Neville Smith has been involved in aquatics for 27 years as a parent, a coach, administrator and as a journalist having created and managed the website Superswimmer on The Supersport Zone from 1998 until 2010. He has also contributed to numerous international publications. He is currently working at Swimming South Africa.
He is highly regarded both internationally and domestically for his vast knowledge of all aquatic disciplines. He is also a member of the Swimming World Magazine international panel that selects the World and Regional Swimmers of the year. Smith was formerly Vice-President - Africa of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the IMSHOF.
• FINA Open Water Swimming Referee
• FINA Accredited Open Water Swimming Lecturer
• Member of the SSA Open Water Swimming Technical Committee 2002 -2012
Smith has also attended the following championship events as the African representative or the South African representative:
• 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games
• 2008 Good Luck Games - Beijing
• 2008 FINA World Open Water Championships - Seville
• 2007 FINA World Swimming Championships – Melbourne
He has also attended the following championship events in the capacity of Team South African Manager and/or Coach:
• 2006 FINA World Open Water Championships - Naples
• 2005 FINA World Swimming Championships - Montreal
• 2004 FINA World Open Water Championships - Dubai
• FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup, LEN OWS Cup & French Cup 2002 - 2008 (Italy, France, Monte Carlo, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, UAE, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada)
• SA OWS Squad Team Manager / Coach
• Mare Nostrum Series 2001 – 2007 SA OWS Squad Team Manager / Coach
• 4th SA Open Water Championships: Albert Falls Dam. April 2012 Event Director & Technical Manager
• 1st SA Open Water Championships: Mofam River Lodge. February 2008 Event Director & Technical Manager
• IPC World Championships: Durban. December 2006 OWS Event Director & OWS Technical Manager
Swimming South Africa Accomplishments
At SSA he accomplished the following from 2004 until 2008:
• Coordinated and Managed South African National Open Water Swimming Program
• Interaction with key internal and external partners ensuring that the strategic and operational direction pathway for the discipline was maintained.
• Close work with Government Departments & formulated document that has been adopted by Dept. Water Affairs & Forestry for the “recreational use waterways in RSA” and details included in the Events Act of 2010.
Responsible for compiling, administration and management of budgeting associated with entire operational aspect of the SSA OWS Program.
• Managed and monitored coaching programs for Elite & Development athletes in conjunction with personal coaches collaboratively establishing strategies for individual athletes. Program has proved to be highly successful with my direct involvement resulting in two athletes gaining Olympic qualification in the inaugural Olympic Marathon Swimming Event in Beijing in 2008.
• Introduced national squad system – ensuring clear development pathways for all athlete from Talent ID through Development to Elite levels with clearly stipulated criteria (LTAD), ensuring that provision was made for open water swimming athletes at National and Regional Training Centres.
• Formulation of Selection Criteria for all open water swimming national squads and national teams in conjunction with SSAOWSTC.
• Initiated, organised and managed a program of national open water swimming events throughout South Africa to ensure uniform standards were maintained to afford athletes the opportunity to achieve the stipulated criteria requirements to enter the open water swimming program.
• Organised and managed open water swimming development and performance programs for all national squad members (support staff, coaches & athletes) throughout the season. Camp programs included Sports Science, Sports Medicine, Video Stroke Analysis, Media Training & Relations, Team Building Exercises, Open Water Specific Training, Open Water Swimming Techniques, Life Skills, etc. A mentorship program has been successfully introduced. Over 400 individuals reached per season (2004 – 2008).
• Senior Coach and Manager for national open water swimming squad and teams to numerous international events including World Championship events, Continental Championship events, FINA Marathon Swimming World Cup events, Mare Nostrum, LEN and French Cup events since 2001.
• Transfer of discipline skills to all Affiliates and members ensuring high event management and safety standards are maintained. Compiled handbooks and educational presentations pertinent to local conditions for open water swimming Coaching, Technical Officials, Referees, Federation Events and Event Management Protocol.
• Compiled all media releases pertaining to the discipline o.b.o Federation in conjunction with media liaison company and have done extensive expert television commentary for the national broadcaster SABC program Telkom Splash & for the subscription channel DSTV/Supersport program Superswimmer.
• Best demographic transformation statistics with athletes, technical officials and squad support staff out of all the five disciplines that fall under the Swimming South Africa umbrella.
• Raised profile of discipline nationally – open water swimming, fastest growing recreational sport in South Africa (BMI 07/05).
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- International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame website
- World Open Water Swimming Association
- Midmar Mile