Fair helps Tuks to another USSA swimming title | SASCOC - SASCOC

Fair helps Tuks to another USSA swimming title


The University of Pretoria raked in their seventh USSA title over the weekend through the gutsy performance of the UP-Tuks swimmers.

The Tuks swimmers came close to a clean sweep – the men’s team was also victorious while the women’s team finished second in their team competition.

To crown it all Neil Fair and Tatjana Schoenmaker were the respective best male and female swimmers at the gala held at the Tuks Swimming Pool.

Maties finished second overall with Varsity College third.

Fair, who is a second-year medical student, ascribed their success to hard work and dedication. ‘Two years ago we lost to Maties by a few points, so we had just motivation to put in the long, hard hours.’

Fair won the 200-metre and 400m individual medley-events as well as the 1500m freestyle and finished second in the 100m and 200m backstroke. He won his sixth medal by finishing third in the 50m backstroke.

Winning the 400m individual medley was a definite highlight for Fair because he set a new USSA-record by swimming 4min 36.09sec.

There can be no doubt that Fair is passionate about swimming.

His dilemma, however, is that he sees becoming a medical doctor as his calling in life. It means every day is for him a juggling act between finding time to go to class, study and train. ‘I’m lucky if I get to swim for about two hours a day but when I do get into the pool, I try and make every minute count.’

A member of Team SA to the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, Fair must be doing something right because he has represented South Africa at the recent World Student Games in Taipei as well as last year’s World Short Course Championships in Canada.

Fair’s not yet sure as to in what field he wants to specialise once he has finished his studies, but he has got an inkling that he might become an orthopaedic surgeon. ‘But the only thing that actually matters once I start to practice is to be a good doctor.’

UP-Tuks’ women’s hockey team, chess, judo, golf, women’s beach volleyball and rowing team also all won their respective USSA tournaments.

Picture of Fair in action courtesy of Reg Caldecott

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