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Meiling is one very proud Mum

- November 11, 2012

One of our educators has a son who swims like a shark. And he's hungry to try some Brazilian food.

Meiling on the verandah at Johnson House.
 


When Meiling Day To teaches the children of Johnson House about sea creatures, such as sharks, she must sometimes think about the shark in her own family – her son Kenneth.

Having just returned from Singapore as the 2012 winner of the men’s FINA Swimming World Cup, Kenneth could help Meiling talk to children at The Infants’ Home about what it means to swim fast.

Kenneth receives his reward from FINA officials (R) Women's world champ Katinka Hosszu from Hungary.
 


A well-travelled swimmer

Kenneth, aged 20, won the eight-leg series World Cup and received a cheque for US$100,000 as prize money. Kenneth is also only the second Australian to win an overall Swimming World Cup title.

Over the past two months, Kenneth swam at World Cup events in Dubai, Doha, Stockholm, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore.

It is a long way from Trinity Grammar School Summer Hill, where Kenneth did high school after winning a scholarship.

Life-changing achievement

Meiling is certain her son’s success will encourage him to achieve bigger and better things.

“Kenneth has worked very hard for his success, and this is a great boost for his confidence,” says Meiling, who also helps to run the Red Bug community playgroup in Ashfield Park.

“He enjoyed himself in all those cities, especially in Dubai, Beijing and Singapore where he swam very well. Winning is a big reward for all his efforts.

“He is not sure what he will do with the money – probably just put it in the bank. He is more interested in the next Olympic Games in Brazil.”

Kenneth celebrates after winning the men's 100m individual medley final at the World Cup in Dubai.
 


Illness at the worst possible time

Earlier this year, Kenneth had been swimming well enough to qualify for the Australian Swimming Championships in Adelaide, which were also the trials for the Olympic team for London.

However, he became ill and had to have his appendix removed. The timing of his illness ruined his chances of going to the London Olympics. Meiling and her family had already bought tickets to travel to the event.

   

Kenneth during a training session and (R) Meiling during storytime.
 


Next time

For now, Kenneth will continue to divide his time between training and his job as a swimming teacher at Trinity Grammar School.

Meiling says her son has his eyes on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. If Kenneth makes the team, we don’t expect to see Meiling at work that week.

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