Meet Benno van der Merwe a brilliant young Maties swimmer with a big heart and a lot of soul. Hardworking, faithful and dedicated. He says about his why – ” I want to be the best me I can be! I don’t want to be the next Phelps or Le Clos, I want to be the first Me! I want to pursue my dreams and live life to the fullest! I live by this quote,” May all your dreams come true except one, so that you would always have something to live for!” If all your dreams come true, you would have nothing to live for. I always have something that I pursue and I do it in the name of Christ because without him I am nothing!”.
|Athlete: Bio / Stats|
|Name & Surname||Benno van der Merwe
|Date of birth||1 March 2002|
|Place of birth||Somerset west, Mediclinic
|Coach’s Name||Pierre De Roubaix
|Secondary Sport/ sports||Water polo but stopped because of swimming
|Favorite Song/ type of music||Piano man by Billy Joel/Alternative
|School & Grade||Paul Roos, Grade 10
|Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name||benno_______|
|Community / church projects involved in||GoKids, Jamestown (community service)
|Parents Names, siblings||Mom – Renata
Dad – Gerjo-Ben
Sister – Alet-Mari
Sister – Mia
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?
Well I started swimming when I was just a little kiddo, I was very active and always had a big love for the water sensation! I only took swimming seriously in about grade 7 when I had to make the tough decion between rugby and swimming! I had the privilege to learn, at a young age, that if you commit to something you are miss out on lots of parties, sports and just being able to chill with your mates! I only started with lifesaving a few months ago due to a pal that convinced me. It is much fun and I am very grateful for that one pal!
Q: Why do you have so much love and respect for your coach?
I have much respect for my coach and every person in this world. I don’t believe in the saying that trust is earned. I believe that you treat everyone with respect and the way you want to be treated until proven else. Every 5:30 morning training that I go to, my coach would already be there waiting for us to start the day! He must wake up every day to unlock the gates and check if everything is alright ready for us! He must be at every training, just like us. When he feels sick he can’t just stay at home but he just and pulls it together every time! It is not just on pool deck that he works hard, but also behind the screen, working out all our sets, training times and a lot of admin! I also admire him for what he has done in his swimming years! Qualifying for the Olympics is something he has under his belt and something we are still dreaming about.
Q: What is your favorite food? And who must cook it 🙂 ?
- Oh this is an easy one! My number one fan/mom’s mac and cheese! It is her signature dish that has the potential to win MasterChef!
So you swim well and are doing well in academics but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂
- Cricket and soccer is something that I just could not get the hang of. I still love playing it with my mates for fun.
Q: What are you most grateful for in your life at the moment?
I think to still have two parents that loves each other is something taken for granted these days. I thank the All Mighty each day for that! I am also thankful for each new day that I have the chance to wake up and for fill my dreams!
What’s your WHY ?
I want to be the best me I can be! I don’t want to be the next Phelps or Le Clos, I want to be the first Me! I want to pursue my dreams and live life to the fullest! I live by this quote,” May all your dreams come true except one, so that you would always have something to live for!” If all your dreams come true, you would have nothing to live for. I always have something that I pursue and I do it in the name of Christ because without him I am nothing!
Anything else you would like to share?
I have been through a lot of tough times in my live with health and all that! I thought of giving up more than once in my life. I have been stepped on, used, disappointed, shattered and broken and that is not nice. Each time, with the help of the All Mighty, I made it through a stronger person. If you are going through tough times, believe me, I have been there and done that, but every day above ground is a great day, just remember that!