HomeSportKirsty happy with swimming development in Zim

Kirsty happy with swimming development in Zim


LEGENDARY Zimbabwean swimmer, Kirsty Coventry says she is encouraged by efforts to develop the sport at grassroots level and feels vindicated for choosing to return home after her retirement.


Kirsty Coventry (in red top) poses with Petra students who are members of the Matabeleland provincial swimming team
Kirsty Coventry (in red top) poses with Petra students who are members of the Matabeleland provincial swimming team

Coventry was in Bulawayo yesterday, where she was the guest of honour at the official opening of Petra High School’s new swimming pool.

Speaking at the function, the multiple Olympic medal winner said: “This is encouraging and it makes my decision to come back to our beautiful country, so much easier when you see things like this come together.

“To see something like this come to life just shows the community strength when people come together for a common goal and for common good. That good is only going to encourage our youths and our kids to make an impact.”

Coventry is Africa’s most decorated Olympian after accumulating seven Olympic medals during her illustrious career.

She took time to race against upcoming swimmers from both Petra Primary and Petra High schools after the official opening ceremony.

Former Education minister David Coltart, in his address when introducing Coventry, said she possessed three characteristics that propelled her to greatness.

“Kirsty’s achievements are a result of sheer determination, humility and patriotism. Some athletes are so consumed with their own importance, but Kirsty is very considerate of others and we appreciate what she means to us and our great nation,” he said.

Petra School board chairman, Ian Connolly said the swimming pool would not only benefit the school, but the whole Bulawayo community.

“We are very excited to have this facility and that’s a facility not just for Petra, but for the community and that is how we want it to be seen, as something that is not just celebrating us as a school, but it’s celebrating this Bulawayo community,” he said.

Matabeleland Swimming Board chairperson, Nokuthula Cyprianos concurred with Connolly and said the new pool would help grow the sport in the region.

Also present during the ceremony was national cricket team coach, Heath Streak, whose son Harry was part of the swimmers that took to the pool with Coventry yesterday.

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