We are hugely proud that three Nile Swimmers are now at Rio 2016 preparing for their events. Abdelaziz Alfatih (Azo) and Haneen Sami are both Aquatic Survival Instructors and qualified Lifeguards. They will both be representing Sudan in the 50m freestyle. Aabid Hammour is the national coach and a member of our Management Team. In this three part blog, we catch up with each of them to find out more. First up… Coach Aabid.
How popular is swimming in Sudan?
It is probably the second most popular sport in the country. Sudan has very hot weather for eight months of the year so people like to go swimming to cool off, either in the river or in a swimming pool.
What role does swimming play in your life?
I love swimming. I have worked as a swimming coach for 10 years and I am on the Board of the Sudanese Swimming Federation. I also play an important role in training. After all, I am the Coach of the Sudanese National Swimming Team!
What is your role with Nile Swimmers?
I am a member of the Management Team of Nile Swimmers. I think that water safety is very important and even in swimming pools in Sudan, people drown. There is nothing more important than knowing how to save someone’s life and that is what Nile Swimmers is teaching people.
What is Rio like and what will you be doing over the next couple of weeks?
Rio is amazing! The weather is perfect – 22 degrees and cloudy with a soft wind! Over the next two weeks, I will be working with Azo and Haneen to make sure they are ready for their races, but also to make sure that they are enjoying this experience. I am also looking forward to seeing how other athletes and their coaches work. The Olympics is a great place to pick up new coaching methods and to understand the latest developments in the sport.
What advice would you give to aspiring Olympic swimmers?
You need to always keep training and keep training. Eat well, sleep well and follow your coach’s instructions. It’s the only way to get here.
Keep an eye out for the next two blogs where we will catch up with swimmers, Azo and Haneen.