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Swim Legend Here To Help

Swimming legend Shane Gould will be in the country from August 24 to 26 to conduct a swimming and water safety training at the Coral Coast. The training course will
05 Aug 2015 11:58
Swim Legend Here To Help
Shane Gould has been a record breaker at the Olympics- and now at Masters level.

Swimming legend Shane Gould will be in the country from August 24 to 26 to conduct a swimming and water safety training at the Coral Coast.

The training course will coincide with the Girl Guides gathering at Cuvu College, Sigatoka, where 800 people are expected to attend.

“I’ve a special connection to Fiji because it all started here for me,” Gould said.

Gould was born in Sydney, New South Wales, on the first day of competition of the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. She moved to Fiji with her family at  18 months.

“I learned how to swim in Nadi and the Mamanuca,”she said.

“So Fiji is a special place and I keep on returning to visit and help promote awareness on swimming and water safety.”

Gould won three gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, setting a world record in each race. She also won a bronze and a silver medal.

When she was here in December 2004 with husband Milton Nelms, they heard over the radio there were a lot of drowning cases in Fiji.

In 2005 and 2006 after returning from Australia she offered free clinics in schools and communities and did about 30 sessions in 2005 in two weeks and from that worked out why plenty people were drowning.

“We kept coming back and then we met different groups, swimming clubs, the sports council, teachers where all this research happened,” Gould said.

“We devised a programme and in 2008 and formed a non-profit organization called the Shane Gould Swimming Project sponsored by NewWorld Supermarket.

“So sadly drowning occurs in Fiji and around the world but it is higher in here than a lot of other countries,” she said.

“So basically it is eight to 10 times more people approximately, herein Fiji.

“Swimming needs to be practice at all levels.

“Swimming is not just about managing a stroke, it’s  all about the whole environment.”

Gould believes drowning occurs if someone makes a bad decision to get in the water in first place.

“The big thing is making a good decision before you go in the water.

“Just because you can swim or may be a good swimmer, sometimes the water is just not the right place for you if the condition is unsafe.

“We also wanted to talk to the boys’ scouts in future.”

She is the first female swimmer ever to win three Olympic gold medals in world record time, and the first swimmer, male or female, to win Olympic medals in five individual events in a single Olympics.

At the age of 17, she retired from competitive swimming, citing pressures placed upon her by her success.

Feedback: luke.nacei@fijisun.com.fj

 

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