TWO-TIME Olympic gold medallist Kirsty Coventry, currently training at SwimMAC during a career resurgence, demonstrated why she’s amazing in the women’s 200-metre back at the Arena Pro Swim Series Mesa in the United States.
Coventry threw down a 2:12.05, coming from behind at the touch, to pick up the win on Saturday.
She won this event at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and is looking for more on her Road to Rio for Zimbabwe.
The 31-year-old also came second in the 100 metres with a time of 1:00.89.
Kirsty is one of ten Zimbabweans to earn a prestigious Olympic Solidarity Scholarship for Rio, a fund designed to provide assistance for all the National Olympic Committees, particularly those with the greatest needs.
Presently based at Charlotte in North in North Carolina as she continues her preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Brazil, she has also established the Kirsty Coventry Academy in Zimbabwe to provide children with “a life skill by teaching them to swim.”
Explaining her new mission in a recent interview Kirsty said: “The Kirsty Coventry Academy is focusing on Zimbabwe for right now.
“We have to get our model right before we can start expanding this nationally and only then look at other countries. We do not have the resources to target the entire country or other parts of Africa at the moment, but we do have a plan to develop and grow our program.
“We are looking for partners that want to implement our coaching programs, we will also need equipment such as goggles, swim caps, buoys, kickboards, and we need donor funds to help roll out these projects.
“The cheapest swimming lessons in Zimbabwe cost about $5 per lesson but in our program $5 can give a child 24 lessons! If we can increase the training of more coaches, this cost will go down even further.
“The Kirsty Coventry Academy has already started teaching 400 children to swim and as we train more coaches, this number will increase.”
She added: “I don’t just put my face to a charitable organization.
“I want to be involved and get my hands dirty and this is the case with many of the projects or charities that I work with. Naturally, I will be more involved with the Kirsty Coventry Academy as this is my personal vision.
“My husband, Ty, works on this with me to ensure the programs are being implemented and results are being achieved. Ty has a personal interest in this too: when he was about 2 years old, he drowned in a friend’s pool with his father standing only 10 yards away.Advertisement
“Ty slipped in with no splash and no screams for help. His older brother alerted their father who pulled Ty out from the bottom of the pool, his little face blue from lack of oxygen. After about 10 or 15 minutes of CPR and Ty’s grandfather saying ‘it’s over, there is nothing more you can do.’
“Ty vomited up the water and started breathing again. Like many people in Africa, they were 2 hours away from the closest doctor and had it not been for his father’s knowledge of CPR, things may have turned out a little different. Part of our ‘Training our Coaches’ program is CPR so help can be immediate.”