Swimming with education in mind

​Ronan Wantenaar and Heleni Stergiadis, retained their Ludorum trophies this past weekend in Windhoek. The two Namibian swimmers walked away as Senior Victor and Victrix Ludorum title holders after taking part in the four-day Bank Windhoek Long Course National Championships.

Representing Marlins Swimming Club, Wantenaar recorded 3 438 Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) points while Dolphins' Stergiadis logged 3 421 FINA points. Apart from swimming, the duo take their education seriously.

Asked how he manages his tertiary studies and swimming, Wantenaar said the love for swimming helps him to focus on life. "I have been training hard since last year, even throughout my exams. It was not easy, but the passion for the sport helped me through it all," said Wantenaar, who is studying towards his electrical engineering degree in South Africa. He also walked away with eight other individual awards.

Wantenaar's advice to his fellow youth is to keep believing in themselves and their talents. "Keep doing what you love, and you will always be happy in life," he said.

Stergiadis, who scooped up her third Senior Victrix Ludorum, said she was particularly proud to be part of the Bank Windhoek Long Course National Championships again. "I saw that everybody put in their best performance after coming back from the African Swimming Confederation (CANA). The spirit from everyone, including my team Dolphins, was tremendous, thank you to my team and Bank Windhoek," said Stergiadis, who is currently in her last year in high school. “This is my most important year to date, and I am still deciding what I need to study at tertiary level, but as long as I can keep swimming and studying, I will be happy."   

Dolphins' Oliver Durand, won Junior Victor Ludorum, while Maya Stange won her first Junior Victrix Ludorum. Durand, who is currently in grade seven, said that he will now focus on breaking records and his education.  Stange said: "I am so thrilled after putting in so much work. It feels good, and I am happy about my achievement. Thank you, everyone, for the support."

Bank Windhoek's Head of Corporate Affairs, Hayley Allen, said: "Congratulations to all the winners. What makes Bank Windhoek proud is despite the physical demand of the sport, how their swimming helps these athletes balance the demands of their education, is remarkable. All the best to all of them."

Overview of the Bank Windhoek Long Course National Championships

With a total of nine records broken, the Bank Windhoek Long Course National Championships saw 176 swimmers from seven clubs race for top honours in 1 493 events. From these clubs, four were from Windhoek, two from Swakopmund, and one from Oranjemund. They are Aqua Swimming Club, Dolphins Swimming Club, Flippers Swimming Club, Marlins Aquatics Club, Phoenix Swimming Club, Swakopmund Swimming Club, and Oranjemund Swimming Club. The team trophy went to Dolphins Swimming club with 4 257 points. They also won the trophy in 2019.

The Namibian Swimming Union (NASU) hosted the event. “We are proud that our swimmers managed to achieve great results.  They were competing on the back of CANA Zone IV in Botswana and swam in cold and rainy conditions. The swimmers resolve, and tenacity is commendable," said NASU's Executive Committee Member, Nicky McNamara.

Below are the full results Trophy winners:

Bank Windhoek Long Course National Championships Trophy winners

50 FreeRonan WantenaarViktoria Ellmies
100 FreeCorne Le RouxViktoria Ellmies
200 FreeJose CanjuloViktoria Ellmies
400 FreeCorne Le RouxHeleni Stergiadis
800 FreeN/AViktoria Ellmies
1500 Freenot achievedN/A
50 BackRonan WantenaarHeleni Stergiadis
100 BackRonan WantenaarHeleni Stergiadis
200 BackJose CanjuloHeleni Stergiadis
50 BreastRonan Wantenaarnot achieved
100 BreastRonan Wantenaarnot achieved
200 BreastRonan Wantenaarnot achieved
50 FlyRonan WantenaarHeleni Stergiadis
100 FlyCorne Le RouxJoanne Liebenberg
200 FlyCorne Le RouxJoanne Liebenberg
200 IMRonan WantenaarHeleni Stergiadis
400 IMJose CanjuloHeleni Stergiadis
Single Best Performance
Corne Le Roux100 Fly602 FINA Points


“We are further exceptionally grateful to Bank Windhoek for their continued support and assistance. On the whole, we are delighted with the Championships and wish to thank the parents and swimmers for their assistance and contributions," concluded McNamara.

The Bank Windhoek Long Course National Championships is the highlight of the Bank Windhoek Long Course Gala season. It serves as the trials for the South African Junior Championships scheduled to take in South Africa next month.

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