Wayne Ridddin

Coach of the Seals Swimming club of Pietermaritzburg - and organizer of the Midmar Mile. Wayne Riddin is a coach, administrator, and the race director of the aQuellé Midmar Mile in South Africa, the world's largest competitive open water swim that attracts nearly 20,000 swimmers of all ages and abilities every year to the Midmar Damin Kwazulu Natal. He was nominated for the 2012 and 2013 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year awards.

Karoly Graham and Wayne Ridden

with fellow South African coaches Karoly von Törrös and Graham Hill (centre).

After 10 years of competitive swimming, representing Natal at the South African National Championships from 1974 to 1977, Wayne began coaching as an independent coach in Pietermaritzburg.

Wayne remained as an independent coach from 1978 to 1983 producing swimmers who qualified to represent Natal at the Senior National Championships. The key swimmers to emerge from this group were Darryl Cronje and Nicky Woolf. After breaking numerous records that had stood for over 10 years, Nicky emigrated to Australia with his parents. Darryl, who now coaches in Denmark, returned to South Africa to represent the country at the 1992 Olympic Games.

Military training caused a break in coaching for Wayne between 1984 and 1985 but he continued contact with his top swimmers.

Between 1985 and 1986 Wayne took up a post in Westville as the Wandsbeck coach and produced Natal age group champions during this time.

In 1987, Wayne returned to Pietermaritzburg as the professional coach for Penguins Swimming Club. After one season he decided to revert to an independent coach, but was offered the Head Coach position at Seals Swimming Club. He took up this position in 1988.

In February of 1994 he was selected to travel on a Sports Exchange programme. From this trip he introduced a similar learn to swim programme at the Seals Swimming Club which has produced most of the clubs top swimmers.

Wayne was:

  • Selected as one of the coaches for the South African Junior team which competed at the African Junior Championships in Cairo in 1994.
  • Appointed HEAD COACH for the National Short Course team to go to the World Short Course Championships at Rio de Janeiro in 1995 and Gothenburg in 1997.
  • Appointed National Director of Coaching and Development by Swimming South Africa at the end of 1997. Wayne declined the position as it meant he would be unable to continue squad coaching.
  • Appointed as coach for the National Senior Schools team to compete at Shanghai in October 1998.
  • Appointed as South African Swimming - Head Coach from 1999-2001, including Olympic Games Swimming Team Manager and Head Coach in 2000.
  • Appointed to the Ministerial Task Team after the 2000 Olympic Games.

Wayne has served on committees at club, regional and national levels.

He has also traveled overseas to the USA in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2003 and 2006 - visiting swim camps and coaches with groups of swimmers. Camps visited were Pine Crest and Jack Nelson (Florida) and while in the USA he observed camps and training at Stanford University (California) and Texas University (Austin). Wayne also visited the Colorado Springs Headquarters of USA Swimming.

In addition to his coaching Wayne is the Race Director of the world famous Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile. The mile swim takes place at Midmar Dam just outside Pietermaritzburg and attracts over 17000 entries annually. The event has grown from approximately 3000 entries in his first year in 1992.

The Halfway Telkom Midmar Mile is claimed as the largest open water swimming event in the world.

Wayne organised the 2004 Swimming World Cup at Kings Park Swimming Pool in Durban, South Africa.