Rutendo-Munashe Maruta: Born to Swim

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – IF anything is to prove Rutendo-Munashe Maruta’s precocious swimming talent, it has to be the more than 100 medals that she has collected since she started swimming when she was seven years old at Borrowdale Primary School, Harare, in 2007.

Since 2008, Maruta aged 12 has been the Zimbabwe Junior Girls’ swimming champion for age groups 8, 9, 10 and 11 and she is still aiming high.

“It feels really great and people now know that I’m out there and I am serious competition and I’m going to come first in all my races,” she said of her winning ways.

There could be no better way to describe Maruta other than that she is definitely a blooming talent in swimming; unfortunately not many corporates have seen her potential enough to sponsor her. According to Rutendo’s mother, Yvonne, only Air Zimbabwe has chipped in with sponsorship of flight tickets.

In an exclusive interview with iZiviso.com, Maruta revealed that swimming is the passion of her life.

“For me, swimming is like taking your first step in the world and getting what you’ve always wanted. When I swim I feel like I am on top of the world,” she said, adding that she loved being in water.

“I am very serious with my sport; in 2016, I’ll be at the Olympics, most definitely. It’s a goal that I have set for myself. I don’t believe in the word I can’t because the impossible is possible all the time.”

The young swimmer who is proficient in freestyle, backstroke, breast stroke and butterfly said she was inspired to take up swimming by her brother, Graham Munyaradzi who is a swimmer and currently doing water polo.

Maruta scooped her first shield titled the “Pakenhan Shield” named after one of the best swimmers to come out Borrowdale Primary School when she was in Grade One.

As attested by her haul of medals, mostly gold, Maruta has participated in practically every major swimming competition in Zimbabwe, from provincial to national championships. She is currently in the Mashonaland and Zimbabwe junior swimming teams, and because of her amazing talent has been incorporated into the seniors team.

Early this year, Maruta participated in the Confederation Africaine De Natation Ameteur  Zone 3 and 4 Swimming Championships held in Gaborone, Botswana where she fared very well.

“The competition was very stiff I came fourth in most of my races,” said Maruta who is currently a member of Sharks Swimming Club where she is coached by Kathy Lobb, a veteran swimming coach.

Maruta said that Lobb believed in her talent so much that she even recruited her into the senior team while she was still a junior.  In 2009, Maruta participated in Zimbabwe Senior Swimming Championships beating some of the older guys than her.

“It felt good because I beat some of the seniors who think they’re original gangsters,” she said with a little swag in her voice.

In the same year, the Sport Recreation Commission recognized Maruta’s talent and awarded her the Junior Sports Personality Award. Maruta said that she practices everyday except weekends during the summer, and also closely watches her diet. She said that she does not tolerate any junk food.

Apart from swimming, Maruta is in the Mashonaland Hockey team and also does cross-country, athletics, plays tennis and netball. But she insisted that her first love was to swim.

“I am all rounder when it comes to sporting activity but water feels good. It is my first love. It’s like I was born to swim,” she said, confidently.

Maruta said that she is very academic and is currently one of the best students in her class.

“I like reading a lot – I’m very academic,” she said.

Maruta added that her parents were very supportive and constantly encourage her to pursue her first love: swimming.

She said that her mother attended every swimming gala, athletics event and match that she was involved while her father paid for the numerous swimming tours that she has been on.

“I don’t think people take sports seriously when they’re young; they only do so when they reach the Olympics but my parents have been very supportive of my swimming activities,” she said.

Maruta’s mother said that when she realized that her daughter had a talent for swimming she developed a determination to provide all the necessary support for that talent to bloom.

“I guess when I look back on the talent that I had as a young child, there was no-one to nurture it. So when I realized the potential in my daughter, I told myself that I would support her all the way. It’s a lot of work. I have to sit through most of her training and we also do a lot of travelling,” said Maruta’s mother.

“Rutendo-Munashe is a very good natured and takes things in good stead – she has a beautiful personality, and so far ahead of herself.”

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18 thoughts on “Rutendo-Munashe Maruta: Born to Swim

  1. This is an great article! I can feel the determination in Rutendo’s words. You go girl – the impossible is possible because you are a daughter of the God. Thank God for your wonderful mum too!!

  2. Lets not wait to honour our heroes vaakudzoka mhiri nemamedals but help them prepare to get the medals. Keep it up Rue.

  3. Wow Rutendo the world is awaiting to sponsor champions like you; you are a world champion in training. Keep on swimming and yyou will take on the world. I am not only proud but will help to make you take the olympics waters. Happy Birthday.

    amaiguru.

  4. This is amazing, I’m SO PROUD of you Rutendo. You will definitely be at the 2016 Olympics. Your drive and determination is incredible and unmatched. Continue to strive on with your grace an you will undoubtably be a world champion! Happy belated Birthday.

    Love Fafi.

  5. if we all were as focused when we were her age…u go gal !!she shud feature in local tv ads so as 2raise funds and inspire otha kids as well.

  6. it has been an honour ever knowing Rutendo Maruta. She is not only an all rounder in sports but a true and great friend. She was blessed with such an amazing talent. Good luck in your senior year, fufu. We support you back here at Twin Rivers

  7. Me l want to ask if there is anyone who knows Rueben Chikomwe Maruta his mother was called Mebbo Maruta plizy help me my friends lm his brother

  8. i would want to know how i can get sponsorship for my daughter who is also a great swimmer but lack resources. She failed to travel to Austria for the junior swimming gala because i could not raise the amount needed. If you have any ideas please help i dont want to kill her dream because of lack of money.

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