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Interview: The Making of Swimming Coach Kezia Wairimu

For a field that is still unleveled, women are now breaking barriers to become outstanding in the sports arena.

We caught up with celebrated coach Kezia Wairimu, one of the few certified Women Swimming coaches in Uganda.

And here is our conversation.

The-SportsNation: Briefly can you introduce your self ?
Wairimu. I am a swimming coach. I am a Christian (it’s a big part of me).

The-SportsNation: When did you realize you had the passion for swimming?
Wairimu: Since childhood I loved swimming. While in Kenya I was introduced to swimming at Lavington Primary school. When we moved to Uganda my dad got me a swimming trainer. However, when I joined secondary school (St. Mary’s Senior Secondary School Kitende), there wasn’t a pool so I spent time in basketball until when I joined Makerere University. I managed to join the Univeristy team and represented at the East African and All African games.

The-SportsNation: How did you grow through the sport to become a coach?
Wairimu: In my 3rd year, a friend called Max Kanyerezi (also a swimming trainer) told me about coaching clinics that the Uganda Swimming Federation was running and I took up the course. I learnt how to teach swimming, technique, competitive swimmers, and develop training programs. I joined Club Supra still under Max as a volunteer in coaching until an opportunity opened up at SilverFins Academy (year 4 at campus). I had to balance between academics and swimming training. I was doing Quantity Surveying. I actually took the National Team to Zimbabwe for Cana IV swimming championships in my final year at University in 2017 and in my year 3 I was the Assistant National team Coach when the team went to Rwanda for Cana Zone III.

Kezia Wairimu

The-SportsNation: What course did you persue at University ?
Wairimu: I am a qualified Quantity Surveyor who has never practiced! I had my internship at Knight Frank Uganda where I had been given an opportunity to be retained a full time employee. My working hours were not favorable as I would work till late. I had this strong feeling that God wanted me to work in swimming not Quantity Surveying. I rejected the offer and I considered myself as an unemployed youth but with a vision.

The-SportsNation: When did you start your coaching career (as a sole coach)?
Wairimu: I used to get random phone calls from parents requesting for private swimming sessions with their children. Some days would be as crazy as 16 sessions. Earning UGX 300,000 in a day from swimming was exciting. My first employment under an institution was with Ambrosoli International School where I worked for four years until I resigned to start my own Christian Swimming club called Our Savior Swimming Family.

The-SportsNation: How have you found it running your own club?
Wairimu: The club is actually 2 months old as it was started in August. Devotion is key as we are a Christian club. The most overwhelming part is the large numbers of people we have in that we register a new member almost every week. I am very grateful to God.

The-SportsNation: How did your parents react to your decision of pursuing a career in swimming over Quantity Surveying?
Wairimu: My parents didn’t quite understand my decision. In Uganda, what is considered successful is traditional jobs like doctors, lawyers and engineering but my decision came as a surprise to them. Actually, my friends were surprised at my choice as a qualified and well educated Quantity Surveyor to choose swimming over practicing. But I am actually contented and I am proud that God is using me to do something that I love and impact change in the society. My husband has also been super supportive about my swimming passion.

The-SportsNation: What are the costs of attending the club?
Wairimu: This varies and depends on a number of factors such as how much one frequents practice in a week. But you can reach out to me on +256706332343.

The-SportsNation: What advise would you give to youth who would love to pursue a career in a field of their passion?
Wairimu: Just go for it. Don’t listen to any negativity. Look for people in that field that speak into your life and inspire you.


Elizabeth Kisolo
Elizabeth Kisolo Nagudi is a contributor at The-SportsNation. She is also a founder of WOMEN IN SPORTS: HER SPORT. Connect with her about women in sports via [email protected]
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