Seychellois swimmer to join South African club in 2017
Alexus Laird pictured with coach Graham Hill (middle) and Seychellois coach Marcel Antat at the 12th African Swimming Championship in South Africa in October. (Alexus Laird)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychellois Alexus Laird is joining the Seagulls Swimming Club in Durban, South Africa in January, the swimmer said on Monday.
Speaking to SNA via Facebook, Laird said she met the coach of the Seagulls Swimming Club -- Graham Hill -- while competing at the African Championship.
Laird won the gold medal in the final of the 50-metre backstroke at the 12th African Swimming Championship in South Africa last month, clocking 30.68 seconds.
Laird said that after the Brazil Olympics, “I had reached out to him via email regarding my interests in swimming with his club, considering the amount of Olympian and elite level athletes there.”
The 50-metre backstroke specialist from Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, added that she will still be training under the club as a member but compete as a foreign athlete under the Seychelles name.
The Seagulls Swimming Club is a well established association founded in 1987 by Doreen Hill a former South African champion and national coach. It offers the finest training with progressive teaching and coaching methods and has trained many swimmers who have reached national and international levels.
Laird has completed her training in the United States and will be moving to South Africa.
“I will be closer to the Seychelles and able to travel to and from more often. I will also be training with a team with the same competitions goals in mind,” she said.
On her plan for 2017, Laird said there are several competitions in South Africa as well as the CANA (the African Swimming Confederation) Zones and the World Championship.
“I have a four-year plan, as well as goals for each year and I am training at a level to become the best athlete I can be to achieve those goals,” said Laird.
Meanwhile, the Seychellois swimmer still has two more competitions on her 2016 agenda - the World Championship in Windsor, Canada and the annual meeting in Reunion from December 28-30, which features many athletes from the Indian Ocean Games.