Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release
Putz has Tokyo 2020 in his
Durban – With a plethora of medals from national and
international competition, intellectually impaired swimmer Aaron
Putz says he is willing to swap all of those achievements for a
shot at the Tokyo Paralympic Games next year.
Putz, who has been diagnosed with autism, has been swimming
since he was twelve years old and has come on in leaps and
bounds which has led to his inclusion in the KZN Department of
Sport and Recreation-backed Elite Athlete Development Programme.
He continues his rise this week at the National Swimming
Championships at the Kings Park Pool in Durban with an eye on
working towards Tokyo 2020 qualification.
“We want to keep getting better and this week is vital in terms
of him qualifying for Tokyo,” his coach Angela van Heerden said.
“We have to track his times closely and make sure that we are
always improving ahead of the big international events later in
Putz is in for a whirl-wind 2019 as he prepares for the Para
World Series in Scotland later this month and then focuses on
the INAS World Championships in Brisbane.
Van Heerden and Putz have been putting in the hard yards at
Auqazone in Hillcrest and Putz’s coach knows that they will have
their work cut out for them.
“Our goal is to try and get Aaron within a second of the Tokyo
qualifying time this week,” she explained.
“Aaron is always improving and in the last two-and-a-half years
he has continued to beat his life-time bests.
“He keeps working hard but we know that there is so much more
work to do if he wants to qualify for Tokyo.
“Out of the pool, the team at Prime and the EADP have been great
in giving him his space to train and prepare.”
Putz is currently the country’s top ranked SASAA II male swimmer
in the S14 category and won the 2018 award for Sportsman of the
Year with a Disability.
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EADP swimmer Aaron
Putz is working incredibly hard with his team and at Prime HPI
as he lines up qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games
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