Swimming: Maphumulo making waves in Durban’s surf
Having cleaned up in the Under 16 girls division of the South African Still Water Lifesaving Championships as well as the surf equivalent recently, Durban Girl’s College pupil Ayanda Maphumulo has the aquatics world at her feet as she reflects on her successful campaigns ahead of her shift in focus to the pool with the help of the Elite Athlete Development Programme.
Maphumulo took on swimming at an early age after an accident saw her sustain burns on her arms that led to her parents deciding to get her into swimming. Since then a career has blossomed for the youngster and she reflects fondly on her introduction to the sport.
“After my accident my parents thought that it would be good to get me into swimming from a safety point of view,” Maphumulo said. “I was around 14 months old when I started swimming and I just fell in love with it!”
“From there I got into lifesaving in grade two and that passion has just grown from there!”
The Prime Human Performance Institute has housed the likes of multiple Olympic gold medallist Chad le Clos in recent years and the Elite Athlete Development Programme supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation is now seeking to unearth the next top swimming talent with Maphumulo finding the support the institute offers her provides extra motivation for her to reach the top.
“Before I became part of the Elite Athlete Development Programme I really thought that there was something missing when I trained and I knew that I needed to be guided and told what to do whilst training in order to motivate myself.
“For example I can really see the difference when I come in to Prime and say to the team of medical experts that I don’t think that my arms are strong enough and they are right there to help me get stronger so I can match the girl in the lane next to me.
“The help and assistance that I get at Prime is really top quality and I appreciate all the work that they put in to help me get better!” a grateful Maphumulo added.
Maphumulo’s strengths are diverse with her excelling in lifesaving, swimming as well as water polo but for now the four-time SA Still Water Lifesaving gold medallist is putting her head down and focusing on the pool in the hope to consistently achieve times that will put her in the mix with the best female swimmers in the country.
“I missed out on swimming at nationals this year because I was focusing on SA Lifesaving Champs and so I knew that I wasn’t going to be strong enough in the pool if I competed at nationals. Now that those are past though, I am back in the pool!
“The goal at the moment is to try and get myself swimming senior national times soon, which I will be really happy about.
As far as her long term goals go, the 16 year-old is not putting any pressure on herself as she simply aims to make sure she is swimming competitive enough times that will see her competing against the best and hopes that everything will fall into place from there.
“I know that I have got a lot of work to do and I am definitely a person that is willing to see what the results are tomorrow from what I put in today so taking it slowly is something that I am looking to do.
“I don’t want to get myself caught up in that Olympic dream and I just want to keep on training hard and working on being the best swimmer that I can be and everything else will take care of itself,” a level-headed Maphumulo concluded.