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Oct 20 19

Bishops: Inside exclusive school rocked by sex scandal

by ZwemZa

Fiona Viotti is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with pupils at Bishops in Cape Town. Image: Facebook/Fiona Viotti

Few would have predicted that a relationship between a pupil at Cape Town’s elite Bishops Diocesan College and a “sweet girl” teacher would have snowballed this week to a take-down request to a porn site and a group of top lawyers being appointed for everybody involved.

But that is what happened after the news broke that the school, founded by the Anglican Church, is investigating a case of serious sexual misconduct against one of its female teachers.

Situated in leafy Rondebosch, the school is one of the most exclusive – and expensive – private schools in the country, and has produced a wealth of well-known South Africans.

Many in the community have thus been “shocked” by a case of such a high-profile and scandalous nature.

“The investigation into the serious sexual misconduct of one of our female teachers is ongoing,” said principal Guy Pearson this week in a statement after weekend reports on the matter surfaced.

Pearson said it had emerged that more boys might have been affected over a number of years, and the Weekend Argus on Saturday reported that so far, three more boys may have been victims.

What happened?

The news broke last Friday evening, and the Weekend Argus and Sunday Times then followed up with reports saying it involved a relationship between an 18-year-old pupil and a married 30-year-old teacher, identified by the Sunday Times as Fiona Viotti.

Headlines later that week screamed the family connections of the water polo and swimming coach, and history teacher.

Viotti is the granddaughter of a former Bishops principal Anthony Mallett, and her dad, Dave Mallett, heads a boarding house at the school. The school also has a building with the Mallett name on it.

By Monday, she had lawyered up with well-known defence attorney William Booth.

There was almost no trace of her left on the internet, apart from a message of congratulations from the school regarding her wedding last year.

The Western Province Water Polo Association also told News24 she had resigned as the body’s manager.

Booth told News24 Viotti did not have a disciplinary hearing before she left, and that no criminal charges had been laid.

His job is to help her and family during the school’s investigation, but an unexpected development shifted his focus.

Lewd videos purporting to be of the teacher were doing the rounds rapidly, with one landing on a well-known porn site (and has subsequently been taken down).

Booth added that speculation and inaccuracies were being reported but would not go into details.

Multiple parents of former pupils told News24 of their disbelief this week.

“Fiona was my one son’s history teacher for two years… She was a very sweet girl so we are all very shocked to hear what had been happening,” one parent said.

The pupil’s family, meanwhile, also appointed a lawyer who was approached with a request for an interview. “I can’t comment, sorry,” the lawyer said by WhatsApp.

The Old Diocesan’s Union’s representative Antony Taylor, better known as Darren Nudelman in the series Tali’s Wedding, also did not want to comment.

The school’s investigation would be led by attorney Graeme Dorrington and senior advocate Francois van Zyl, the Weekend Argus reported.

What is Bishops?

The school was founded by Anglican bishops in 1849 by Bishop Robert Gray. “Its object was ‘to give a sound education to the youth of the colony’, conducted on the principles of the English [Anglican] Church,” the school’s website says.

Its ethos has changed to one of preparing “well-rounded” boys for the world.

This year’s matric tuition costs an eye-watering R259 620, (R5 452 discount if it is paid in full up front). There is also a capital levy per family of R1 500 per term.

Parents can put their boys on a waiting list when they are born for a fee of R550. This year’s non-refundable acceptance fee if a place is offered, ranges from R25 000 to R27 500. There is also a R26 000 fee for foreign families who want their son placed in a boarding house.

Boys also have to go through interviews, and, when they are older entrance exams to secure a place. So getting in, and staying in, was not a doddle for the 140 boys writing matric this year.

Sporting fixtures between Bishops and other private schools are also keenly followed, and one of its most famous old boys is household name Raymond Ackerman of Pick n Pay fame. Springbok Francois Louw, playing in Japan on Sunday, is also an old boy.

Does it matter that the pupil is 18? Can’t he do what he likes?

A debate raged on social media over whether there was anything wrong with an 18-year-old and a 30-year-old being in a relationship. The marriage of French President Emmanuel Macron to Brigitte Trogneux was cited as an example. The two met when he was at school and she was his drama teacher.

The teacher had become an object of desire to some, while the boy, a hero to others. Yet many also condemned her alleged actions, and viewed the boy as either a victim or a willing but naive participant.

Centre for Child Law director Karabo Ozah said if a pupil was 18 and gave consent, it was not a crime, unless there was grooming at a younger age.

The important factor to her is that it allegedly happened in a school context.

“The teacher being female doesn’t matter because she was in a position of power in regard to the child.”

Ozah said in this context pupils who want to break a relationship off, or report sexual activity with a teacher, might delay doing so for fear of being left out of a team, or other repercussions.

She added they might also be teased if they express concern, with other pupils calling it an “adventure” with somebody who is “so fine”.

Recent Catholic Church scandals showed that men did not speak out when they were boys because they thought nobody would believe them. Studies found that bottling it all up also made them more aggressive in later life.

“It has to become almost like a scandal that somebody uncovers, for it to come out,” said Okah.

So what is the problem if there was no crime?

Education specialists the SA Council for Education (SACE) warned Parliament earlier in October that it was seeing an emerging trend of misconduct complaints against female teachers by male pupils.

One of the SACE’s functions is to register teachers, and to monitor compliance with its code of ethics.

It clearly states that no sexual relationship is allowed between pupils and teachers, and nor should there be any “courting” of pupils. A violation will lead to a misconduct charge.

On Friday, the chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on basic education said the SACE had called for urgent action in all provinces regarding this trend, which was often facilitated during sports, cultural activities and outings. As far as the committee was concerned, the pupil deserved protection, regardless of his age.

“He remains a learner and she remains an educator,” committee chairperson Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said.

The portfolio committee on women, youth and persons with disabilities chairperson, Nonhlanhla Ncube-Ndaba, commended the courage of the boy and many other boys who had stepped forward and said “not in my name, me too”.

But while all of this was playing out, Booth had another problem: the lewd videos.

Is it a crime to share these videos?

In September, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed into law the Films and Publications Amendment Act 11 of 2019.

The act brings film and publication laws further up to date in an online era of fast global distribution of social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

Called the Revenge Porn Act by some, section 18F states that: “No person may expose, through any medium, including the internet and social media, a private sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made without the consent of the individual or individuals who appear in the photograph or film. This also applies if the individual who appears in the photograph or film might have consented to the original creation of such photograph or film.”

Sharing the contents without consent is therefore now a crime.

Social media expert and lawyer Emma Sandler, who wrote the book Don’t film yourself having sex, asked her Twitter users on Friday where they saw Viotti’s alleged video, be it a private message, WhatsApp or porn site.

Many of the people who responded said it was shared with them via WhatsApp.

This law states that the internet service provider must also hand over to the Film and Publications Board or police the information and identity of the person who published it.

The board has the right to impose its own sanction, or refer cases to the National Prosecuting Authority or institute civil cases if fines issued are not paid.

What is the punishment for posting or sharing these clips?

There are various fines, which can be found HERE:

Those liable for fines and/or prison sentences include those who distribute private sexual material without the person’s prior consent, those who distribute such material of a child under 18, and those who are not licenced holders for “adult premises”.

The fines range from R300 000 to R750 000 and prison sentences from two to five years.

The removal of the video from the well-know porn site was surprisingly quick. Its frequently answered questions section offers a form to request a take down with steps to take to assert copyright over the images.

But by Friday afternoon, Booth said, the video had resurfaced again on another unknown porn site.

“Anyone who distributes must clearly be told they are committing a crime and will be prosecuted,” said Booth.

“Bishops is still busy with its investigation and I do not want to comment on the merits of the case at this stage, however, it is obviously affecting her.

“As well as her family being dragged into something that they are not involved in or were aware of by the media is wrong and a clear violation of the family members’ rights.”

Passionate alumni

Dave Mallett meanwhile sent a letter to parents at the beginning of the week, saying the family was “devastated” by the events, but would be “soldiering on” to ensure “business as usual” at the boarding house.

The Weekend Argus reported this week that Mallett clarified aspects of his letter at a school meeting on Friday, saying he did not condone his daughter’s alleged behaviour.

ODU chair Adam Pike said this week that they were passionate alumni and cared for the well-being and reputation of the school. They were though institutionally and legally separate from the school.

“Accordingly, we expect the school to do all that is necessary to fulfil our expectations. To date, the union is satisfied that the school is pursuing its processes with sufficient vigour,” he said.

“I am certain that once the inquiry has run its course, the findings will be studied and treated in the most fitting and appropriate manner,” Pike said.

Jenni Evans | News24

Oct 20 19

Aussies Campbell, McKeon roar into International Swimming League

by ZwemZa

Australia’s Cate Campbell helped the London Roar seize the lead on the opening day of the International Swimming League meet Saturday in Lewisville, Texas (AFP)

Australian Olympic gold medallists Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon made their International Swimming League debuts on Saturday, helping propel the London Roar to the lead on the opening day of competition in Lewisville, Texas.

The third stop on the fledgling pro swimming circuit saw four the league’s eight teams in action for the first time: the Roar, the Katinka Hosszu-led Team Iron, the Los Angeles Current and the New York Breakers.

The four teams took the stage after two meetings featuring Energy Standard, Cali Condors, DC Trident and Aqua Centurions — events in which Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and American Caeleb Dressel starred.

Although the Roar were missing some of their British stars, including breaststroke world record-holder Adam Peaty, they racked up 253 points in 19 events on Saturday with wins from McKeon in the 100m butterfly and 200m freestyle and Campbell in the 50m free.

The two, who helped Australia to gold in a world record time in the 4x100m freestyle at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, were on the Roar team that won the 4x100m free Saturday in 3:27.90, edging the club’s “B” team — led off by Bronte Campbell — by 3.03sec.

Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott were among the Roar swimmers who missed the event in suburban Dallas because of a British national training camp.

They’ll take the plunge next week in Budapest in the series designed to woo fans with an exciting finals-only format and satisfy top swimmers with signficant prize money.

The Roar also got an Aussie boost from Matt Wilson, who won the men’s 200m breaststroke.

LA Current were in second place heading into day two on 234 points. Team Iron, paced by wins in the men’s 50m breaststroke and 50m free by Russian Vladimir Morozov, were third on 186 with the New York Breakers fourth on 131.

Sunday’s closing day offers plenty of opportunity to challenge the Roar’s lead with the triple-points “skins race” — three knockout heats of 50m free — on the schedule.

Australia’s Cate Campbell helped the London Roar seize the lead on the opening day of the International Swimming League meet Saturday in Lewisville, Texas

AFP

Oct 20 19

Aussies McKeon, Atherton power London Roar to Day 1 lead in Texas

by ZwemZa


Photo LaPresse – Marco Alpozzi
October, 19 2019 Lewisville, Texas (USA)
Sport
2019 ISL – International Swimming League.
in the picture: atmosphere

Over 100 Olympians are represented by the ISL, including 41 Olympic gold medals from the 2016 Olympic Games.

Day 1 of the International Swimming League’s third match in Lewisville was another thriller as the American crowd was treated to some great club battles and plenty of exciting races.

The London Roar and LA Current battled head-to-head throughout the session, and after 11 events, hadn’t been separated by more than 10 points. However, the Roar put on a surge down the stretch, winning six consecutive events (and seven of the last nine) to exit the day leading the Current by 19 points with 253.

Leading the way for London was Australians Emma McKeon and Minna Atherton, who both won a pair of individual events. McKeon won the women’s 100 butterfly and 200 freestyle, and Atherton claimed the women’s 50 and 200 backstroke. They currently sit second and third in the race for match MVP, awarded to the top scorer at the conclusion of Day 2, with 22.5 and 21.5 respectively. Vladimir Morozov of Iron leads with 23.

Overall the Roar came out on top in 10 of the day’s 19 races, including two of the three relays which score double points in the ISL. Cate Campbell, another Aussie, won the women’s 50 free and also had the fastest split on their winning women’s 4×100 free relay, and Brazilian Guilherme Guido topped the men’s 50 back field and also provided a key lead-off leg on the men’s 4×100 medley relay

“It’s been fantastic,” said Roar coach Peter Bishop. “So impressed with the team. So impressed with the start we’ve got here. It’s only day one though, another big day coming tomorrow.”

Bishop felt that once the club got on a roll, each victory gave them more confidence heading into the next one.

“That’s what happens. We have a really great team. We’ve come together from all around the world, we’ve come together and gelled in about two or three days. And the energy’s just built within. And we’re winning the points score, so it’s fantastic.”

American Ryan Murphy was the top point-scorer for the LA Current, compiling 19.5 that included a win in the men’s 200 back and a runner-up finish in the 50 back. Down by 25 with only one event remaining, their quartet of Nathan Adrian, Ryan Held, Matt Grevers and Michael Chadwick pulled out the victory in the men’s 4×100 free relay to bring the gap down by six.

Iron had a flying start to the match, winning three of the first five events before slowly falling behind the two leading clubs. They sit third with 186 points, 48 back of LA.

Morozov managed to top all point-getters by winning the men’s 50 free, 50 breast, and producing a key leg on their free relay that placed third. Team captain Katinka Hosszu also had a strong start to her ISL career, placing first in the women’s 400 IM, third in the 200 back, and sixth in the 50 back for a total of 18 points.

NY Breaker captain and co-owner Michael Andrew led his club with 15 points, racing a total of five times that included a pair of fourth place finishes in the men’s 50 free and 100 fly.

“I’m happy to do what I can for the team,” said Andrew in a poolside interview during one of the breaks. “Some good races, some very painful races, but we learn from it and do what we can to get better for the next one.”

The Breakers trail Iron by 55 points heading into Day 2.

Team Standings Through Day 1:

  • London Roar, 253.0
  • LA Current, 234.0
  • Iron, 186.0
  • NY Breakers, 131.0

Day 1 Winners:

  • Women’s 100 Butterfly – Emma McKeon, London Roar – 55.91
  • Men’s 100 Butterfly – Tom Shields, LA Current – 49.50
  • Women’s 50 Breaststroke – Alia Atkinson, Iron – 29.31
  • Men’s 50 Breaststroke – Vladimir Morozov, Iron – 26.15
  • Women’s 400 Individual Medley – Katinka Hosszu, Iron – 4:26.32
  • Men’s 400 Individual Medley – Andrew Seliskar, LA Current – 4:06.30
  • Women’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay – London Roar (Ottesen, McKeon, Wattel, C.Campbell) – 3:27.90
  • Men’s 200 Backstroke – Ryan Murphy, LA Current – 1:49.87
  • Women’s 200 Backstroke – Minna Atherton, London Roar – 2:00.58
  • Men’s 50 Freestyle – Vladimir Morozov, Iron – 20.93
  • Women’s 50 Freestyle – Cate Campbell, London Roar – 23.33
  • Men’s 4×100 Medley Relay – London Roar (Guido, Prigoda, Lanza, Chalmers) – 3:23.65
  • Women’s 200 Freestyle – Emma McKeon, London Roar – 1:53.58
  • Men’s 200 Freestyle – Alexander Graham, London Roar – 1:41.58
  • Women’s 50 Backstroke – Minna Atherton, London Roar – 25.99
  • Men’s 50 Backstroke – Guilherme Guido, London Roar – 23.06
  • Women’s 200 Breaststroke – Annie Lazor, LA Current – 2:20.05
  • Men’s 200 Breaststroke – Matthew Wilson, London Roar – 2:03.93
  • Men’s 4×100 Freestyle Relay – LA Current (Adrian, Held, Grevers, Chadwick) – 3:08.00

About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.

Key Dates:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

ISL

Oct 19 19

NY Breakers swim star Michael Andrew makes ISL debut in Texas

by ZwemZa

Michael Andrew (ISL)

Over 100 Olympians are represented by the ISL, including 41 Olympic gold medals from the 2016 Olympic Games.

Competitive swimmers in the United States typically all follow the same path. After high school, they will head to college in the NCAA, and after that, shoot to make the Olympic team. If they fall short of that goal, many will retire while still in their early 20s.

Michael Andrew has taken a completely different route.

He was homeschooled from a young age, trained by his father in a two-lane pool built in their backyard, and after immense success that included 32 US National Age Group Records, he turned professional shortly after his 14th birthday. That made him the youngest American swimmer in history to do so.

Rather than go the traditional college rout, Andrew sought out a career making a living by racing very frequently, signing endorsement deals, and promoting both through his various social media channels.

Now 20, the development of the new professional International Swimming League, the first of its kind in the sport, has come along at the perfect time for the South Dakota native who now resides in California.

“I’m thrilled that I get this opportunity early in my career, and I’m incredibly grateful for it,” said Andrew in an interview. “Beyond the ISL being very exciting for my career, I firmly believe it’s going to impact the sport in a massive way.”

Along with the league being a perfect fit for Andrew’s career, he’s even more excited for the opportunity it will bring other athletes in the sport and the potential growth it will give for swimming in general.

“I’m excited to see it give other athletes opportunities as well to earn (a) legitimate income from swimming professionally,” he said. “I believe the ISL is exactly what swimming needs to become a household sport. A sport that can be seen and followed all year, every year. It’s so unique and will give swimmers the exposure they need, and it allows for current fans and new viewers to enjoy the sport we know and love.”

The unique path Andrew has taken has forced him to do a few things: swim often, and swim fast, every time. And a lot of the competitions he competes in are short course meters, the same format of the ISL. These three factors give him an instant advantage over a lot of his competitors.

“I definitely believe training the way that I do, and competing very often with multiple events will help me in the ISL,” he said, referencing his Ultra Short Race Pace Training. “I still believe we (as a team) need to be wise with our race selection and scheduling. Ultimately that’s what will win competitions, but I do think as an individual I can thrive in this format.”

And like many other members of the ISL have noted, Andrew thinks that short course swimming is just plain more entertaining than long course. That, coupled with the focus on team scoring that has never before been used before in professional swimming, is what is getting the five-time Short Course World Champion excited to get going.

“I personally love swimming long course meters, but can’t deny the fact that short course swimming is simply put, more exciting,” he said. “The team-based scoring is the biggest factor in creating hype. I think it’s awesome.”

After forgoing college, he now gets the chance to swim on a club, race for his teammates, and challenge for titles.

“I love being able to compete for a team and working as a group to get points. It’s new in the pro world of swimming. I believe a major part of why NCAA swimming is so exciting is because of the team atmosphere and dual meet style competitions. The ISL is a much more advanced, professional version of those crazy fun matchups.”

And speaking of matchups, there are a few friendly rivals who Andrew has his eye on.

“Always love getting to race Vlad,” he said when asked about Vladimir Morozov, who he has faced numerous times in recent years at various competitions around the world. “He’s an incredible athlete and a friend of mine.”

“I’m also excited to have my friend Bruno Fratus joining (the) ISL with London Roar. He’ll add to the thrill in the skins races (the three-round 50 freestyle 8 to 4 to 2 eliminator). Bruno and I have raced skins together long course and it’ll be fun to go at it in short course.”

About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.

Key Dates:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

ISL

Oct 19 19

Ramsamy and Gallagher honored at ANOC awards

by ZwemZa

(Twitter)

South African swimming featured prominently at the 2019 ANOC Awards, which honored the commitment to the sport and outstanding athlete performances from five international multi-sport events.

The Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) held the sixth edition of the annual awards ceremony at the Katara Cultural Village in Doha, Qatar on Friday and top South African swimmer Erin Gallagher was named Best Female Athlete of the African Games, which was held in Casablanca in August. 

Veteran sports administrator and Honorary Life President of Swimming South Africa, Dr Sam Ramsamy, was honoured for his contribution to the Olympic Movement. 

The ANOC Awards recognise the achievements of the National Olympic Committees and its athletes as well as members of the Olympic family. 

Gallagher was Team South Africa’s shining star at the African Games where she won a total of 10 medals, three individual gold medals in the 50 and 100m freestyle and the 50m backstroke and two more silver for good measure. To add to her haul, she won five gold medals in the relays. 

Rounding off her stunning performance in Casablanca, Gallagher set South African records in the 50m butterfly and the 50m freestyle and became the first South African woman to dip below 25 seconds in the 50m freestyle with a time of 24.95.  

Swimming SA (SSA) Chief Executive Officer, Shaun Adriaanse congratulated Ramsamy and Gallagher for the accolades. 

“Dr Ramsamy has been a bulwark to South African swimming and the Olympic movement for decades, and as SSA we are proud to call him one of our own,” Adriaanse said. 

“Erin (Gallagher) has established herself as one of the stalwarts of South African swimming and is spearheading the resurgence in female swimming. We would like to thank both Dr Ramsamy and Gallagher for their service to the sport in the country.”

Supplied by Swimming South Africa

Oct 18 19

MVP Battle, sprint showdowns, heading into ISL Texas match

by ZwemZa

Over 100 Olympians are represented by the ISL, including 41 Olympic gold medals from the 2016 Olympic Games.

The first two matches in the inaugural season of the International Swimming League are in the books, and were a great success drawing rave reviews from the athletes and spectators.

After the same four clubs competed in Indianapolis and Naples, Group A, it is now time for the other half of the ISL to get in on the action.

Lewisville Storylines

  • Skins Races Matter: The Group B clubs had the benefit of watching the first two matches, giving them a chance to get a feel for how things played out, what worked and what didn’t, and what their plan of attack will be when the time comes.

So what did they learn? The most prevalent storyline that came out of Indy and Naples was how important the match-ending skins races are. The three-round 50 freestyle eliminator (8-4-2) is worth triple the points of a regular event, and it was the key reason for Energy Standard turning a relatively close first match into a blowout, and then for them to come from over 30 points down to beat the Cali Condors in  a magical ending to the second match.

  • Sprint Showdown – Men’s: One of the marquee matchups for the next two competitions will be Kyle Chalmers versus Vladimir Morozov in the men’s sprint freestyle events. Chalmers, a 21-year-old Australian who rose to stardom when he won the gold medal in the 100 free at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, has historically been better in the long course pool, and is someone who always performs when it matters most. Morozov is quite the opposite. The 27-year-old Russian has become arguably the best male short course swimmer in the world, and has an incredible ability to perform in consecutive matches. 

Their two styles will collide in the ISL, as there will be a lot on the line, but also fast-paced sessions with a lot of racing back-to-back in the small pool.

  • Sprint Showdown – Women’s: Sarah Sjostrom was a dominant force in the first two matches, going a perfect 6-for-6 in the female sprint free events between the 50, 100, and the skins event. However, the athletes set to compete in Lewisville promise to make these races much more competitive. 

Australian sisters Cate and Bronte Campbell will race for the London Roar, both individual World Champions who are consistently among the world’s best every year, and then the last two 50 free Olympic champions Ranomi Kromowidjojo (2012) and Pernille Blume (2016) will race for Iron and the NY Breakers respectively.

  • MVP Battle: In the first two matches, the race for MVP, awarded to the athlete who compiles the most points for his or her team, was straightforward. Sjostrom sailed to the win in Indianapolis, and then Caeleb Dressel edged her out when he made his debut in Naples. Neither of them was a surprise winner. However, heading into Lewisville this battle looks to be much more wide open. 

The first name that comes to mind is Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, the ‘Iron Lady’, who has made a living competing every single weekend while racing (and mostly winning) an insane number of events. However, Hosszu is not a sprint freestyler, and the points available in the skins is so significant that it will hurt her chances of claiming MVP. She cannot be counted out, but will have to pile up a lot of points throughout the match to build a lead big enough to hold off the top finishers in the skins.

Two men who won’t have that problem are Morozov and American Michael Andrew. Both are very versatile across all four strokes, like Hosszu, but specialize in the 50s and 100s rather than the 200s and 400s. This will give them a better opportunity to earn extra points, not only in the skins, but also on relays.

  • LA Current Male Backstrokers: The LA Current boast a formidable club of Americans, and headlining the team are Matt Grevers and Ryan Murphy, two of the best male backstrokers in the world. They represent the last two Olympic gold medalists in the 100 back (Grevers in 2012, Murphy in 2016), and this 1-2 punch should give them a massive boost compared to their opponents. Similar to what we saw from the Cali Condor women with Olivia Smoliga and Kylie Masse, they should be able to put the Current medley relays in first and second place right off the hop as well.

About the ISL: The International Swimming League is a global professional swimming competition launching in 2019 with teams in both Europe (Italy-based Aqua Centurions, France-based Energy Standard, Hungary-based Iron, and London Roar) and the United States (Cali Condors, DC Trident, LA Current, NY Breakers). The inaugural season will include matches in Indianapolis IN, Naples ITA, Lewisville TX, Budapest HUN, College Park MD, London GBR, and the championship finale at the 12,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV. The ISL aims to create groundbreaking projects, in both form and content, exploring the full potential of competitive swimming while securing sustainable commercial growth in the sport.

Key Dates:

5-6 October 2019 – IU Natatorium, Indianapolis, USA

12-13 October 2019 – Aquatic Swimming Complex, Naples, Italy

19-20 October 2019 – The LISD Westside Aquatic Center, Lewisville, Texas, USA

26-27 October 2019 – Duna Area, Budapest, Hungary

16-17 November 2019 – Natatorium at the Eppley Recreation Center, Maryland, USA

23-24 November 2019 – London Aquatic Centre, Great Britain

20-21 December 2019 – Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas, USA

ISL

Oct 18 19

Top award for SA swimmer, Erin Gallagher

by ZwemZa

DOHA, QATAR – OCTOBER 17: Erin Gallagher of South Africa, Best Female Athlete of African Games 2019 poses with her award during the ANOC Awards 2019 on Day One of the XXIV ANOC General Assembly Qatar 2019 on October 17, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images for ANOC)

SA swimmer Erin Gallagher scooped the best female athlete award handed out by the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) in Doha on Thursday night‚ a Swimming South Africa (SSA) official said on Friday.

Gallagher was judged to the outstanding women’s competitor at the African Games in Morocco — across all codes — after winning five gold medals in the pool.

Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Sam Ramsamy was given a lifetime achievement award at the gala event‚ staged alongside the first World Beach Games.

Erin Gallagher celebrates after winning the women's 100 meter freestyle during day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool in Durban on April 08, 2019.

Erin Gallagher celebrates after winning the women’s 100 meter freestyle during day 1 of the SA National Aquatic Championships at Kings Park Swimming Pool in Durban on April 08, 2019.
Image: Steve Haag
Oct 18 19

‘A line was crossed,’ says parliament over Bishops sex scandal

by ZwemZa

Fiona Viotti is under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct with pupils at Bishops in Cape Town. Image: Facebook/Fiona Viotti

Parliament’s basic education committee has condemned the alleged actions of former Bishops teacher and water polo coach Fiona Viotti, who is accused of having had a sexual relationship with a pupil, saying that regardless of the boy’s age, “a line was still crossed”.

Committee chair Bongiwe Mbinqo-Gigaba said that despite reports that the pupil who is reported to have had an affair with the 32-year-old is over the age of 18, the incident was unethical and abusive.

“Any educator has an ethical responsibility to how she conducts herself. Even if a learner is above the age of consent, there is still a lot of dynamics at play and he remains a school child,” she said.

Mbinqo-Gigaba said that boys who had been affected “over a number of years” should come forward and feel no shame.

“We commend the school for encouraging the boys to speak up and attempting to get to the bottom of this. We call on parents to speak to their children and make them realise that there is nothing shameful in coming forward if they had experienced the same treatment from the teacher.”

She alluded to an alarming trend of sexual relationships between students and teachers that has emerged in South Africa, making a point of noting that boys are vulnerable too. She said that a meeting with the South African Council of Educators (SACE) had called for urgent intervention from government.

“At that meeting, SACE was clear that irrespective of how small the age gap between a learner and an educator might be, there is a line that should not be crossed. He remains a learner and she remains an educator,” she said.

Dan Meyer | TimesLive

 

Oct 18 19

Bishops teacher: ‘She was a very sweet girl, so we are all very shocked’, parents say amid sex claims

by ZwemZa

Fiona Viotti is seen with members of the Bishops water polo team. (Supplied)

The community of Bishops Diocesan College in Rondebosch, Cape Town is reeling in the wake of allegations of serious misconduct by a former female teacher, as 140 pupils prepare to write their matric exams at the school.

The prestigious boys’ school is investigating allegations against ex-sports coach Fiona Viotti, regarding an improper relationship with an 18-year-old matric pupil.

She has resigned, but school principal Guy Pearson said earlier this week that several boys “have been affected over a number of years”.

He asked for pupils to come forward and assist them with their investigation into the claims.

She also resigned from her managerial position at Western Province Schools Water Polo last week.

Viotti is the daughter of Dave Mallett, who is a history teacher at the school and coaches the first team rugby side, and the granddaughter of Anthony Mallett, the school’s headmaster from 1964 to 1982, Sunday Times reported.

While speculation on what happened is rife, several parents of old boys, speaking to News24 on condition of anonymity, said that the news had sparked much debate and concern.

“I think it is tragic for everyone concerned,” one parent said.

‘We feel for her parents’

Another parent, whose two sons attended the school six years ago, said the news had come as a shock to her.

“Fiona was my one son’s history teacher for two years… She was a very sweet girl so we are all very shocked to hear what had been happening,” she said.

“We really feel for her parents, her hubby’s parents and also all the boys and their families.”

One mother though, whose boys matriculated in 2007 and 2010, said some of the pupils were no “angels”.

“When we were at Bishops [some] boys took a picture up the skirt of a Maths teacher and circulated it. There were severe consequences, as I recall,” she said.

“However, no person in a position of trust or authority should abuse that, be they male or female. #MeToo cuts both ways.”

A fourth parent said that, while she did not know whether Viotti had been teaching those who were making the allegations, no one should get involved with someone over whom they had an influence.

“If she had no dealings with him in any way, through sport or academics, in a way… it’s a very grey area.”

She made reference to French President Emmanuel Macron, whose wife Brigitte was his drama teacher in high school.

‘We expect the school to do all that is necessary’

Bishops has a long history of excellent academics in Cape Town, having been established in 1849 by Bishop Robert Gray, with many famous old boys coming from its ranks.

They include Democratic Alliance (DA) MP James Selfe, entrepreneur and former astronaut Mark Shuttleworth, former Proteas cricket star Herschelle Gibbs and businessman and founder of Pick ‘n Pay Raymond Ackerman – patron of the Old Diocesan Union (ODU or Bishops Old Boys).

When considering applications, the school favours boys with all-round talents in academics, leadership, sport and culture.

Sons of old boys and siblings of current pupils are given priority, although admission is not guaranteed, according to Parent24.

Transformation and diversity are also determining factors for admission.

ODU chair Adam Pike said on Thursday that they were passionate alumni and cared for the well-being and reputation of the school.

“Accordingly, we expect the school to do all that is necessary to fulfil our expectations. To date, the union is satisfied that the school is pursuing its processes with sufficient vigour,” he said.

News24 asked Pike whether old boys had raised any concerns, queries or suggestions in relation to the allegations.

He was also asked whether any old boys had shared similar experiences with the same teacher or another teacher, and if this had been forwarded to the person heading the school’s inquiry.

‘She’s under a lot of stress’

Pike said the ODU was institutionally and legally separate from the school.

“I am certain that once the inquiry has run its course, the findings will be studied and treated in the most fitting and appropriate manner. As for the rest, the matters that you are enquiring about are school-related issues,” Pike said.

Pearson said the school was doing everything it could to ensure the mental well-being of pupils, staff, and others affected by the “very sad events”.

He appealed for respect of the dignity and privacy of the people affected while the investigation continued.

The school has also made psychologists, employed by the Bishops Support Unit, as well as external clinical psychologists and psychiatrists available to any boy or family member that may have been affected by the events.

Viotti’s lawyer William Booth said earlier this week that his client was very stressed over the situation.

“She’s under a lot of stress,” Booth said on Monday. “The family are helping her. They are making sure she can manage all of this that is going on at the moment.”

He denied claims that she had left the country.

Viotti’s father, Dave, sent an email to parents earlier this week saying they were “devastated”, but would be “soldiering on”, TimesLive reported. He thanked the community for their support.

No police case has been laid, Western Cape police confirmed on Thursday.

Jenna Etheridge and Jenni Evans | News24

Oct 18 19

British Swimming coaches nominated for Tokyo 2020

by ZwemZa

Mel Marshall (FCN)

Eight of Britain’s best swimming coaches have been nominated by British Swimming to take on key roles with Team GB during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games next summer.

After a successful World Championship campaign over in South Korea this summer, Dave Hemmings, David McNulty, Jol Finck, Mel Marshall and Steve Tigg have all been named as coaches and will support the team both during the preparation camp, and on pool deck on competition days at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

At the global championships in Gwangju each of the five aforementioned coaches enjoyed success with their individual athletes, as well as taking responsibility for relay quartets, with Mel Marshall and Steve Tigg helping to deliver gold and bronze in the Men’s 4x100m Medley and Mixed 4x100m Medley respectively.

Supporting them will be Euan Dale and Lisa Bates, the former gaining further international experience in South Korea this summer, whilst the latter performed the same role at Rio 2016 and at the Europeans in Glasgow 2018. In addition, Ellesmere College’s Alan Bircher will support GB’s open water swimmers when they compete at Odaiba Marine Park.

Of the coaching selections, British Swimming Head Coach Bill Furniss said:

“I would like to congratulate the eight coaches we are nominating to the BOA to work with our Olympic team. All have come through a tough selection process and proved their ability to deliver results in the performance arena. The early appointment of our coaching staff follows the pattern establish in the last Olympic cycle. The coaches will now be an integral part of team development activity as they build relationships with the athletes at camps and competitions in the lead in to the Olympic Games.”

This announcement follows on from confirmation that Chris Spice will take up the role of Team Leader in Tokyo as he did in Rio, with Furniss and Dawn Peart also replicating the Head Coach and Team Manager roles they performed in Brazil.

British Swimming nominated coaches:

Coaches

  • David McNulty, National Centre Bath
  • Melanie Marshall, National Centre Loughborough
  • Steven Tigg, University of Stirling
  • David Hemmings, National Centre Loughborough
  • Jolyon Finck, National Centre Bath

Support Coaches

  • Euan Dale, Millfield School
  • Lisa Bates, Chelsea and Westminster Swimming Club

Marathon Coach

  • Alan Bircher, Ellesmere College Titans

There has also been further good news, with National Centre Loughborough’s Joe Litchfield and Millfield School’s Brodie Williams added to the GB team who will compete at December’s European Short Course Championships. With an initial team of 16 named, a refocusing of resources has allowed two further additions.

Of the confirmation, Team Leader Chris Spice added:

“Both Brodie and Joe made great strides forward in the summer and this will be an opportunity to build on their arena skills and race preparation as we head toward our all-important Olympic year. We have a great team for Glasgow with some experienced World champions and some exciting young talent.  It is by some distance the strongest team that we have selected for this event since I started in this role, and we are all looking forward to racing at home again in Glasgow.”

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