Every South African a Swimmer

Swimming South Africa Honouring the Legacy of Frank van der Horst, Sport Administrator and Activist Par Excellence

Swimming South Africa Honouring the Legacy of Frank van der Horst, Sport Administrator and Activist Par Excellence
Frank van der Horst has undoubtedly been one of the greatest leaders of sport in our country, particularly during the dark era of Apartheid. He was a highly principled leader dedicated to the ethos of a non-racial society where all are equal and in the case of sport, access to equal resources and facilities for the development of potential in the spirit of true sportsmanship. There can be no question on van der Horst’s legacy on building sports organisations that transcends political beliefs, non-sexist, non-racial, driven by values-based leadership seeking a single identity for our nation. Frank’s passing is most certainly a huge loss and will leave a void as many have sought his wise council right up to him passing on Monday 8 July 2024. The President of Swimming South Africa pays tribute to Van Der Horst who had a particularly long association with the sport through his comradeship with Morgan Naidoo.

For us in Swimming, van der Horst was more than a co-administrator, he embodied the very essence of leadership with a high degree of integrity, exercised diligence and care, aspirational in terms of quality sports management, and his consultative nature an outstanding trait of his DNA. His steadfast adherence to principles and policies of all organisations he served was a hallmark as an administrator based on two fundamentals of equality and fairness. These principles were so evident when he was the leader of the non-racial sports movement. He was undoubtedly a leader at the right time in history. Many a sports leader in today’s environment can benefit a great deal by taking a leaf out Van Der Horst’s book who was exceptional in putting the athlete first, governed with a high degree of ethical conduct and compliance, with unity and consultation his personal traits are to be admired.

As we read the many tributes, from the State President to the ordinary citizen, one can only admire this great leader of our time who has touched many lives. Frank's journey was surely extraordinary and with tenacity and his fearless pursuit for equality remains embodied in our memories forever.

Comrade Frank, we are because you were! Hamba Khahle, Lala Noxolo, we salute you! 


Photo Credit: Netwerk24/Facebook

Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa.

Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in South Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through Learn to Swim programmes; providing healthy exercise to South Africans of all ages and races; recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions; and promoting competition and athlete development to the highest level. Swimming South Africa is kindly supported by SASCOC, National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Arena and Sport & Recreation SA.