Swimmers in the Kovsie Aquatics Open Water open water race at the Maselspoort Resort.
Aquatic sports has thrived in the Orange Free State since it was first invaded by the British. The excellent schools like Eunice GHSA, Grey College and St Andrews all contribute a steady stream of national champions. The university has also participated in the national inter-varsity championships.
The Free State has a produced many champion swimmers, like the Johnson brothers Donald and Graham, Jannie and Pietie Horn, Dougie Eager, Janine Steenkamp, the Markgraaf sisters, and Ryk Neethling.
Well known recent Free State swimming coaches included Frank Gray, Santa van Jaarsveld and Syd Gibbons.
The main centres is Bloemfontein, with other towns like Sasolburg, Kroonstad, Bethlehem and Welkom all producing excellent swimmers. International coach Cecil Colwin was known for his swimming camps held in the Bethlehem town pool.
Competitive swimming was also practised in the smaller towns, but many of the municipal and school pools are become dead pools. (click on the Dead Pools layer in the map)
Smaller centres included the Maselspoort and Parys resorts and many towns with a dorp swembad.
Kroonstad is home to an number of schools with a stroing aquatic sports tradition, including life saving and biathlon. They include the Hoërskool Kroonstad, the Afrikaanse Hoërskool and the Sentrale Volkskool.
There is a municipal pool in Morêwag (above) and a dead pool at the Correctional Services training college.
The 50m heated outdoor pool has been the venue for the South African winter swimming championships since the 1972. In 2003 it was renamed the Penny Heyns pool. It has been to home of the Sasolburg Swemklub since the 1960's.
While the town is located in the Orange Free State, it became part the new Vaal Triangle swimming province in the 1970's. Today it is part of the Northern Free State.
There are numerous smaller towns where swimming history was made, which has unfortunately mostly been forgotten and remains to be re-discovered. The Klerksdorp pool was once a favourite for international swimming galas.
Mozambiçue and Angolan swimming pools