It's taken a lot more organising that I thought, but last night I had my first swimming lesson with black and coloured children in Cape Town. I joined a teacher called Karin November at the Learn to Swim programme at the University of Western Cape.
The University, built in the 1960s for black and coloured students, applied for a grant to put a roof on an open air pool and set up a community learn to swim programme some fifteen years ago. Karin said for many of the kids there, these lessons represented their first contact with water. She told me how you could see the fear in their faces when they first go underwater, but how this soon changes to confidence.
And I could really sense this confidence and energy in the atmosphere. There were children of all ages and ability - some learning to dive from an improvised kitchen table, some with kickboards and flippers, and even young Muslim girls in full-length suits. All colours were there, and it looked like a lot of fun. Karin told me that as well as teaching swimming, the programme is also a social hub for local communities where children can make new friends and get out of the sheltered environment of townships.
But I am surprised at how segregated South African swimming still is. Karin, who is coloured, said she didn't learn to swim until she was nineteen because swimming used to be a white-only sport. Things have certainly improved, but it's still not totally mixed. There were white swimmers last night, but Karin told me many were foreign exchange students. The university is trying to attract elite white swimmers. But so far, only one has joined.