West Florida’s Peggy de Villiers Ready for 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships

Photo Courtesy: John Blackie/West Florida

University of West Florida swimming and diving student-athlete Peggy de Villiers is one of the most accomplished swimmers in the two-year history of the program. She was the first student-athlete in program history to achieve a NCAA Individual Qualifier ‘A’ cut time, she is a two-time CSCAA All-American selection and was the 2013-14 NSISC Championship High Point Swimmer in her first conference meet for the Argonauts. The South African accomplishes all of this despite being a student-athlete with a hearing impairment.

“Peggy’s is an inspirational story, and it’s been an incredible learning opportunity for our team to see her focus every day on the opportunities that she has rather than what she doesn’t have,” UWF swimming and diving head coach Andrew Hancock said.

de Villiers will be representing South Africa at the 2015 World Deaf Swimming Championships on August 17-22 in San Antonio, Texas.

“Getting chosen to represent your country at any level or event is always such an honor,” de Villiers said. “I think anyone put in my position would be proud of something like that. I’ve been representing South Africa for ten years now but every time I am selected I am just humbled by being selected and afforded the opportunity.”

The South Africa native sees this opportunity as a chance to unify hearing-impaired athletes and to give them an opportunity to race.

“When you go to this meet you see all these people that are dealing with the same thing you are,” de Villiers said. “When you are standing on the block and getting ready to race you feel like everyone has the equal chance that you do.”

de Villiers will be entering her senior year this fall for the Argonauts and will go into the season as one of the top sprinters in all of NCAA Division II.

“I think in preparing for this meet it puts me a couple steps ahead of everyone else heading into my senior year,” de Villiers said. “In a typical season you build yourself up into good racing condition but I’ll be going into the season already conditioned and ready to get down to some good racing.”

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworld.com.

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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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