Chad le Clos, currently the most decorated swimmer at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia pursued one of his biggest dreams by launching the world-class Chad le Clos (CLeC) Academy situated in the Quadrant Complex in Claremont, Cape Town on Friday, 20 April 2018.
Taking a rounded approach to development, the new Chad le Clos Academy aims to transform the way swimming is taught in South Africa, from beginner through to elite level and aim to ensure that swimmers enjoy the learning experience and remain in the sport for as long as possible.
Starting with a flagship venue at the Quadrant in Cape Town, the programme will focus on stroke development and fitness for swimmers aged five through to adults. Future venues will also implement elite and learn to swim programmes by collaborating with the best in class partners and facilities, as the programme expands. As part of its long-term goals, the CLeC Academy plans to expand further by including international venues, in an attempt to broaden its reach as widely as possible and transform the world of swimming.
Le Clos, a four-time Olympic medallist, says: “I’m very pleased that we are launching the first branch of the Chad le Clos Academy. I really want to see the growth of swimming as a sport, both in SA and ultimately across the world, by helping existing swimmers improve and encouraging beginners to learn our sport and develop life skills. This has been a dream of mine for some time, and today marks the start of what I hope will be a long and productive journey.”
Kathryn Nurse, a CLeC Academy Director, says: “It is a privilege to partner with a sportsman of such high calibre and a gentleman of such true humility. We are confident that we can take his vision and make it a reality.”
Chad le Clos board member, Julian Taylor, says: “As South Africa’s most decorated swimmer, Chad le Clos has already ensured he will always be remembered as an icon. Hopefully this academy will be able to play another key role in expanding his legacy at all levels of the sport, both at home and abroad.”
Background: Le Clos himself began swimming competitively at the age of ten, and had already made the senior Olympic swimming squad by the time he was 14. In January, le Clos moved to Cape Town from his native Durban, and made announcement that he would begin the process of finding an appropriate swimming pool to launch his elite academy.
The superstar swimmer has bagged a total of 17 gold medals throughout his career, earning three at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
At the tender age of 18 years, he already held two senior South African records, as well as Commonwealth junior and senior records.
“He became the first to win the most medals in the history of the Commonwealth Games and also the first to win three consecutive gold medals at the Games. He rewrote the history book three times,” said a delighted Bert le Clos.
Chad clinched his third gold medal after wining the 100m butterfly at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games setting a record of 50.65 seconds. His other victories also included gold medals for 50m and 200m butterfly at the event.