A “can-do” attitude and extreme discipline are what has propelled 23-year-old national swimmers Alaric and Alard Basson to where they are.
The twins graced East London with a swimming clinic on November 15 and 16.
“We came here to share knowledge because while lots of athletes have achieved a great deal, only a small percentage give back. We wish we could have had someone to motivate us when we were starting our journey,” Alard said.
They both noted that it is only now that they get to converse with the top-tier SA swimmers, which is making their journey easier and is also helping them to improve their technique.
“There are lots of potential swimmers in the country, but the sport is quite demanding and leaves little room for anything else. It is difficult to balance,” Alard said.
They both agree that moving overseas is not the immediate answer to advancing their career, but admit that there is a lack of sponsorships available back home.
“There is also a lack of marketing of the events in SA. The swim meets are not televised and people often do not even know where to find the various events.
“We are living proof of home-grown coaching and that it can take you great places,” Alaric said. The clinic was aimed at senior and junior swimmers, and organised by Jackson’s Coaching in conjunction with Ultimate Swim Club (USC).
“I want to up the standard of swimming through such clinics. I swam with the twins for about three years before I started a private coaching academy to share my knowledge,” Jackson’s Coaching owner Jamie Jackson said.
The twins competed in the African Games held in Morocco in August 2019 where Alaric received two gold medals for the 100m and 200m breaststroke, as well as an array of accolades.
Attending the clinic was Merrifield grade 11 pupil Josh Emslie, who has a passion for the sport.
“I had the opportunity to meet them in 2018 and their positive vibe rubs off on you. They are friendly, humble and always wanting to motivate others,” Emslie said.
The twins specialise in different swim strokes: Alaric in 100m and 200m breaststroke and Alard in the 100m butterfly.
They both are studying towards a BTech in construction management at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.