Meet Namibian wunderkind and record breaker and holder Phillip Seidler. He is determined, driven and motivated although he trains solo with his very special Coach Mom! Phillip’s light shines brightly in our African waters and we salute him for his hard work.
He says “The water is my playground. I would like to promote a clean sport and also create awareness how to look after our coastal environment. I want to set a good example to the youth that swimming goes together with discipline, a very hard sport to achieve glories, but with determination anything is possible. Swimming should also be more promoted in schools and teach our children water safety. Unfortunately we have a lot deaths with drowning here in Namibia. Awareness can save a lot of lives”.
Athlete: Bio / Stats
|Name & Surname||Phillip Seidler|
|Date of birth||23/03/1998|
|Place of birth||Windhoek in Namibia|
|Club||Dolphins Swimming Club|
|Coach’s Name||Nadja Seidler|
|Out of Country events||CANA 3/4 Maputo, Zone6 Bulawayo, Junior World Champs Singapore
South Africa : SA Age Group Level1,2,3 SA National Aquatic Champs
|Favorite City||North Shore, Haleiwa Hawaii|
|Favorite Song/ type of music||Black Coast-trndsttr(Lucian Remix)|
|Favorite Movie||Bad Neighbours|
|School & Grade||Namib High School|
|Tertiary Inst Name/ Year||NA|
|Tertiary degree/ diploma||NA|
|Instagram & Facebook||Instagram: seidler_phillip Facebook: Phillip Seidler|
|Community projects involved in||Nature conservation – school related|
|Parents Names, siblings||Parents: Helmut and Nadja Seidler brother: Daniel Seidler|
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?
At the age of 5yrs I fractured my upper arm. My mother took me to the pool for physio. Then her friend June Owen-Smith (well- known coach of Namibia) took me under her supervision and made me swim my first gala with 6 yrs. I enjoyed the challenge and with June it was a great journey. She prepared me from an early age to improve my times and taking part in SA Age Group Level 1,2 and 3 galas in South Africa. Unfortunately June retired from swimming when I was 12, and then my mom became my coach. She helped me with all her passion for swimming to work myself up on the Namibian swim ladder, breaking several Namibian records such as 400m Free, 800m Free and 1500m Free. With hard work and determination I also took part in international meets such as Zone 4 Youth Games Mozambique, Zone 6 Youth Games Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (winning 2 individual bronze medals) and Junior World Swimming Championship Singapore 2015. In South Africa I enjoyed competing at Pretoria NTS swimming gala, Age Group Level 3 and SA National Aquatic Championships Durban 2015 &2016. With victories in all the long distance events, my mother introduced to me open water swimming (sea swim). Being as well a surfer I made sure nobody knows the ocean better than me and I was the overall Jetty Mile winner for the last three years (triple -crown). This year I started to swim the Midmar Mile 5km event and also qualified and took part in SA National Aquatic OWS in Grabouw. I had very good results and came home with silver medal in my age group and 7th overall. I love the open water and love the distance, so I will take part in more OWS.
Q: You have just blasted it at the South African Nationals recently, wow, congratulations. How did you experience the meeting and the vibe at the meeting? Lessons learned.
For me it was the second time competing at SA Nationals. I was very well prepared and trained hard to achieve my personal goals. The youth medals and the senior bronze medal was for me a bonus, but my aim is always that I swim against my own time. Any new PB is for me an achievement. The vibe of the gala was great, especially watching the finals – the make or break for Rio 2016. I made a lot of friends and it was also great to see my friend Danie Marais, who I’ve met at the OWS events.
Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment
Taking part at the Junior World Swimming Championship Singapore 2015. Meeting swimmers from all over the world, different cultures and sharing the water was a big highlight. My biggest achievement was the OTB Jetty Mile and taking the triple- crown. This event is also very unpredictable, sometimes we have to swim in big swells or ice cold water. My latest personal achievement was breaking 6 Namibian records at SA Nationals in Durban in one gala.
Q: Why do you value and respect your coach so much?
My mother is my coach. I respect her, because she helped me to achieve my targets. I also have to respect her, because she always makes it very clear, that she rather would be playing tennis, instead of coaching me at the pool. Don’t have much of a choice?!?
Q: How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics / work into your schedule?
Time Management, discipline and routine are my daily assets.
Q: Besides your swimming what do you have a passion for?
Surfing big waves is my hobby.
Q: Tell me one thing about yourself that the world does not knowJ?
I am training all on my own. I don’t have any swimming mates who can keep up with my level. We experience a lot of problems with our local swimming pool. The water is not always heated, water quality very poor and our practice ground cannot always be taken for granted. Sometimes we have to make use of the ocean for training.
Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?
Situations, which I cannot manage or handle myself, I will leave in God’s hands. It feels good to know I am not alone.
Q: Favorite Bible verse?
I will walk by faith, even I cannot see – 2 Corinthians S: 7
Q: What do you do to relax?
Surfing, listening to music and watching you-tube
Q: What’s your WHY? Why do you do what you do?
The water is my playground. I would like to promote a clean sport and also create awareness how to look after our coastal environment. I want to set a good example to the youth that swimming goes together with discipline, a very hard sport to achieve glories, but with determination anything is possible. Swimming should also be more promoted in schools and teach our children water safety. Unfortunately we have a lot deaths with drowning here in Namibia. Awareness can save a lot of lives.
Q: What is your personal favorite motivational quote?
My mother always says: “if you don’t try, you don’t know” and the last one before the race “Fast waters”
Q: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
My biggest challenge is to start competing in 10km OWS races. To achieve my goal, I will train very hard, long mileage and keep disciplined.
Q: Anything else you would like to share?
I would like to say a big thank you to all people in Namibia, who have supported and assisted me during my journey of swimming. I know that I have a great team behind me and I am always so happy if I come home to share my victories. Proud to be Namibian.
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!
NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email email@example.com with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.