In the 1950s the first South African swimmers to win athletic scholarships to American universities began a trend that continues today. Whilst many of the first group, listed below, did return, sadly many others never returned - and some have never been heard from since.

Today few South Africans would recognise their names, although most are engraved on the trophies awarded annually at the SA national championships, and some on the US NCAA and AAU championship trophies.

The first swimmers went to the University of Oklahoma in 1953, where they made quite in impression. Click here to see an article about the South African Contingent in Oklahoma.

Top: Steve Mulholland (SMU), Alisdair Tiny Barnetson (SMU), Tudor Lacey (SMU), Lin Meiring (Oklahoma), Aubrey Burer (SMU) Bottom: Julian Dyason (Oklahoma), Peter Duncan (Oklahoma), Billy Stuert (Michigan State), Vernon Slovin (SMU), Graham Johnston (Oklahoma). Also Brian Mulholland and Basil Hotz and Gerrie de Jong (Oklahoma)

NCAA titels:
Penny Heyns 200 BR
Roland Schoeman - several titles
Wendy Trott 1650 FR
Troy Prinsloo 1650 FR
Neil Versfeld 200 BR
Jean Basson 500 FR
Ryk Neethling 1650 FR
Jonty Skinner 100 FR


Some of those who followed in their footsteps were: (where they are today)


Southern Illinois
Gerhard v/d Walt (also ASU)
Erwin Kratz (lawyer in Texas)
Gary Brinkman (coach in Australia)
Keith Armstrong
Owen Kuyper (headmaster Jo'burg)
Jackie Taljaard
Kirsty Albertyn
Leane Pienaar
Herman Louw
Corne Prozesky
Philip van Niekerk

George du Rand

Warren Grobbelaar

Renata Du Plessis
Simon Thirsk

Mark Nieuwenhuis (also Alabama)
Karl Rogers
Penny Heyns
Peter Williams (coach in Jo'burg)
Peter Girardeau
Lezelle Markgraaf
Lee Pennyfather
Mandy Hunter-Beckinsall
Gary Albertyn
Sean Frampton
Heather Park (also Houston)
Rhett Talbert (also Hawaii)
Seddon Keyter
Alan Kelsey
Francois Boshoff
Helene Muller
Jaco Kruger
Laren Tiltman
Michael Windisch
Julia Russell

Annette Cowley (Cape Town)
Suzette Jansen


Pasadena College:
Basil Hotz

Hugh Ross (also Hawaii)
Darryl Cronje
Simon Finlayson

Alisdair Tiny Barnetson
John Thorburn (coach in Texas)
Tudor Lacey
Aubrey Burer
Steve Mulholland
Guy Goosen
Cliff Lyne
Craig Jackson (coach in Australia)
Vernon Slovin
Toni Palmer
Alice Escreet
Jeanine Steenkamp
Marianne Kriel
Christy Lategan
Marizanne Grundlingh
Marne Erasmus

Helena Pirow
Kevin Richards (coach in PE)
Kobus Scheepers
David Lowe (coach in UK)
Lauren Brukman
Simon Gray (coach in Bloemfontien)
David Gray
Andrew Gray
Nickie Gray
Karen van Helden (doctor in Cape Town)
David Parrington (US Olympic dive coach)
Debbie Hill
Glenn Evans

North Carolina State:
Tricia Butcher (coach in Colorado)
Sue Butcher

Rosie Wicht

Sebastian Rousseau

Etienne van der Merwe
Roxanne Meyer
Jenna Dreyer
Christy Cech
Nick Folker
Robert v/d Merwe
Tyrone Tozer

Jonty Skinner (US Olympic coach)
Mark Jollands
Gregg Scott (Colorado)
Jane Weir


Boston U:
Stewart Cromarty

Indian River:
Lance Robertson

Gideon Louw (also Indian River)

University of Georgia:
Wendy Trott
Troy Prinsloo
Neil Versfeld
Sarah Poewe

Darian Townsend (also FSU)
Jean Basson
Leone Vorster
Ryk Neethling
Roland Schoeman
Lyndon Ferns
Greg Owen
Gerhard Zandberg

Brendan Dedekind
Romina Armellini

Kent State:
Brian Tatterson
Sean Mulvey

Loren Rozowsky

North Central College, Illinois
Ian Wilson
(1962 NAIA All American -Durban butterflier)
Justin Slade?
Nolan Shifren?

Univertsity of Denver
Mark Jankelow
Noel Droomer
Neil Anderson
John Poole

Thanks to Jaco Kruger for the list

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