You cannot copy content of this page

#16DaysofActivism: Profiling Kirsty Coventry

As we commemorate the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, 263Chat will profile 16 most influential women in Zimbabwe. The focus will be on their achievements and the contribution they have or are making to uplift society and the country at large.

Background

Kirsty Coventry was born on 16 September 1983 in Harare. After having completed part of her studies at Dominican Convent High School in Zimbabwe, Coventry got a full scholarship to further her education at Auburn University in Alabama where she graduated with a Bachelor of Human Science Hotel and Restaurant Management. As a swimming athlete, Coventry benefited immensely from the state of the art facilities provided at Auburn.

Works

Kirsty is a role model and hugely inspirational figure for many women and young people across Africa and the world of sport. Her memberships on the International Olympic Committee, World Anti-Doping Agency, International Surfing Federation and (FINA) are playing a key part in expanding the global Olympic movement and the development of sport.

Affectionately known as Zimbabwe’s ‘National Treasure’ and ‘Golden Girl’, Kirsty continues to invest her time and experience in Africa. She is a member of the ANOCA  Athlete’s Commission, Vice-President of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, provides coaching and swimming lessons at her non-profit organization, the Kirsty Coventry Academy, and has recently launched a program for low-income and undeserved areas – HEROES: Empowering children through sport.

In 2012, Kirsty was elected to the International Olympic Committee’s Athletes’ Commission, a tremendous honor with a enormous responsibility. She will serve as a Member for eight years.

As an athlete committee member, Kirsty is responsible for bringing the input of athletes’ experience to FINA and to collaborate in the Technical Rules proposals and amendments for each discipline, and to be in contact with athletes and bring forward their suggestions and remarks.

The Kirsty Coventry Academy offers affordable swimming lessons of the highest standard. Our coaches bring a high level of energy and passion that is important for keeping our lessons fun but always keeping safety as our first priority.

HEROES is a Kirsty Coventry Academy initiative that provides free sporting activities to children in undeserved areas of Zimbabwe. It is a community-based program that leverages the power of sport as an effective method for tackling critical issues in these areas. By utilizing existing schools, sports centres, fields, and volunteer coaches we create a safe and fun environment where children can play sport.

According to the WHO, over 350 000 people die from drowning every year, over half are among those under 25 years of age. Kirsty has made it her mission to help decrease drowning statistics. Swimming is the only sport that can save a life, which is why the Kirsty Coventry Academy’s Learn-to-Swim and HEROES programs teach children about water safety and drowning prevention.

One of her famous quotes People have to remain positive and believe in those dreams. It’s really important.

Awards

With seven Olympic medals, Coventry is the most decorated Olympian from Africa. Together with Krisztina Egerszegi, she also won the most individual Olympic medals in women’s swimming. She competed at five Olympics, from 2000-16. She retired from competition following the 2016 Summer Olympics. She won all of Zimbabwe’s Olympic medals except for one.

2002 Commonwealth Games medals
  • Gold in the 200 m IM (2:14.53)
2004 Olympic medals
  • Bronze in the 200 m IM (2:12.72) – Zimbabwe’s second Olympic medal
  • Gold in the 200 m backstroke (2:09.19)
  • Silver in the 100 m backstroke (1:00.50)
2005 World Championship medals
  • Gold in the 100 m backstroke (1:00.24)
  • Gold in the 200 m backstroke (2:08.52)
  • Silver in the 200 m IM (2:11.13)
  • Silver in the 400 m IM (4:39.72)
2007 All-Africa Games
  • Gold in the 200 m IM (2:13.02 CR)
  • Gold in the 400 m IM (4:39.91 CR)
  • Gold in the 50 m freestyle (26.19)
  • Gold in the 800 m freestyle (8:43.89 CR)
  • Gold in the 50 m backstroke (28.89 AR)
  • Gold in the 100 m backstroke (1:01.28 CR)
  • Gold in the 200 m backstroke (2:10.66 CR)
  • Silver in the 100 m breaststroke (1:11.86)
  • Silver in the 4 × 100 m medley (4:21.60 NR)
  • Silver in the 4 × 200 m freestyle (8:38.20 NR)
2007 World Championship medals
  • Silver in the 200 m backstroke (2:07.54)
  • Silver in the 200 m IM (2:10.74)
2008 Olympic Medals
  • Silver in the 400 m IM (4:29.89 AR)
  • Silver in the 100 m Backstroke (59.19)(58.77 WR semis)
  • Silver in the 200 m IM (2:08.59 AR)
  • Gold in the 200 m Backstroke (2:05.24) WR
2009 World Championship medals
  • Gold in the 200 m backstroke (2:04.81) WR
  • Silver in the 400 m IM (4:32.12)
2011 All-Africa Games
  • Gold in the 200 m IM (2:13.70)
  • Gold in the 400 m IM (4:44.34)
  • Gold in the 100 m backstroke (1:00.86 CR)
  • Gold in the 200 m backstroke (2:12.40)
  • Silver in the 100 m butterfly (1:02.20)
  • Silver in the 4 × 100 m medley (4:24.01)
  • Silver in the 4 × 100 m freestyle (3:57.81)
  • Silver in the 4 × 200 m freestyle
2015 All-Africa Games
  • Gold 100m Backstroke (1:01.15)
  • Gold 200m Backstroke (2:13.29)
  • Gold 200m Individual Medley (2:16.05)

 

error: Content is protected !!