Oudsthoorn is the biggest town in the Klein Karoo has a number of municipal swimming pools, school pools, a functioning pool on the military base and a dead pool at the provincial hospital. The town - also known as the ostrich capital of the world - is more famous for its birds, the Cango Caves and the KKNK, than its aquatic sports. Swimming and baithlon are the main aquatic sports practiced here.
The Queen's Hotel, opened in 1880, is said to have had the first its first swimming pool since 2 November 1893, and since 20 September 1900 locals could use the pool after paying an entrance fee. By 2010 all the municipal pools had closed due to neglect, but by 2016 a change in priorities under a new political party led to seven operational swimming pools in the town. Unfortunately the poor maintenance continues to be a problem for municipal swimming pools in Oudtshoorn.
Local schools swimming takes places at the Hoërskool Oudtshoorn and the Langenhoven Gymnasium - which it's own swimming pool. It is also home to the Fish Eagle Aquatics club, which combines swimmers in the coastal towns from Mosselbaai to Plettenbergbaai. The club also hosts the annual Freda Barnard Gala, held there since 1981.
Biathlon - known locally as Tweekamp - is a very popular sport in the SWD.
The NA Smit Municipal pool was the venue for the annual inter provincial gala between Eastern Province and Western Province, before the sporting provinces were disbanded. Today it is used for provincial events, including Swim South Africa Level 1 and 2 regional galas, the annual inter provincial biathlon championships with about 700 competitors from 15 provinces , and of course the annual Frieda Barnard Gala, held there since 1981.
Click here to see a video of the annual Freda Barnard Gala - since 1981. The event attracts clubs from East London to Cape Town
Port Elizabeth swimming club PE Amateur at the Freda Barnard Invitiation gala
Baracuda Aquarama SC from Cape Town
SWD tweekamp - biathlon.
Biathlon swimmers only race over 100m - shorter distances in younger ages groups. Clinics are held at venues throughout the SWD, including the Langenhoven Gymnasium pool - below.