Ethan du Preez
- By: Gary Bonney
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/ethan-du-preez
Ethan du Preez, 17, said his mother Melanie has been his rock since his parents divorced a few years ago.
“My mother is doing her best to put food on the table for my brother and I.
“Some days are better and some are worse.
“I train on average five-to-six hours every day.
“It’s a physically demanding sport.
“And yes, it does make you hungry,” he said.
“As you grow closer to adulthood, you realise that these obstacles are the unfortunate part of life.
“When I was younger, little did I know.
“Swimming good times is not enough if you cannot get to the competition due to lack of funding.
“It’s a frightening reality of our times.
“It’s not easy. But staying positive is key.
“I have goals I want to achieve and work hard each and every day towards them.
“This year I am taking a gap year from school to focus fully on training for the Tokyo Olympics,” said the Milnerton High School pupil.
Ethan’s mother, Melanie du Preez said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a great toll on our financial situation, as I’m sure it has for many others.
“It really has put us in a hard place, we had to adjust our diet a great deal with regard to not being able to buy the necessary food required to sustain an active athlete, as well as many other cut-backs that had to be made to get us through.
“I’m very concerned, because it has put a fair amount of extra pressure worrying about the financing.
“As a mom, I always want to be able to make sure that my children can follow their dreams and provide them with everything they need, so the fact that I am battling is very stressful and worrying,” she said.
SA swimming sensation Chad le Clos has taken the up-and-coming swimmer under his wing, however the teen’s Olympic dream hangs in the balance.
Le Clos has been training with Ethan and has provided accommodation at his Durban base.
Le Clos said: “For me, giving back to the sport is important.
“Your results make you a role model, but it is your responsibility to be the right role model.
“When I was young the so-called role models weren’t exactly the same with me.
“I want to make a positive impact on these young athletes from the next generation.
“Whether they beat me or not in the pool, I want to be a positive role model for them.
“It is incredibly important for him to have progression in his career.
“He has qualified for Tokyo at this very young age, which is fantastic.
“He is on the right path.
“As long as he keeps enjoying and loving what he does, he has a great chance to succeed.”
To make matters worse, Ethan’s club, Cybersmart Aquatics, who have been covering most of his expenses have found it challenging to keep up with the increasing costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of Ethan’s coaches, Balint Richter said he was one of the bright prospects of South Africa’s future swimming champions.
“We at Cybersmart Aquatics are supporting him in every way we can and we believe that he has arrived to a level in his career where professional circumstances need to be created for him to be in competition against the best swimmers in the world.
“Ethan is a very dedicated, hard-working and highly-focused young athlete, who is willing to do everything it takes to fulfil his dreams and become a world-class swimmer”
- Jul 09, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Good luck Ethan!" - Anonomous
- Jul 09, 2021 - R 500.00
- "Keep up the good work. oupa/ouma" - Ernest du Preez