The Players’ Swim Club in South Africa has picked up a new world-class addition to its squad: Spanish backstroker Aschwin Wildeboer, who is a former World Record holder in the long course 100 backstroke. He will join the club on a one month trial, and make a more permanent arrangement if all goes well.
Wildeboer’s training future has been uncertain since his father Paulus Wildeboer left his role at the helm of the Danish National Training Center for a job in Australia earlier this year.
The relatively new club is lead by head coach Grant Kirtzinger and is based out of Pretoria. Former swimming superstar Ryk Neethling is one of the club’s directors, and George du Randt and Lyndon Ferns are among the lofty names who are former members.
Most famously, this club has been the training home of Olympic 100 breaststroke champion and World Record holder Cameron van der Burgh since 2009, where they’ve facilitated his training via the overseas guidance of Dirk Lange. Other elites in the program include Giulio Zorzi, who was 4th in the 50 breaststroke at the 2011 World University Games; and Lehesta Kemp, who won 7 gold medals at the 2012 Africaan Swimming Championships in 2012.
The club has seen explosive growth since the Olympics, perhaps due to the publicity of van der Burgh’s gold. In August of 2012, they had just 60 members; in March of 2012, they had over 200 members.
A change of scenery could be a good thing for the 27-year old Wildeboer. He placed just 12th at the 2012 Olympics in the 100 back and 26th in the 200.