Owen Kuyper

An interview with Thys Lombard

Stellenbosch, September 2020


Thys Lombard
Owen Kuyper what a privilege to sit down with you and of places in Stellenbosch. You've had an illustrious swimming and coaching career. Most people know about your coaching but I think most of your swimmers don't even know about your swimming career. So let's dive straight in. Tell me where did it start for Owen the swimmer?

Owen Kuyper
Thys, I think, way back in the early 60s at primary school. I was at Acadia Primary. My mother coached the school team, a small little school. We had a pretty good outfit there and we were trained hard, kind of every day. But that was it. I never tried to a professional coach or even with a club in those days. I think when I was in standard five was the first time that I did anything in swimming. I got selected for a team. I think it was an age group team I'm not really sure but it was a Northern Transvaal team that went down to Kimberley. And all I can remember from that meet was well actually nothing from the meet. What I remember is that we stayed next door to Karen Muir and she had just come back from breaking that world record in 110 yards event

Thys Lombard
So she was already Karen Muir then?

Owen Kuyper
So that's why we went down to Kimberley. It was all about her. That's why the gala was there, I think, and we were hosted with people and I stayed next door to her. And we went across for tea. And so that's where I met Karen, but I think all I said was, hello, and I don't think she said anything back because she was so shy and yeah but that's not, that's when I met her for the first time

Thys Lombard
A legendary swimmer, one of those swimmers whose name sort of transcended the sport. People who don't even know anything about swimming know who Karen Muir was.

Owen Kuyper
Absolutely. I think she's just she would go down as one of the very best South African swimmers ever I think if you look at what she did over the years how many world records she broke, and she swam in a time when, you know, we weren't in world swimming. If you could think if we were in international swimming in those years when she was swimming in the late 60s early 70s. She was just being unbeatable.

Thys Lombard
So she swam a world record during isolation?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, I think, well, she started early. 64, I think, was her first world record if I remember correctly, in Blackpool, in the 110-yard backstroke. And then she carried on, I can remember she came to Pretoria. We actually trainer in the same squad for a while. She trained with Bob Campbell. She was at Meisies Hoer. And those are probably the heydays in Pretoria. I remember them putting up extra stands on the side of the pool. Just to have a place for all the people that came to watch galas is in those days. It was huge. And that was really due to Karen. There were a lot of really good swimmers in Pretoria in those days, but obviously, Karen was the big attraction.

Thys Lombard
So you actually saw her swimming. You saw her in action?

Owen Kuyper
Oh yeah, I saw her break a few world records. I trained with her and she and I were the same age. We were exactly the same age. But yeah, I can't even remember training with her. She was probably a bit quick for me!

Thys Lombard
So you swam in primary school and then high school?

Owen Kuyper
I went to Pretoria Boys High School. I just carried on swimming at school. My best friend at this stage or still probably Oubaas Braak, was very instrumental in me starting to swim. He was really good. As a junior, he was you know one of the top swimmers in the world. And he was at me to come and train and come and train. And I remember when we in standard six. I was actually playing cricket. And you can't play cricket and swim at those big boy schools. And I was going home one day and he called me and said: Aren't you going to inter Northern Transvaal Schools trials? And I said, No, I don't swim that stuff I just swim at school. He said no - I must come. So I went along we went to room 21, and I went and entered. When I got home my folks were cross. They said I'm going to embarrass them. I mean embarrass myself. That's to the good swimmers who train at clubs and things. And I went along and. Yeah, got selected from Northern Transvaal Primary schools.

Thys Lombard
Excellent. And your parents supported you?

Owen Kuyper
Yes, definitely and very proud. Especially my mom. You know she was big into swimming. She coached right until we were coaching together Her school team was up against my school team for many years when we were coaching in the 1990s.

Thys Lombard
Owen, besides the fact that your mom inspired you as a swimmer, and also as a coach, what did you learn from her?

Owen Kuyper
I can't remember. I think she was, I think she was quite good. I think she kind of bribed us jelly babies and things like that to swim more and swim better. I don't think she had a great swimming knowledge but she was really so passionate and you know I always say with with with kids when you when you're coaching little kids that's what it's all about. If you've got that passion, and you know the kids know that they pick it up, and if they know you're passionate and it really matters to you, then they really swim for you and they swim so much harder. I think that's what our whole team did for my mom. And when I went to Boys High I swam in standard six, seven eight just at school. I made the SA Schools side in 67. Still just swimming at school. And then at the end of 68, I was sick I got to rheumatic fever in standard eight. And they said I couldn't swim again and I think it kind of motivated me to swim again.

Thys Lombard
That's very South African. People tell you can't do something, then you will do it.

Owen Kuyper
So and then then I kind of started listening to Oubaas. He took me along to train with Bob Campbell, and he was fantastic. You know we trained at the Hillcrest swimming pool, and we only swam in summer. Starting the first of September, no matter what the temperature was. It always freezing cold swim. We swam across the width of the pool. And he had swimmers there - you know at a stage I think you know he had Brian Stewart. He was the SA backstroke champion. Harold Pearce the butterfly champion, Oubaas, and Peter van Niekerk breaststroke. Nico van der Merwe. So that you had your South African medley relay team swimming there all training with Bob, and it's just in the guys. Katinka Germishuys, she was fantastic. I remember Katinka swimming at SAU one year. And she won every single woman's event at the championship. So she swam, and then the men's, and then she swam, and then the men's. I know that the standard is not that great at SAU, it's not like NCAA. But still to do that is rather special. She was a special swimmer.

Thys Lombard
And she could do all strokes?

Owen Kuyper
She could do everything. From 100 to 800, she could do the whole lot, but all those swimmers you know those are the guys that I want to go and train with. They were older than us but they had a huge influence on the little ones that were coming up in those days. So that's the first, in 69, I made nationals for the first time. I went to Currie Cup in Cape Town, yeah, it was my first Currie Cup.

Thys Lombard
Owen, you mentioned a certain Lee McGregor, if it wasn't for him, you would have won a few national titles.

Owen Kuyper
Yeah - he just too good, that guy. Yeah, I never beat Lee. He was the best backstroke when I was around. Charl Meyer was there in the first year, but then I wasn't in contention in 69, but from 72 Lee was winning the hundred and the 200 backstrokes in the time that I swam into my latter years

Thys Lombard
And backstroke was your specialty?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, backstroke 100 and 200. Swam a bit of medley as well, but mainly 100 and 200 backstroke.

Thys Lombard
During those years what other swimmers stood out for you? I remember you mentioning Paul Blackbeard?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah look Paul started, I was just kind of getting to the end of my swimming career. Paul started. I think Paul's first nationals was 73 in Bulawayo. I was still swimming then yeah, and I think I got a second in the 100 backstroke in Bulawayo 200 I didn't shape, but that was Paul's first nationals. And already, as a youngster, you could see him coming through really well. And in the next year 74, I remember him in 74. 75 was his big year, he went about everything that year. He was fantastic and, you know, Paul, he was going, I think, when you interviewed him, he said he was going to go to the States, and then he was unable to go because of his family situation and then he had to stick around when his dad was so ill. But I think probably the best simmer I ever saw in my life, Paul Blackbeard.

Thys Lombard
And you saw a lot of really good swimmers?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, you know when I went to the states I went out to Southern Illinois, 71 72, I swim in America on a scholarship there at Southern Illinois with Ray Essick. And my first meet was against Indiana. It the start of 72. I swam the medley relay. I led off the medley relay against Mike Stamm who at a stage held the world hundred backstroke record, and on the other side of me was Gary Hall wanting to do a time trial. So it was just the three of us in the water and the pistol went I never saw them again. But at that meet, Mark Spitz was there. That was just before that was six months before he won his seven gold medals in Munich. And look, he was fantastic, you know. But, yeah, I'll put Paul Blackbeard up there with any day. Michael Phelps any day. He was just fantastic. I remember his 200 freestyle in 76. He was swimming the 200 freestyle at nationals in Durban, and I think it was him and Simon Gray were neck to neck, and they came out of the last turn and Paul just kind of lifted himself up in the water and he brought those legs his big six-beat kick he just flew that last 50. You get gooseflesh when you see that happen. He was fantastic in freestyle and butterfly. And as you know you interviewed him a little earlier. He's still doing really well. A lot of open water swimming, and I saw him, January swim 100 100, you know, on New Year's day just to get into the swing of things he's fantastic.

Thys Lombard
When I saw him at the Cape mile. He was so humble and so approachable and he actually came down to swim the Midmar Mile, if I remember correctly he dipped under 20 minutes, not too bad for a 58-year-old under 20 minutes.

Owen Kuyper
It's unbelievable. Yeah, you know with him, guys like Charlie Quibell, I don't know you remember he the first guy to go under, under two minutes in the 200 freestyle in 73 at the South African Games in Pretoria. And he was really good. Yeah, so many guys that swam around then, but I would say Paul Blackbeard would be my number one, with Lee McGregor, of course, was very good in that he's proved to be really tough in more than just in the swimming pool. He's surf lifesaving, paddling in rivers, the ocean, wherever you know wherever, you know he's a real competitor, and he was a very good swimmer.

Thys Lombard
I spoke to Lee recently on the telephone I want to do an interview with him in December and he mentioned that he's actually feeling stronger and paddling stronger than he was at the age of 40. And in fact, he said to me, when he swam his South African record for 400 freestyle he was 25 years old, he reckons at the age of 69 he can better that time. He said he swam at 4:17. And I know Lee. If you tell him, if you give him a bit of a carrot, probably achievers it.

Owen Kuyper
He's so strong in his head in it's such a competitor he probably will do.

Thys Lombard
I think he will do it! I mean, there's no shame in coming second to Lee McGregor?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, no, sure!

Thys Lombard
You've had an illustrious swimming career, unfortunately during the time of isolation so not too many Springbok teams selected, but I don't see any regrets?

Owen Kuyper
Regrets are there. You know whether I would have made the Springbok team, you know, if the teams were a little bigger and they took two backstrokers to go along with Lee, maybe I'd get to go! But, yeah, you know, I would have loved to have gone to the Olympics, I think it's every swimmer, you know, who swims that that sort of level must want to go to the Olympics, and even I'd like to even go now just go and watch I've never been to Olympic Games and that that's in the in on the bucket list, you know, really like to go.

Owen Kuyper
We know you got the World Championships, but without swimmers. We'll touch on that later.

Thys Lombard
Let's touch on your coaching career. I think it was in 75, you went with Bob Campbell?

Owen Kuyper
Yes, I was swimming with Bob, I swam until 75 in Johannesburg. And I swam the 100 back, and that was it. Bob was leaving, he was going to go and coach at the university. So his whole squad was was just left you know, looking for a coach. So he asked me to take over his squad which I did and then stopped swimming. In those days if you if you've got one cent from swimming you know you were out. You know I was never allowed to swim Midmar, never allowed to play Water Polo, because I made money from coaching kids. I suppose it was my, my career at that stage, I was still a student I was still at varsity, at Pretoria University. But then I became a teacher, most of the years that I coached as a school teacher. So it wasn't really my main income. But I was never allowed to do anything, anything. There was a guy, and I won't even mention his name, but he got me out of the pool three times because I wanted to play water polo because I was a professional.

Thys Lombard
Not even social water polo?

Owen Kuyper
You know what, I didn't like doing things socially. In those days, I wanted to swim properly and play water polo properly, but I was never allowed to because of professionalism.

Owen Kuyper
I started coaching men in 75, at Menlo Park, and Bob went across to the varsity and I had his squad. A young group of swimmers, but fantastic. I coached there for five years.

Thys Lombard
Was Gerhard van der Walt in that squad?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, Gerhard was. He was probably one of the best swimmers that are I coached there. You know you talk about the cold water. I can remember he was probably around about 11 or 12 years old. And we didn't have heated pools or winter facilities we trained in a 50-meter outdoor pool which was really nice. We started swimming on the first of September, and on the first of October being morning sessions. And I remember one morning session. It was so cold, everybody got out. And Gerhard was 10 or 11 years old, I said to him Gerhard climb out. He said no he wants to train, and he said, and I remember him crying, every time he breathed. You know that's paid off and he was a very very talented swimmer, but very hardworking, from a youngster, he swam very hard trained very hard and it all paid off in the end.

Thys Lombard
Okay, so you took over Bob's squad. What happened after that, how did you end up at Tukkies?

Owen Kuyper
A long time before then I coached it at Menlo Park for five years. I actually went and taught there as well for the last two years that I coached. I was a teacher at the school, it was my first teaching post. And then, in 1980 after nationals, went down to the coast. I always wanted to live at the coast. I'd love the sea and I got an opportunity. I love the water. Since I was born until now if I don't swim every day I get grumpy. Yeah. Yeah, I love the ocean and 1980 moved down to Westville, taught at Westville Boys High. And the idea wasn't to get back into coaching, but within three months I landed up at Wandsbeck Club and started coaching there for 80 at the end of 83. Had some really good swimmers people like Patricia and Susan Butcher, probably the two best swimmers that I had. Youngsters like Keith Whitfield and Paul Niemand, who, you know, did really well. Tricia and Sue both did really well, they both left to go and go and swim in the States. And, yeah, one day I'm sitting in the staff room and I got a phone call from the Vice-Rector at the university, saying, would I come and see them they wanted me to come and work at the university with a part-time lecturer and part sports officer, so I went up. And I was just blown away by all the facilities that they had there and so I went back to Pretoria and spent three and a half years at the university, very happy. Lecturing, but very much involved with the Sports Bureau, and they're still doing a great job there. My assistant coach then was Linda de Jager from Bloemfontein. You might know Linda? She swam for Free State and then came to Pretoria and she was my assistant coach at Tuks and she's now doing so well she's done great work at Tuks with her swimmers. Had some really good swimmers in Dorothy Neumeister, Fofo van der Merwe, Jaco Kruger, Francois Viljoen, the two Grant girls. Yeah, they were, they were really good. They inspired the little ones because what we did in in about 1984 started actually started the Tuks junior club. Up until then, Tuks was just a senior club just students no outside is just, just the students, and my very good friend John Short who was the athletic coach, and Christo Olivier who was he gymnastics coach, the three of us got together and we started a junior section of each of our sports. And that's where Tuks Junior club started and had some really nice little swimmers coming through there that were inspired by those students. And as you know, we did really well at SAU's in those days 84 85 86 we won SAU. And at the same time, you know, I looked after all the aquatics, water polo was also very powerful in those days. I think Tuks won the water polo for eleven years in a row without losing. I was the sports officer in charge of the Polo but I never coached them, but they were really strong.

Thys Lombard
You know the memories and the friends we made in those days are still close friends.

Owen Kuyper
You know, it's quite strange. I still chat with a few of the American swimmers that I was friends with on Facebook now and that's kind of recently. This is that it's happened. I didn't see them for many many years, and now with Facebook coming back and being retired, leaving time to do things. I've picked up a few of those old friendships, but I mean we sit here in Stellenbosch at Fofo van der Merwe's house, that's one of my ex-swimmers.

Thys Lombard
You sacrificed a lot, you're always there before the swimmer started and left after they finished, sometimes, quite a long time. You mentioned a few coaches that impacted your life. You know Tom Fraenkel's and Santa van Jaarsveld, Clara Aurik who all rubbed off on your coaching.

Owen Kuyper
Now you know when I started coaching I came out of swimming I was twenty-two years old, I didn't know too much about the physiology or, you know, and what coaching is all about, you know, I took programs that Bob was giving us and started using them. But I think, again, as I said with my mom. I just loved it. I love to coach, and I love coaching and I coach lifesavers now. I coach the Nippers. And then we started at five o'clock in the morning now.

Thys Lombard
But then in Natal, the sun has been up since 4 o'clock.

Owen Kuyper
That's true, but it's from those guys you know the Janet Price's, and Zwi Katabi, you mentioned, Tom Fraenkel, Frank Gray, there were a lot of really good coaches around when I was a lightie, and I learned a lot from those guys.

Thys Lombard
I remember back in the days the swimmers and coach didn't travel much but when they did they came back with incredible techniques and information and energized. I remember Libby Burrell went to Fort Lauderdale and came back to a changed person. There were no YouTube videos. Someone got hold of a Betamax or a VHS and shared it around. Coaches were sharing their stories and about coaching

Owen Kuyper
Doc Counselman, of course, was the guru in those days. When I was in the States, he was at Indiana University where he coached Mark Spitz. He had so many world champions there who did swim at the 72 Olympics. I met him at our dual meet we swam against Indiana, but he was probably the top coach in the world in those days.

Thys Lombard
Your highlights as a coach because you coached some serious swimmers. Any memories that still stand out?

Owen Kuyper
If worked backward you know, probably at the university, one standout time as we were at the Springbok trials at Bloemfontein. And I think the first event was the men's 400 and Jaco Kruger won that, the next event was the woman's 200 and Dorothea Neumeister won that. Then it was the breaststroke. And Fofo, I don't think he won it but he got second place in the breaststroke. Mandy Grant did really well. Kevin Richards won the 100 backstroke. So in the first five or six events, I think the Tuks swimmers came through one four of them. That was a real highlight. You know I remember that as a standout occurrence. You know, winning at SAU, really good. You remember we used to go to Bloemfontein, you remember the galas in the winter. I used to take my squad there, my Pretoria squad the first squad, and we won that gala once or twice. And that's where I know Santa from. I got to know her really well. I've coached her daughter. I know her son very well from water polo, Albert and Karen. Also, a great coach I learned a lot from her, she's great.

Thys Lombard
There's a swimmer's name that's popped in Natal, a guy called Rory Callahan.

Owen Kuyper
Rory was my first Natal swimmer that I coached. He was at Wandsbeck Club. His dad was the Chairman of the club he was instrumental in me coaching there. He actually contacted me to come and coach. And so Rory was the first swimmer that I coached that made the Natal side.

Thys Lombard
He was a pretty awesome swimmer and lifesaver

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, he was a lifesaver. Most of my swimmers when I was coaching there most of them did lifesaving, they were all Nippers or Juniors

Thys Lombard
A bit of an advantage having warm water a good swell all year round. We like to get them down to Clifton and compete against them.

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, that's not fair.

Thys Lombard
So there's a story that you mentioned that you were actually sent by the South African Swimming Union to Berlin?

Owen Kuyper
Yes, I went to Berlin to the World Champs. No swimmers, obviously we had no, we had no swimmers, went across to the World Champs, they sent me across to go and learn. I was obviously a young coach, they sent me across. We had a few Tom Fraenkel was there, Zwi Katabi was there, Rudie Spoor was there with the German team I think it was there. And during those six-seven days of the World Champs, I learned so much from those guys. Every evening after the finals we get together and go and drink coffee and chat about what had happened, I would just listen was fantastic, you know Zwi, you remember Zwi, at that Champs, I think it was Tracy Caulkins was the first person to dive through the hole, and the pistol went and she, and she kind of, lifted off and everybody else dived flat and the whole crowd just went whoa! and she disappeared under the water popped up a body length ahead of everybody. And I was sitting next to Zwi there and I mean he was uncontrollable he was so excited. And I remember when we watched we watched her underwater when she was warming up. And I remember him saying: What do you see? I said I see, I see her swimming. He said - But what do you see! She is swimming butterfly and she was under the water that the overall body position and change, getting her head down and getting a powerful kick. And, you know, this he got so excited about that and he was, he was a great coach and yeah.

Owen Kuyper
You know another interesting thing that happened at those world champs. My coach from Southern Illinois University Ray Essick was the head coach of the American side and I knew he was going to be there. So I'd taken a gift, a Springbok satchel and I took it across with some books on South Africa. And I was so happy to see him on the side of the pool and I went up to him I said Ray I've got you a gift and he looked down on the ground and he said: Owen, please walk away from me now. He didn't even look me in the eyes. He said please walk away from me now. If they see me talking to you and they know that you from South Africa, they'll send me back to the States. And, yeah, I wasn't even allowed to talk to him on the pool deck. I had to meet him away from the pool and chatted with him there, but it was that bad you know that they couldn't even be seen to be talking to South Africans in those days.

Thys Lombard
When I spoke to Lee he some really interesting stories about those years you know about not being able to swim internationally. Driving back from the airport after they had been boycotted out of the Olympic Games.

Thys Lombard
Owen when you stop coaching swimming you went straight into coaching surf lifesaving, so we can't keep you out of the water?

Owen Kuyper
Yeah, there were a few years, a few years from when I stopped coaching seriously, I would seriously into teaching. I taught for 40 years before I retired. I was a phyEd teacher, taught a bit of English and geography, but in the last 24 years, I was a principal of a school. Last 21 years ago at Crawford schools. While I was teaching I was very involved with the school side, especially when I was in Pretoria, in Northern Transvaal primary schools and high school teams, coaching the schools I was with.

Owen Kuyper
But then when I retired, we went down, I live in Scottborough now. We've retired down there and I've got involved with the Scottburgh life surf lifesaving club, and I absolutely love it. I just wish I'd got involved with it earlier because I think lifesaving, surf lifesaving is the best sport that a kid can do. You know it's competitive, they learn skills in the water out of the water. You get fit you get strong. You know, you learn things you can save a guy's life with.

Thys Lombard
What I like about surf lifesaving and actually spoke to Oscar Chalkupsky last week, what I'm doing here now I actually want to do with surf lifesaving as well. What I like about surf lifesaving is there's an element of nature involved, which you can package as luck so even a swimmer who's not at his peak fitness can catch a wave from behind. In swimming, if you're not a hundred percent fit, I had no chance. But in surf lifesaving I always thought if I had eighty percent fitness, if I can get to the cans with the first 20 or 30 guys there's a chance that I can catch a wave and come through from the back. Because I had guys like Graham Hill and Rory Callahan's ahead of me.

Owen Kuyper
You know Graham, I taught Graham and Oscar, they were both at Westville High. Oscar was in matric in 80 and Graham a little after in 83 or so, but I coached both of those guys, they were great water polo players. Oscar, you talk about Lee being a tough guy, they don't come any tougher than Oscar.

Thys Lombard
I saw Oscar and Lee compete many times and it was always a fight to the finish. One of your former swimmers out here - Fofo. Owen before we finish off this interview as we mentioned earlier you know some coaches and swimmers stay connected for the rest of their lives and here we have one of your maybe naughtiest swimmers and you guys are still connected.

Owen Kuyper
Oh, you know, I live a long way away, well I've never lived out here. My daughter lives here in Somerset West so we're visiting, and I chatted with Fofo a little while ago on the phone I said when we come down again we're going to get in touch, so we are going out for a meal tonight.

Thys Lombard
Well Fofo now it's your turn to get back on up for those long long hard sessions he made you swim, tell me, why would you even want to have dinner with him?

Fofo van der Merwe
The nice thing about was, you know, I think the swimmers had a lot of respect for him especially because of his knowledge. And the way that he coached us and I think it's mainly because he was not that much older than us. And he could connect with us as well. And I always say you could always see that Owen really cared for his swimmers and his athletes, you know when I started doing biathlon was a swimming coach. And he was doing my running with me he went to the track and he took my times there and when I went to the Springbok trials for biathlon he was the one in my Volkswagen Beetle that went all the way to Bloemfontein and we competed there and we drove back in the evening.

Owen Kuyper
That's another interesting story. He's being a little bit modest here. We went down, he had never done biathlon before, he trained really hard. We did Monday Wednesday Friday hard in the pool and ran long distances Tuesday Thursday, Saturday hard on the track, and just swim nice easy, and we went to Bloemfontein at the South African Springbok trials for biathlon. And he won them, and they didn't pick him for the Springbok side. They said no, it's the first time he's competed and he's not allowed to get his colors, but because he had done so well they invited him to go with as a guest with the team to Switzerland. Yeah, when he went there he not only won the meet but he broke the South African record. And when he got off the plane they had a Springbok blazer for him so that's how he got his Springbok Biathlon colours. Yeah. It was of one of the big memories that I have yeah you talked about memories early I think it's one of the fondest memories I have was coaching him for biathlon and that meet that he did so well in.

Thys Lombard
Coach, why don't you command him to get back into the water we need more biathletes.

Owen Kuyper
He's not in a shabby state. I mean, he was telling me that three years ago he still did 100x100 in one session, I mean, he's in good shape.

Thys Lombard
Owen I want to honour you for what you brought to the sport as an athlete and as a coach, and what you're doing now just to inspire you will never stop coaching. You've got coaching written all over you. And thanks for the time and effort you put in because I know that awards are not always easy to measure, but the rewards are people like Fofo who want to spend time with you because, you know, sometimes when people get older they don't want to spend time with you. To me, the reward is that people like Fofo they think back fondly of the time they swam with you and they want to spend time with you.

Owen Kuyper
I think its the greatest reward that a coach can get you nice to spend time with these old guys and see what see what's happened to them and then you can stay in contact with them and stay in contact to the little ones you know the coaching or the life saving I'm, I'm still coaching eight nine ten-year olds which is fantastic and they're still doing so well and I love it. Yeah. Thanks!

Thys Lombard
Thank you so much.

Fofo vd Merwe
Thanks Thys.