2019 SWAMMY AFRICAN COACH OF THE YEAR: ROCCO MEIRING
This year’s Swammy award for African Coach of the Year goes to Rocco Meiring of Tuks Swimming Club, based out of Pretoria, South Africa. Meiring was also one of three coaches on the roster for the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, along with Graham Hill and Dellano Pinto Da Silva.
Meiring’s star swimmer this year is Tatjana Schoenmaker; winner of the 2019 Swammy Award for African SOY. Meiring coached Schoenmaker to a double gold medal performance at the 2019 World University Games where she took gold in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Schoenmaker swam a 1:06.32, breaking Penny Heyns’ 2018 South African record.
Meiring also coached Schoenmaker to the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, where she had another impressive record breaking performance. Schoenmaker took silver in the 200 breast, becoming the first ever South African woman to medal at LC World Champs. She also broke the 200 breast NR in the semi finals.
Meiring also coached Kylene Corbett and Nathania van Niekerk of Tuks Swimming to a successful 2019. Corbett finished 8th in the 200 breaststroke at the World Championships behind Schoenmaker’s silver medal.
Additionally, Meiring helped coach Tuks Swimming to a first place finish at the 2019 South African Junior National Championships, 2019 South Africa Short Course Championships and 2019 University Sports South Africa (USSA) Swimming Championships. In recognition of these victories, Meiring was nominated for the 2019 South Africa Sports Award Coach of the Year.
This award marks the second straight year that Meiring has taken this award.
- Graham Hill: Hill is the coach of multi-time World Championships competitor Erin Gallagher. Gallagher currently holds several South African national records, both short course and long course, having set many of them in 2019. Gallagher set the short course 50 free, 50 fly, 100 fly, 4×100 free (women’s), 4×100 free (mixed) and 4×100 medley (mixed). Gallagher won 4 medals (3G, 1S) at the 2019 African Games and was named Best Female Athlete of the African Games by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC).