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Local learner achieves bronze medal at World Deaf Swimming Championships

by ZwemZa on September 17th, 2019

Coach Terence Parkin stands with bronze medalist Pierre Dellieu in front of the swimming pool at the St Vincent School for the Deaf. Photo: Sarah Koning

The St Vincent School for the Deaf in Melrose is proud of Grade 12 learner Pierre Dellieu (21) who achieved a bronze medal at the World Deaf Swimming Championships in Brazil.

Dellieu achieved third place in the 50m freestyle event, breaking the South African and African record for the deaf.

Dellieu is trained by Olympic medallist Terence Parkin and went to the World Deaf Swimming Championships as part of a five-member team from South Africa.

Pierre Dellieu bites his bronze medal from the World Deaf Swimming Championships. Photo: Sarah Koning

The principal of the St Vincent School for the Deaf Ingrid Parkin arranged a hero’s welcome for Dellieu when he returned to school on 2 September.

“I feel very proud and I know how hard Pierre has been training. It’s good for our learners to see that deaf learners can achieve international awards,” said Ingrid.

Grade 8 learner Amkele Qamarana and Slindokuhle Mabanga who matriculated last year, also competed at the event, gaining good exposure and performing well in various races. Terence also participated in the event, achieving fourth place in the 200m breaststroke.

Terence said, “I’m really happy with Pierre’s performance. I encouraged him to work hard mentally. When he swam, all his hard work paid off.”

Dellieu said, “I’m happy that I started training with Terence. I listened well to him. It took time to build my confidence and fitness level. I also suffered from a shoulder injury a few months ago and it was like hell to train. I gymmed and swam every day to build my skills. He’s a good coach and he knows me well. I want to thank him for helping me.”

Dellieu dreams of going to the 2021 world championships and competing at the Olympic Games in 2020. “My goal is to be on top and go to the USA to study further. I would like to become a swimming and sports coach one day,” said Dellieu.

“It means a lot to me that I received this medal since St Vincent’s has never got an award like this before. I showed children that if you work hard, you can achieve.”

Sarah Koning | Rosebank Killarney Gazette


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