Witbank and Middelburg lie some 120 km's east of Johannesburg along the N4 highway to Mozambique. The coal-mining town of Witbank - now known as Emalahleni - was founded in 1890. Nearby Middelburg was halfway between Pretoria and the goldfields located at Lydenburg.
The Midwit and Uniswim clubs provide professional coaching in the area. Killerwhale SC is another swimming club.
The Robert Curruthers Primary is the only state school with a pool in Witbank. St Thomas Aquinas is a local private school with a swimming pool. The Cambridge Academy is a well-endowed private school that competes in local galas, although it does not seem to have its own pool.
In Middelburg, only the Laerskool en the Hoërskool have their own swimming pools. There is a Curro private school in Witbank, but it lacks a swimming pool in 2020.
The municipal pool in Witbank - located right opposite the Municipal buildings - is a derelict pool. Middelburg does seem to have a functioning swimming pool, although the pool on the 4 SAI military base is also derelict.
There is a pool at the Planet Fitness Club in Witbank, which is home to the First Strokes Swim School. In Middelburg, the local Virgin Active club also has a 25m indoor pool that is used by local swimming clubs.
The seems to lack starting blocks and is probably not used for competitive swimming or training. In many South African towns where there has been a considerable change in the demographics since 1994, the municipal facilities, where they have survived, are used mainly for socializing.
Founded in 1902, this is another Lowveld school created by Lord Milner after the Boer War, in his effort to Anglicize the Afrikaner population. It was known as the local English primary school in Witbank.
As one of a few schools in town with a swimming pool, we offer swimming not only as an extramural but as swimming during the morning Phys Ed lesson and it is compulsory for all learners. During Phys Ed, they are taught basic swimming skills. In the afternoons, in Term 1 and 4, members of the team are coached to participate in galas and those who wish to learn to swim better are taught extra skills.
The convent school was opened in 1922.
In 1962 our P.T.A. undertook to build a swimming pool. Excavation work commenced in July and the ‘bath’ was ready for use before the end of October; a lasting monument to Mr. Weidner, a major sponsor, and our P.T.A.
The official opening was held on 11th November 1963, after the construction of the grandstands and the permanent shelter.
Several Catholic schools attended the Opening Gala. Rev. Father Kühner opened the proceedings by blessing the ‘bath’ and the grounds. At half-time, Mr. Watterton introduced Rev. Mother General who then opened the ‘bath’.
We all enjoyed ourselves and we were most grateful to our school and our splendid P.T.A. who had given us a swimming bath. The inscription at the entrance to the bath reads: To the honour and glory of God, the Peter Weidner Swimming Bath has been erected by the Parent- Teacher’s Association, 1962. “so much owed by so many to so few.”’ THE SILVER STAR, 1964
Swimming lessons are given in the first and fourth term to all of the Gr 1 – 7 during their PT time, and the afternoon team swimmers range from Gr 1 to Gr 12. This year we tour through KZN with the swimmers competing in galas in Newcastle and Durban before all completing the Midmar Mile.
Local interschool gala at St Thomas.
The school opened in 1998, and although it lacks a swimming pool, the school is well represented in competitive swimming. In 2019 Timara Froneman, also the 2020 school Head Girl and who swims with the Uniswim Club, was ranked number one nationally in two events.
Another school in Witbank without a pool that has excellent swimmers. Hertzog pupil Julian Andrew of the Midwit club participated in the MP Age Group 6 Swimming gala on 02 March 2019 in Middelburg, winning three events and placing second in another three.
In February 2020 Matthew Andrew and Julian Andrew participated in the Lowmed Open water 4 at Longmere Dam, White River.
Julian (left) won the 5km race in a time of 220.127.116.11. He was timed second in the 3km race in a time of 44.37.12
Matthew won the 3km race in a time of 40.00.10 and won the 1.5km race in a time of 20.15.