Gators emerge victorious at National Youth Swimming Championships
by Tsaone Segaetsho
After four days of putting outstanding and thrilling performances, Darrell Morton Swimming School Gators were announced overall winners last Sunday at the University of Botswana swimming pool.
The Gators, a swimming club that emanates from Darrell Morton Swimming School and which is a swimming development school, continues to dominate national swimming championships again this year as was the case in previous years.
DMSS Gators became victorious, bagging 4943 points. In second place was BDF Dolphin with1769.5 points.
Kubu Swimming Club got a third place by 562.5 points. On fourth place was Swimrite with 527 points. Water Babes got fifth position with 509 points. At sixth place was Phikwe Piranhas 357 points, University of Botswana followed with 247, Southern Schools got position eight with 180 and the last on the list was Baobab Swimming Club with 113 points.
DMSS Gators owner, Darrell Morton, a renowned coach who has been producing a lot of quality swimmers ever since his school and club opened thirteen years ago, could not hide his excitement on his team’s performance throughout the competitions. When asked about his secret to produce a fit and quality team up for any competitions, Morton said his methods of coaching are developmental based. He said his team has been contributing about 70 percent of the national team throughout the years.
After last Sunday, swimming fanatics believe DMSS Gators are going to contribute more cream to the national team for regional and international championship.
“I build the young swimmers’ confidence from a tender age, as early as 2 years. I also teach them good strokes, unlike other coaches who concentrate more on speed,” said Morton.
The swimming trainer said he was impressed with this year’s competitions. He, however, would like to see many administrators officiating at these games looking at factors like the weather being too hot to handle during the day.
One of Morton’s best products is Naomi Ruele, one of the first to qualify for the 50-meter backstroke at the Olympics.
Samantha Paxinos is also Morton’s protégée who participated at the Beijing Olympics. John Kamyuka, who also trained under Morton, got a scholarship in South Africa and then went on to represent Botswana at the Olympics.
Morton said he would like to see many old swimmers go abroad, like to South Africa, to get more exposure using international standards facilities.
On the young ones, he said they should embrace swimming for leisure, learning the sport and fitness. He also encouraged the young aspiring swimmers to come freely to any swimming development gala, like the BSSA swimming national championship that were held at UB pool.
Swimmers who impressed at this year’s BSSA national championship are Naomi Ruele and the Van Der Merwe siblings, Andre and Kristia.
David Van Der Colff got the stands roaring with excitement and applauses when in the pool.
Thobo Moleko is said to be one of the future prospects at Darrell Morton’s swimming club.