TSHWANE, South Africa, September 30. RYK Neethling and Roland Schoman were honored with National Orders by South African President Thabo Mbeki for their achievements in the sport of swimming.
"It’s always a proud moment when your country recognizes you,” Neethling said. “I feel privileged to accept this award from President Thabo Mbeki".
Mbeki, as the Patron of the National Orders, bestowed the honors on outstanding South African swimmers on Wednesday in Tshwane. Overall, 28 South Africans garnered such laurels at the event.
“The honors that we bestow today tell the story of what and who we are and who we shall be," said Mbeki.
Neethling and Schoeman received the Order Ikhamanga in silver which is awarded to citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts and culture, literature, journalism and sport.
“These achievements are quite remarkable,” Swimming South Africa President Jace Naidoo said. “Not only for the individuals involved but the entire sport of swimming and this organization will press hard to acquire more honors of this caliber by investing on the athletes.”