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Michael Zoetmulder, Energetic Visionary In South Africa

He really knows how to put on an event. He really takes care of the athletes – the pros, the masters swimmers and the young kids,” said world champion Petar Stoychev. “His events are great down in South Africa.”

That is very high and well-deserved praise about Michael Zoetmulder by a pro swimmer who has traveled to dozens of countries for numerous events.

And looking at his track record of innovation and success, Petar is absolutely right.

Michael is energetic, enthusiastic and entertaining. His vision for promoting the sport in unique ways and making it fun for swimmers of all ages and abilities as well as designing events that are accessible to the media are exactly what the sport needs.

Michael established Zports in 2007 and has been on the fast track – very fast – since then. Zports has focused on events in the Eastern Cape, but Michael has a belief system and vision that mesh well with open water swimming.

I have witnessed how sport benefits each and every one of us. I believe that sport strengthens character and contributes to mental and physical well being. Most sports teach the lessons of teamwork, perseverance, patience and discipline. The inherent challenges promote self-confidence and self-esteem.

Zports exists to encourage and facilitate excellence. We want to provide an avenue for athletes with the talent and desire to achieve their full potential. There are individuals for whom ‘full potential’ means competing with the best in the world. We must encourage these individuals because they are capable of a level of excellence that can inspire all members of our nation to fulfill their own potential. We hope that by encouraging participation, personal challenge and the pursuit of excellence, we will foster healthier and happier individuals, stronger communities and a better country.”

Michael and his team at Zports owns and organizes the following events:

1. Ocean Racing Series, Africa’s largest family lifestyle beach event.

2. Nelson Mandela Bay Bell Buoy Challenge, an international 7K ocean swim in Algoa Bay.

3. Nelson Mandela Bay Surf Ski Classic, an international 26K surf ski race in Algoa Bay.

4. Ocean Racing Series, Africa’s largest family lifestyle beach event.

5. SPAR Redhouse River Mile, South Africa’s oldest open water swimming race.

6. Willows Challenge.

7. Splash Festival, co-organizers of the Festival with Magnetic Storm and Frontier Events.<
8. Triathlon Summer Series, the Eastern Cape’s most popular triathlon series takes place over 3 race days in the December holidays and is hosted in Nelson Mandela Bay, Jeffreys Bay and Cape St Francis.

A man on the go and with a vision, Michael is just getting started.

Photo courtesy of MyPE.

Copyright © 2011 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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