Zamble College had never participated in the Boronzo county divisional swimming competitions. Even in the previous year, the college had only participated in basketball, cricket and soccer competition. John Tall, who was Zamble College sports’ director, had never thought of introducing swimming at any one time. A number of students who thought that it could be a viable sport had approached the college administration on several occasions with the idea of introducing the sport but to no avail.
One of the students, Johan Brundel, always said that he would at one time partake in a swimming competition even if the school did not want to introduce it. Johan loved swimming. He was wedge shaped, tall and lean. Originally coming from the Netherlands, the water nation, he had participated in several amateur swimming competitions before moving to the US for his studies. He was close to the sports director. He had tried on several occasions to implore Mr. John to introduce the sport but there was nothing forthcoming.
“Sir, I am thinking of participating in the divisional swimming competitions this year. Like I told you, sir, I have a swimming background and I think I can perform exemplarily at the divisional level,” Johan said to the sports’ director.
“Young man, I told you before and I am telling you again, the school is not about to introduce the sport because we do not even have a standard swimming pool. What we have within the school compound is an R&R swimming pool that will limit you a lot. Be patient, I am working on it with the college’s administration to construct one,” John replied.
“But sir, like I mentioned, I do not need the training facilities of the school. I have a professional pool that I have access to everyday and I will be training there. Please, find it in your heart to introduce the sport for this season. I know that you have the final say on this, sir!” Johan continued.
“Okay, son; I will try and talk to the administration.”
Johan kept on practicing whenever he had time. He used to train at the TomZone swimming pool. That is an Olympic standards swimming pool. It is 50 meters long, employing all the laid down standards of the sport. Johan worked hard day in day out. He hoped that in case the teacher allowed him to play a part in the divisional competitions, he would give his best and never disappoint.
Johan just had a few friends. Most of them were college girls. They loved him because he was well built. He was disciplined and always made sure that he kept in top swimming condition. He would invite his friends for recreational swimming and most of them admired his swimming prowess. In fact, he influenced several students to demand for swimming to be introduced into the college’s sports schedule because they knew that Johan would definitely perform well.
One afternoon, Johan invited a few friends to join him on a swimming expedition. It was a Thursday. It was a holiday and they had a whole free day. What Johan wanted was a fun day with the friends, just to have a good time; yes, just to introduce them to his world. Johan introduced them to a few of his friends at the TomZone Company and paid a few bucks so they could be part of this rare experience.
That was Johan’s day. It was his time to convince his college mates that he was a qualified swimmer; that he could outperform every one of them on the sport. Expectedly, that is what he did; he outperformed both the gentlemen and the ladies. He introduced a short competition moment which he actually dominated. He won from competition 1-10. His college friends loved it, they knew he was not in their league; they knew he would beat many more.
One of the friends that he had invited was a former county finalist. His name is Phelix. Though he did not win or feature among the top five, he was the best in the division, he had outperformed many competitors. Phelix had friends and enemies alike. He didn’t care. The school administration liked him though all his swimming background was more alienated, it was more from a nearby college. He was a well-known swimmer and so the administration loved him. Not because he was doing anything serious for the school, but simply because he had a name, he had a super following, he was revered by many; he was an ‘icon’.
This was Johan’s moment; it was his time to convince the respected chap that he had something to offer. Anyway, he had beaten him more than ten times in an informal competition.
“Johan, today I think I have officially thrown in the towel. You are younger than me and you have exhibited a strong spirit to fight on. There is nothing I can do, but there is a lot I can influence,” Phelix said stepping out of the swimming pool.
“Thanks, man, I believe I have more to offer. I am expecting a costume that is more aerodynamic. I am expecting something that will propel our college to greater heights in swimming. I am giving my all in this! I humbly request you to talk to the administration to allow me to compete in the coming divisional competitions,” Johan said heading for his towel.
Phelix took it upon himself to make sure that he delivered. He had been beaten by Johan, a new student with little or no professional background. Phelix knew that whoever had beaten him in the previous divisional competitions had inferior skills to what Johan presented; maybe he would get competition at the county level.
The next time Phelix met Mr. John, he did not mince his words, and he said it as it was.
“Hi, Phelix, how is it going?”
“I am fine, sir, I had a good time when we had the short break. I made a discovery. It was a baffling one. I believe even more that we should introduce swimming.”
“Phelix, let’s not talk about that now, it is not the first time we are discussing that,” the director interrupted.
“Wait, sir, with all due respect, this is from a factual point of view.”
“So, what you have been saying has not been factual?”
“No no, sir, I was physically involved in this one,” Phelix said.
“So, you have never been involved in what you have been talking about? Okay, just to make this clear, I do not have the authority to introduce the sport before the college builds a swimming pool. I would like to help you or be part of whatever you are saying, but I am not fully convinced,” the director reiterated.
“I can see you are preoccupied, sir, I will talk with you later on this, sir.”
Phelix did not hesitate; he went to Clinton Bass, the college head. They had a previous engagement when the college head wanted to have swimmers for his son’s birthday event. Phelix knew that if he made a breakthrough with Clinton, John would not be a barrier. He explained himself, he said everything he had witnessed, he spoke of his experience with Johan, he was candid, and he was authentic. When he was done, Clinton was smiles, the head was convinced.
Clinton was pacing all over the office, he was thinking, he knew Phelix had something, but he did not know how to introduce it to Mr. John. Phelix was never a joker; he was always to the point.
“Sir, he told me about it too; I have been thinking about it and I think he had a very good point,” Mr. John said closing the office door behind him.
“Oh, okay, so why is he here?”
“Sir, I said that I would talk with him later because he was a bit busy at that moment and I thought it wise to introduce you so that you are not caught unawares,” Phelix said to the college head a bit uneasy.
“Mr. John, what do you think about this?”
“Done, I think we should try it out. If the so called Johan is going to perform, it will be good for us. If he fails terribly, it will be total disrepute,” Mr. John replied.
The three of them agreed to submit Johan’s name for the swimming competition. Yes, true to their agreement, they submitted Johan’s name, it was history, and it was a super feat.
Johan was very happy when he heard about it from Phelix. It was like a dream come true. Johan presented to the college what he needed for the competition when they summoned him to talk with him about the competition. He had a list; he needed a cap, goggles and a swimming suit.
The divisional competition was a thorough one. Most of the competitors had extensive experience. A number of them had competed professionally and were more than certain that they would win. It was a near win for them, they had more serious competitors in their previous competitions; they were doing this for the school. What they did not know is that they had competitions amongst themselves, yes, even before meeting Johan.
“This is the day, it is your day to prove your worth,” Mr. John said headed to meet the basketball team that was busy preparing for the divisional competition at the event venue.
When it was time for the swimming, Johan was available, Johan was ready, he was committed, he was set for the competition, and he was eying gold. Most of the competitors were also confident, each one of them was sure of winning, they did not know about the history of their competitors and therefore, they had no doubts.
Johan won! It was a gold medal for Zamble College, it was Johan’s day, it was his victory, it was their victory, and it was their sport. The little known Zamble College was the winner, they got the trophy, they got the name, and they became an authority.
It was their only gold for the day. Zamble College henceforth competed in the divisional swimming competitions. They built a professional swimming pool and Johan became the head of swimming in the college.