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MBABANE – He has made the country proud.

This is the story of Eswatini swimming sensation Luca Fraser, who will be smiling all the way to the bank after getting four medals at the recently-ended eighth Africa Aquatics Zone III championships in Kigali, Rwanda. Fraser travelled to the tournament with young swimmer Kendra McNamara and the association’s interim President and Coach, Welcome Nhlabatsi. They brought home four medals from the championships. Fraser, who was the star of the show, claimed four medals for the country. In recognition of his remarkable achievements, young Luca will receive E24 000 in prize money. He dominated the competition, winning two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze in the championnships held from November 23 to 25, 2023.

According to a well informed source, the money the swimmer will earn is from the government’s financial incentives, which are a token of appreciation for international outstanding performances. “These are normally rewards based on a laid down policy developed by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, through the Eswatini Sport and Recreation Council (ESRC), which all sporting associations are aware of. Luca earned E16 000 in total for the gold; E5 000 per silver; and E3 000 for the bronze medal. This means that the swimmer will walk away with E24 000 for his impressive performance,” said the source.


Fraser thanked his coach, Welcome Nhlabatsi, for believing in him and helping him succeed. “I was definitely feeling the nerves before the race when I saw the other swimmers’ personal best times. But to come out on top and take first-place, I’m over the moon. I want to give a huge shootout to my coach, Welcome, for having faith in me and pushing me to do my best. And of course, a huge thanks to all of our supporters for cheering Kendra and me throughout the competition,” he said. ESA Secretary General Nozipho Mahlalela put it perfectly, referring to a quote by the legendary wrestler Dan Gable which says, ‘Gold medals aren’t made of gold. They are made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts. “This is Luca. His mindset for the sport is spot on. He is not only relying on a natural talent but has also fashioned his mindset to boost his performance. We are proud of him for such an astounding performance. Truth be told, ‘GD6’ never disappoints,” she said.

Mahlalela went on to say the office of the Eswatini Sport and Recreation Council communicated that Luca would be receiving receiving his well-deserved reward. “We are grateful to the Council for this initiative. It encourages our athletes. We also received partial funding for the championships and we are appreciative of the support we have continuously received from them this year,” she added. Meanwhile, Nhlabatsi, who coached Fraser in Rwanda, praised the government’s initiative to reward athletes like Luca. He added that coaches, who play a crucial role in the success of their athletes, should also be recognised for their hard work and dedication. Nhlabatsi emphasised that coaches sacrificed a lot, often foregoing personal time and family commitments, in order to train and support their athletes. He suggested that the government or sports council could acknowledge coaches’ contributions through recognition or incentives to keep them motivated.

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: Exam questions
Should exam questions be in both English and siSwati?