By Gloria Ikegbule
CHAIRMAN of the Lagos State Swimming Association and bureau member of the Nigerian Aquatic Federation, Nseobong Samuel, has condemned the use of life guards as swimming coaches, saying they are the destroyers of competitive swimming in the country.
Rev. Nseobong who spoke during the 1st Inter-school Swimming Gala of the Ikoyi Club swimming Section in Lagos, said life guards were basically trained to save life under water and not to make a champion out of a swimmer being that they are ignorant of swimming techniques.
This he said, was the reason why competitive sports in swimming was not thriving in the country as 98 per cent of schools employed life guards as swimming coaches.
“The problem of aquatic sports is because employers of so-called coaches do not inquire to know who and what they have to employ to do their jobs. A life guard has no knowledge or experience in teaching swimming and no understanding of what aquatic and competitive swimming is all about.
“The fundamental swimming training to give a child is a good swimming technique. Because most children were taught the wrong swimming technique is the reason a lot of them want to run away from swimming because every day they go back home feeling pains all over their body.
He asserted that “I am almost 60 but I still do 40 and 50 length of 60metres pool with joy because the right foundational swimming techniques have been built in me. But when a wrong person trains the right child, he puts a lot of foundational problems in the child such as swimmers shoulder. And the victim can have this pain for life unless they go for surgical operation.”
He said that was why Lagos State had been telling swimming clubs and schools to involve it if they wanted to employ a swimming coach. “We have certified coaches who will lay good swimming foundation for your children and anywhere they go in the world, they will just be improving on their styles,” he pointed out.