Sporting prowess can earn children bursaries, says Ruele

Thomas Taole of Afrika Tikkun said the biggest challenge facing Alex Youth Swim Academy in getting the township’s children to the water was the lack of parental support for the program.

Sibusiso Xulu (in yellow top) from Aquatics Gauteng in Pretoria gives swimming tips to Alex girls during practice at King David High School Linksfield Photo: Sipho Siso

Taole spoke in an interview with Alex News during a presentation on the progress of Lawrence Ruele’s Academy. The academy teaches swimming skills to Alexandra’s children at King David High School Linksfield.

Taole said the children are taken to the venue every weekend and the academy has seen a high rate of absenteeism, which doesn’t bode well for the program.

Champion swim moms…Queen Motloung and Dikeledi Meso are some of the few parents of Alex whose children are learning to swim. Photo: Sipho Siso

“We need more support from parents in coming to the venue to see their children take their steps towards becoming champion swimmers. If for some reason the parents cannot come to the venue with their children, they must ensure that the children always come to class and do not miss a weekend,” he said.

Taole said the swimming program is very important for the children as it teaches them survival skills in the harsh weather patterns that wreak havoc around the world.

Alex Youth Swim Academy founder Lawrence Ruele (white cap) teaches one of Alex’s children the basics of swimming. Photo: Sipho Siso

His view was shared by Dikeledi Meso, one of the few parents who attended the March 19 event, who urged parents to take an active role in the programs and sports their children participate in.

“I wish that more and more parents would come to swimming lessons to see their children’s progress and encourage them. Our kids need encouragement when they’re doing good and encouragement when they’re not so perfect,” Meso added.

One of the Alex girls who came to learn to swim is thinking about her next step in the pool. Photo: Sipho Siso

Speaking of encouraging parents to enroll their children in the program, Ruele pointed out that learners could receive scholarships from other schools based on their athletic ability.

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Alex’s parent Queen Motloung holds her champion swimmer daughter Neo (4 years old) who is an excellent swimmer at this tender age. Photo: Sipho Siso
Four-year-old Neo Motloung’s mother, Queen, is also an excellent swimmer, who kept diving into the pool to cool off. Photo: Sipho Siso
Some of the swimmers who understood the instructions try it themselves. Photo: Sipho Siso

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