it!! Eating whatever I see when I come home from practice. Chatting with my friends on Whatsapp and social media.

Meeting Elvis Blue at his concert after first swimming an NTS Age Group Gala

Meeting Elvis Blue at his concert after first swimming an NTS Age Group Gala

Q: What is your favorite food? And who must cook it?

That’s easy – Lasagne cooked by my mom, Monica Coetzee.

Q: Who is your sports hero?  What have you learned from him / her?

Missy Franklin especially after her 5 medals at the 2012 Olympics and more recently Katie Ledecky after her 5 medals at the World Champs in 2015.

From Ledecky I’ve learned that there really is no limit on what you can achieve. She is a true inspiration for me to try my best every time I race.

I watched Missy’s movie – Touch the Wall. There is a heap of stuff I’m learning from her in the movie. I’m so glad she made the movie!

And locally my hero is Karin Prinsloo. I had the privilege to meet Karin after she returned from London Olympics in 2012. At the time I was just in awe of her and the rest of the team. Little did I know that our paths would cross two years later. I’m a lucky girl to get to know her and to train in the same pool as she does every day!

Joining Karin for sponsor duty

Joining Karin for sponsor duty

Q: Name one person who made a difference in your life and why?

I can’t pick one – My parents, mom and dad. They believe in me more than anyone in this world and I feel like I’m supported more than any other swimmer I know.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream the further you’ll go. – Michael Phelps

Q: What is your favourite Bible Verse?

Romains 8: 37 – 39.

  1. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  2. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
  3. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Q: You are mentored by one of SA’s top swimmers and Olympian, Karin Prinsloo. What has this done for your swimming and the way you see life as an athlete and life in general?

Firstly, I want to thank Karin for agreeing to work with me. It is a huge privilege and something I can’t easily repay. I’ve been working with Karin for almost a year now. She is an amazing person and I hope that when I grow up people will look up to me like I do to her. For me she is a prime example of a daughter of Christ. I can’t wait to grow up and hopefully become just like the person she is, humble and faithful.

From a swimming perspective, she teaches me all the things that don’t get taught in the water. For me this is just as important as it is to practice my swimming. She has a lot of experience gained throughout her career and transferring this to me helps me to be prepared for most things that will come my way. I look forward to keep on working with her and I know she will help me a lot.

Karin and I being interviewed by Speedo

Karin and I being interviewed by Speedo

Q: At this point and time – what do you love most about your life in general?

Being a child in my parents’ house with all the blessings which I receive daily.

Q: For the rest of the year ahead, what are you looking forward to the most concerning your swimming?

I have been fortunate to be selected for the Junior African Championships in Cairo, Egypt from 17 to 20 October 2015. This will be my first international competition representing South Africa which is a huge honor for me and for which I’m training very hard.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

I love drawing and would love to develop my art skills when I’m in high school next year. I have been accepted by Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria (Affies) – something I’m very proud off and looking forward to.

I’ve also trained with Dominique Donner during holidays at the coast. She is a great coach for the Seals club in Ballito and I’ve made many friends in her club – they are a cool bunch of swimmers!

Oh – and I have the best coach in the world – Linda De Jager!

My other passion - drawing

My other passion – drawing

Training at Thompsons bay with Dominique Donner

Training at Thompsons bay with Dominique Donner

Getting to practice with Penny's medals!

Getting to practice with Penny’s medals!

My sister and I with Karin returning from London 2012

My sister and I with Karin returning from London 2012

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 your journey as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

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