June Lyle was Natal backstroke swimmer from the Seals SC in Pietermaritzburg, who moved to Cape Town as a student at UCT.
Herewith all I can remember. My grandfather Alexander Lyle started the Pietermaritzburg swimming club which used to meet in the “ old quarry”. He was a sidestroke champion.
Norman Lyle, my father, was MASA Champion for ages ( Maritzburg Amateur Swimming Association??) I have several teaspoons but the only date is on a silver cup – Corporation Cup – 1928-29. He swam and played waterpolo for Natal and grew up during the first World War so swimming probably only started in the 1920's - he was was born in 1904. He belonged to Seals Swimming Club but he, Reg McDonald, Les Pearce started a rival club Penguins in the 1940s – mainly for inter-club competitions. He was President for many years and Les Pearce was the coach and coached Springboks Jackie Wiid and Lin Meiring ( both backstroke swimmers ) and divers ( Natal) Tut Marwick and Jean Bands. He was the superintendent of the baths.
I swam in my first gala at the age of 6 – swam dogpaddle and won! When I was 12 and represented Maritzburg Schools Les Pearce started coaching me. I represented Marizburg Junior and Senior Schools and Natal Schools. I won the Natal 100yd Backstroke when I was 14 and thus went to Port Elizabeth as a member of the Natal Team for “ Currie Cup” ( the SA National Championships) in 1954. I swam in the freestyle 100yds and in both the Natal team for the freestyle and medley relays. (We didn’t do at all well)
1955 – Pretoria Currie Cup.
1956 – Durban “ “
I then came to Cape Town, won the backstroke and broke the WP record . Swam in Bulawayo 1957 and came 3rd ( I made the finals in the preceding 2 SA championships but didn’t place ) There was only Long St indoor swimming pool and Sea Point which was FREEZING – so we trained at Long St until Dec and then went to Sea Point on Sundays and NO training in Winter at all!! Big excitement ‘cause by the end of ‘57 I was doing the fastest times in SA for the 100 backstroke BUT, 2 months later, in the ‘58 championships in East London I collapsed – had lost too much weight. Mrs Rose Saltman coached me in Cape Town – the coach for Union Swimming Club and her 2 children also swam for WP – Gerald and Helen.
Intervarsity in 1957 in Bloemfontein and 1958 in Cape Town in Cape Town and won the backstroke and was in the SA Universities Team ( don’t think we swam against anyone !!) and was part of the UCT Team to tour Rhodesia at the end of ‘58 ( So was Jeanette Myburg, Sue Roberts and Sylvia Wetton)
I finished my love of swimming by teaching swimming at Bishops Prep from ‘61 to ‘80 and at Rustenburg Junior from ‘73 to ‘80.
June's 1954 Natal ASA badge
with Springbok Jeanette Myburgh