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Cameron 2010′s best

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Sunday November 13, 2011

Multiple gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh held off strong challenges from fellow swim stars Natalie du Toit and Chad le Clos to be named as ‘Swimmer of the Year’, at the Telkom Swimming SA Annual Aquatic Awards function held in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Pretoria-based Van der Burgh won two gold medals for SA at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India following which he grabbed two gold medals at the Beijing leg of the 2010 FINA/Arena Swimming World Cup. To end off 2010, Van der Burgh brought home a gold and silver medal from the FINA World Short Course Championships.

Winning two awards on the night was  19-year-old Chad le Clos. The Durban-based swimming sensation has raced to many great performances and continued to excel and build more international experience from events such as the International Invitational Meet, the FINA World Short Course Championships and the Commonwealth Senior and Youth Games.

Le Clos, who is currently concluding a very successful run at the FINA/Arena World Cup Series, was awarded the ‘Most Promising Athlete of the Year’ as well as the ‘Best Performance of the Year’.

Swimming SA’s awards committee took into account performances set between the period of May 2010 to April 2011.

At the gala evening attended by delegates from loyal supporters of swimming in Telkom, Sport & Recreation SA, SASCOC, the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and Arena, as well top swimmers, coaches, officials and other guests, 16 year-old Vanessa Mohr was announced as Swimming SA’s ‘Personality of the Year’. This category was decided by public vote.

Piranhas Swimming Club from East London, were named as the Development Club of the Year, while Gauteng’s Doctor Mkhabela received the award for the Learn to Swim Instructor of the Year, with East London’s JD van der Walt winning the Administer of the Year category.

KZN’s Musa Kunene received the Volunteer of the Year honours, with Peter Williams named as Coach of the Year in the Junior Athletes section.

National Head Coach Graham Hill held off a strong challenge from the likes of Igor Omeltchenko and Alisdair Hatfield to claim the ‘Coach of the Year’ award.

Addy van der Sluys received the ‘Diver of the Year’ award, with Kerry Beth Norden awarded the ‘Synchronised Swimmer of the Year’ honours and Sarah Harris announced as the ‘Water Polo Player of the Year’.

Last year’s  FINA 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup Winner Chad Ho was a popular choice as ‘Open Water Swimmer of the Year’ with Paralympian Natalie du Toit collecting the ‘Disabled Swimmer of the Year’ award.

The media awards were made to Media 24’s Marizanne Kok (Print Journalist of the Year), the late Channel Africa reporter Nathi Nene (Radio Journalist of the Year) and SABC TV News’ Janet Whitton (Television Journalist of the Year).

“The Telkom Swimming SA Annual Aquatics Awards is a highlight on the national sports calendar, and we are delighted to honour our swim stars, coaches, officials and other members of the aquatics community who give so generously of their time in the interest of taking the sport to new heights,” said Swimming SA President Jace Naidoo.

“May our sport stars continue to give the passionate swimming enthusiasts many moments of excellence to savour ahead of the London Olympic Games and may our sport continue to grow in creating role models across all communities in our Rainbow nation.”

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