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Meet the Young Athletes – Megan Tomes

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A little girl with a big heart is champion Breast Stroker – Megan Tomes. This 2017 has taken its toll on her swimmer’s body with 5 injuries, but she has embraced this for this season only and is more determined for her swim journey onward and upward. She is a gentle spirit and says this about herself  “I am a very loyal person who hates to see my friends hurt. I am caring and  help where I can. I know I am not perfect and I have made mistakes in my life, but I try my best to own them. I am also responsible”. She dreams to establish herself as an advocate encouraging our youth to dream big and remain grounded when achieving success.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Megan Tomes
Nick Name Megs and Megsie
Date of birth 10 November 2003
Place of birth Centurion, Pretoria
Current City Centurion
Height 174 cm
Weight 70 Kg
Shoe Size Size 8
Club TUKS Swimming Club
Coach’s Name Keenan Riffel
Secondary Sport/ sports Hockey (at school)
Favorite City Calgary, Canada
Favorite Song/ type of music Song: Show Me Your Love – Monark

Type of music: pop

Favorite Movie Despicable Me 3 and Hunger Games Triology
School & Grade School: Southdowns College

Grade: 8

Sponsors None
Twitter and Instagram, Facebook name I don’t have Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, only WhatsApp
Parents Names, siblings Mom: Tania Tomes

Dad: Adolph Tomes

I don’t have any siblings but I have three kids who are like siblings to me:

Mia, Jean and Pierre Terblanche

INTERVIEW:

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming, tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

  • Well at one years old my parents took me for swimming lessons (the usual learn to float, turn on your back, learn to swim with clothes on etc.) and I realized I had a passion for swimming. After that I joined learn to swim classes with Coach Rocco Meiring. In Grade 3 I started swimming for the school and in the middle of Grade 3 I started swimming competitively for TUKS. I have now been swimming competitively with TUKS for 5 years now and have enjoyed every moment of it.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

  • I am a very loyal person who hates to see my friends hurt. I am caring (I always help my friends who are upset and even if they have a stupid problem I still try to help where I can.) I know I am not perfect and I have made mistakes in my life, but I try my best to own them. I am also responsible.
  • Characteristics I would like to see in myself in the future is being a responsible, mature person, who cares for other people and can help other people.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

  • At the Regional Level 3 gala this year, I received a gold medal for 200m Breaststroke, a silver medal for 100m Breast and a bronze medal for the 50m Breast. At our Interhouse Swimming Gala I received Junior Victrix Loudorum and Best Junior swimmer at school. Last year at the Regional Level 3 (The old level 2) gala I received a Gold medal for 200m Breaststroke.

Q: Why do you have so much love and respect for your coach?

  • I have a lot of respect for my coach because he has walked with me every step of the way and never gave up on me. He takes time to work with every single swimmer. This year I have been struggling with 5 injuries and he never gave up on me and always helped me to stay positive. He has a personal relationship with every single swimmer etc.

Q: What is your favorite food? And who must cook it J?

  • My favourite food is The Chicken Stir – Fry from Cappacinos and Lamb Curry that is cooked by my Father.

Q: So you swim well and are doing well in academics but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂 

  • The one thing I suck at is Athletics and Cross-Country (I suck at running)

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

  • My favourite motivational quote is: “Feel our hearts pounding, muscles burning, lungs screaming. Feel our love and hate for our opponent. Feel the insane drive to keep pushing. To get to the wall. To win. I am a swimmer. I am a champion.”

Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?

  • My favourite scripture is: “Hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us – Romans 5:5”.

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

  • For me success is about giving your all no matter what the cost. Success is about achieving your goals that you have set for yourself. Success isn’t always about winning but about giving your all and pleasing yourself. Yes winning is awesome and feels amazing afterward but it can give you a label that you may not want. If you have tried your utmost best than you have already won. That is what my dad always says and I absolutely believe that is true.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  

  • I do what I do because swimming is a part of my life and I would never be able to live without it. Swimming is the only sport where I can bring my abilities to the surface. I have made some of my closest friends at swimming and they make my life so much happier and light – hearted. I would like to be a person who shows people that through sport you can still help a person (if I can become more professional in my swimming career.) I want to become involved in charities to show the youth that we must not only dream – we must pursue our dreams and remain grounded when achieving success.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

  • Just a piece of advice for my fellow swimmers or any person who might be struggling with hope and motivation – sometimes it might look like things are just going worse and worse but there is always a bit of hope and positivity in the world. Lean on people you trust and they will help you get through your difficulties in life. Trust me I have gone through 5 injuries this swimming season and I am still standing strong!!!

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

 

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The Commonwealth Games Swimming Trials heads to Durban

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Johannesburg, Tuesday, 12th December 2017  – Olympians Chad le Clos and Cameron van der Burgh will be among Mzansi’s aquatic stars who will be taking to the water at the KwaZulu-Natal Aquatics Premier Championships, doubling as the official Commonwealth Games Trials, taking place at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre in Durban, from 16 – 22 December 2017.

Four hundred and sixty (460) swimmers will compete to secure a place in the final team that will be selected to represent SA in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, Australia from 4th to 15th April 2018.

Straight from his fourth FINA World Cup title win, Chad le Clos will be looking to secure his place at next year’s competition when he participated in the 50, 100 and 200m butterfly as well as the100 and 200m freestyle.

Also determined to book his place in the Commonwealth Team will be Olympic gold-medalist Cameron van der Burgh, who will race the 50 and 100m breaststroke events.

Other contenders include the likes of Douglas Erasmus in the 50 and 100m freestyle, long-distance swimmer Matthew Meyer in the 400m freestyle and the 1500m freestyle as well as the up and coming talents of Luca Holtzhausen (13), Luan Grobbelaar (15), Mariella Venter (17), Hanim Abrahams (15), Erin Gallagher (18) and Dune Coetzee (15).

On the ladies’ side, 20 year old Tatjana Schoenmaker, who recently became the first South African to win a medal (silver) at the 2017 World Student Games in Taipei, with a personal best of 2:24.61, will be looking to better that time over the weeklong event, swimming the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke, the 200m freestyle and the 200m individual medley.

Swimming South Africa’s CEO, Shaun Adriaanse, said “Our swimmers have a history of rising to the challenge to qualify for the Commonwealth Games and to compete for the highest honours at the Games.

“We wish all athletes the best of luck in striving for their best to Qualify for the Games.” concluded Adriaanse.

The KZN Aquatics Premier Championships and Commonwealth Games Trials begin on Saturday, 16th December and conclude on Friday, 22ndDecember 2017 with the heats starting at 09h00 while the finals will begin at 17h00 daily.

Qualifying times for the 2018 Commonwealth Games:

Male Female
23.26 50m Freestyle 26.06
50.64 100m Freestyle 56.82
1:51.50 200m Freestyle 2:02.83
3:56.14 400m Freestyle 4:19.34
800 Freestyle 8:56.71
15:44.74 1500m Freestyle
55.95 100m Backstroke 1:02.73
2:02.70 200m Backstroke 2:16.13
1:02.46 100m Breaststroke 1:09.95
2:15.70 200m Breaststroke 2:31.02
54.12 100m Butterfly 1:00.53
2:01.38 200m Butterfly 2:14.31
2:04.43 200m Ind Medley 2:18.08
4:26.93 400m Ind Medley 4:52.97

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Meet the Young Athletes – Elijah Dredge

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A very young athlete with a big heart and a bigger vision for the future is Elijah Dredge. Proving that it is never to early to follow your passion and work hard to achieve your dreams. With Elijah it can indeed be said – you can’t measure heart! He is brilliant at Life Saving and Swimming where he has enjoyed many victories. Well done Elijah, and we look forward to seeing you on the word’s top arenas as you go from strength to strength.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Elijah Dredge
Nick Name Lij
Date of birth 18 August 2005
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1.65m
Weight 52kg
Shoe Size 9
Club Pretoria Aquatic Club
Coach’s Name Leon Anderson
Secondary Sport/ sports Lifesaving, hockey, soccer
Favorite City Edinburgh
Favorite Song/ type of music Sounds of silence- Disturbed
Favorite Movie Fantastic Four
School & Grade Woodhill College Grade 6
(Twitter and Instagram names, Facebook name) Elijahdredge1

Q: At what age did you start Swimming and why?

Ever since I could walk, I have always loved being in the water.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I would like to take my swimming career as far as I can and see where it takes me.

Q: Would you like to share some highlights about your Sports career so far?

Being selected for the Gauteng schools team and numerous NTS teams has been a great experience. I started doing lifesaving competitively at 10 and was able to set all the South African records in my age group for all my events at Nationals. Was awarded Junior Victor and Best overall nipper for Gauteng North for 2 consecutive years.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your home and school life?

I have a big family, ( Mom, Dad, 4 sisters and I) and all of my sisters have previously or are currently busy swimming or doing lifesaving competitively so our life is pretty busy with training and gala’s. We try take regular breaks to the beach as this is definitely our happy place and it’s a little less busy there than the busy life we lead at home.

Q: What is your big dream in life  🙂

To swim at the Olympics

Q: I know you are brilliant athlete – but name the one thing that you suck at J?

Golf

Q: Why is it important to try and excel at academics at school?

You always need a good education, you need a back-up plan in case you get injured.

Q: What is your favorite food? And who must cook it J?

Pasta – Mom or myself (I love being in the kitchen)

Q: Who is your sport hero?  What have you learned from him / her?

Usain Bolt, he never gave up and he has gone on to achieve great things.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

I would rather choke on greatness than chew on mediocrity

Q: What is your favourite Bible Verse?

Jeremiah 29:11

Q: At this point and time – what are you most grateful for in your life?

My swimming talent and being healthy and able to train

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your Swimming, academics and art journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Meet the Young Athletes – Deborah Dredge

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Young but making a difference in many spheres in life is Deborah Dredge. This talented young lady has many accolades against her name, not only in swimming but in Life Saving and in Open water. She is an extremely hard worker and speaks with deep respect of her coaches who guides and mentors her on her journey. She is grounded in her faith in Christ and knows the wonderful plans that He has for her life. She says about herself –

“I like to be independent but will do anything when it comes to helping my team, friends and family.

I believe in loyalty, determination and hard work. In the future I’d like to be an inspiration and role model to others. I also want to stay humble no matter what”.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Deborah Dredge
Nick Name Debs
Date of birth 18 May 2002
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1.68m
Weight 66kg
Shoe Size 7
Club Pretoria Aquatic Club/ Tuks Lifesaving
Coach’s Name Leon Anderson, Marcus Gloak, Eugene da Ponte, Louis lotter / Valencia Walker
Out of Country events Commonwealth Festival of Lifesaving
Secondary Sports Hockey
Favorite City Edinburgh
Favorite Type of music I don’t have a favourite but I like anything on Top 40
Favorite Movie The Guardian
School & Grade Woodhill College Grade 9
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name deborah_dredge
Community / church projects involved in Waterkloof Baptist
Parents Names, siblings Caleb(Dad), Paula(Mom), Hannah, Phoebe, Elijah, Ruth

INTERVIEW:

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming, tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

I’ve been swimming my whole life but started swimming competitively in grade two. Ever since my first gala I have loved absolutely anything to do with water.

Since then I have qualified for Junior Nationals and selected for the SA Presidents team for the Commonwealth festival of lifesaving.

Q: Who are you? 

I like to be independent but will do anything when it comes to helping my team, friends and family.

I believe in loyalty, determination and hard work. In the future I’d like to be an inspiration and role model to others. I also want to stay humble no matter what.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

Representing NTS in open water at SA Nationals for 3 consecutive years

Representing Gauteng North and Gauteng Lifesaving at SA Nationals, being awarded Senior Victrix Ludorum for 2016 and 2017.

Qualifying for Junior Nationals.

Swimming as part of the President’s team at the Commonwealth festival of Lifesaving.

Q: Why do you have so much love and respect for your coaches?

I have five coaches: Leon Anderson, Marcus Gloak, Eugene da Ponte, Louis Lotter for swimming and then Valencia Walker for lifesaving.

They are all absolutely amazing in their own way and have contributed to the person I am today.

I have been with Leon the longest and he is one of the biggest reasons why I have accomplished everything I have in and out of the pool but I wouldn’t have achieved anything if they hadn’t all believed in me and taught me all I needed to know in swimming and lifesaving.

Q: What is your favorite food? And who must cook it 🙂

Definitely pasta.

Cooked by my mom.

Q: So you swim well and are doing well in academics but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

I cannot sing or dance to save my life.

Q: What is your personal favorite motivational quote?

“Make it happen. Shock everyone.”

-Anonymous

Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

Success is hard work.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

I swim for the race, for the insane amounts of adrenalin, the feeling of accomplishment after you just finished one of the hardest sets of your life, for my team and all the memories and for the 5:30 morning practices that we all secretly love.

I swim because what you put in is what you get out and no matter what’s happening in your life I will always have swimming. I would like to be an inspiration to others and to help bring even more people to love this amazing sport.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Fresh & Hungry – Jade Simons

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Jade Simons is one of SA’s girl stars in swimming. Behind that beautiful smile is a very solid and strong young lady. She is rooted in her faith in Christ in whom she finds her strength. She has not only represented our beautiful nation internationally, but has also done so with great success. About herself she says “I am a 16 year old swimmer, currently in grade 10. My character is positive, motivated, sociable, headstrong, caring and confident”.

INTERVIEW:

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming, tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

I have always loved water since I was little – having long baths and playing in the swimming pool. My parents realized that I had to be watersafe and they enrolled me for swimming lessons at the age of two. Since then, I have fallen in love with the sport and have tried to be the best swimmer I can be!

Q: You have been proudly part of Team SA before representing our beautiful nation, where did you go what did that feel like?

I represented SA for the first time in 2015 at the Junior African Games in Cairo, Egypt. I enjoyed the experience and it exposed me to the international competitive swimming arena. I was excited and nervous because I did not know what to expect and it was an honour to represent SA.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I am a 16 year old swimmer, currently in grade 10. My character is positive, motivated, sociable, headstrong, caring and confident.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

My highest accolade in my swimming career is being chosen to represent South Africa. My greatest personal accomplishment is winning medals for South Africa in international swimming competitions.

Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?

As a Christian I believe that God is always with me and guiding me through every race that I swim. I call on Him before each race and always give thanks to Him after each race. God has helped me through everything and I thank Him for giving me all of the opportunities in my life.

Q: In your opinion, what is the value of Education in a young person’s life?

Education is import because it gives us knowledge and knowledge is power. I believe that our country should educate children so that they can be empowered to become strong in independent people.

Q: So you swim well and are doing well in academics but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

I am not good at road running.

Q: What is your favourite meal and who must cook it?

My favourite meal is prawns and I love the way that my Godmother makes it.

Q: Beside your Swimming, what do you have a passion for?

I’m passionate about fairness and justice, especially the rights of children.

Q: What is your definition of success?

Success for me is getting back up when you fail and to try again. If I had a bad race I analyze it with my coach and focus on improving my techniques for my next event.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

I do swimming because I love the competitiveness of the sport. I would like to be a role model for the youth to motivate them that any dreams and goals are within reach if you work hard and never give up.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

It takes hard work and commitment to achieve your goals, but the success is worth the time, effort and sacrifice that you invest.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Fresh & Hungry – Mieke Muller

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Mieke Muller, determined and brilliant your swimmer is proof that she can indeed be young and wise. She has a wonderful positive and joyful perspective on life that jumps out from the interview and just motives you! She is resilient, knows the grind, and willing the pay the price for success. She is an awesome young  advocate for human rights, girl power 😊 and being thankful and grateful for the blessings that life gives us.

She says “I  am a hardworking self-driven young girl that finds motivation in failure. I am an introvert and an absolute book worm. My philosophy in life is to be kind and compassionate to anyone, regardless of their background. I am in love with my country. I care a great deal for the environment and I cannot survive without swimming. I am a supporter of girl power and I hope to be an intellectual and inspiring woman now and in the future”.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Mieke Muller
Nick Name Mieks
Date of birth 16 September 2002
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Irene
Height 173 cm
Weight 59 kg
Shoe Size 8
Club Tuks Swimming
Coach’s Name Keenan Riffle
Out of Country events/ meets Golfhino Sprint in Mozambique
Secondary Sport/ sports I only do swimming
Favorite City Yzerfontein
Favorite Song/ type of music Feel it Still by Portugal the Man
Favorite Movie Interstellar
School & Grade St. Mary’s DSG, Grade 9
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Instagram: @mieke_.muller
Community / church projects involved in The St. Mary’s DSG outreach program
Parents Names, siblings Mom – Paula Muller

Dad – Hannes Muller

Brother – Human Muller

Sister – Zani Taitz

INTERVIEW:

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

I started swimming at the age of 2 to simply learn water safety. I participated in school galas since grade 1 where I learned that my main stroke is breaststroke. At the age of 10 I moved on to competitive club swimming at Tuks and started to work my way up the different levels. After a very disappointing season in 2015 I had to redeem myself and after that I started to really work my way up the ranks and competed at my first SA Short Course this year.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I am a hardworking self-driven young girl that finds motivation in failure. I am an introvert and an absolute book worm. My philosophy in life is to be kind and compassionate to anyone, regardless of their background. I am in love with my country. I care a great deal for the environment and I cannot survive without swimming. I am a supporter of girl power and I hope to be an intellectual and inspiring woman now and in the future.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

The highest accolade I have achieved in swimming up until today is competing at the SA Short Course Championships in Pietermaritzburg. I believe that my greatest personal success is that I never leave my academics behind. I put an equal amount of work into swimming and academics. My goal is to always strive in both.

Q: Why do you have so much love and respect for your coaches?

What enhances that amazing feeling after a successful race is a huge smile and high five from my coach. Whenever I am working really hard and putting a lot of effort in to training my coach is also there on the pool deck, putting just as much hard work and effort in, and for that I have a tremendous amount of respect.

Q: Would you like to share a little bit more about your faith journey and how it has affected your life / sports?

I do believe that my talents and gifts come from the man above and in return to say thank you I must practice and develop these talents to the best of my capability.

Q: So, you are a brilliant athlete – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

I was born with two left feet, I cannot dance at all.

Q: Favourite food and who must cook it?

My mom’s spaghetti bolognaise, no one can cook it like her.

Q: Value of Education in a young person’s life?

I believe that education is the third most valuable thing in a young person’s life, after food and water. Those of us who are fortunate enough to receive beyond average education should be extremely grateful. Education is so tremendously valuable to a young person’s life because it’s not just about the lessons in textbooks but it is about the life lessons it teaches you, the necessary knowledge and experiences to evolve and shape our future. A person without education might be able get to point A, but education can take a person to point B, C, D, and beyond, anywhere they would like to go.

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

To be happy and content with what you are doing for a living, whether that is being a swimmer or becoming an astronaut.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

In 2015, I came to a point in my career where I questioned if I should continue with swimming. That was not only because I had an extremely unsuccessful season but more importantly I had no why, no motivation and no reason behind what I was doing. After many hours of contemplation, I decided to continue swimming. Only 5 months later I started to compete again and I was completely stunned with my performance. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was when I found my why. My why is that feeling of absolute joy when you redeem yourself after complete failure and show everyone, whether they believe in you or not, that you are capable of amazing things. In the future, I would like to have a positive impact on all the female swimmers in South Africa and encourage them to continue with swimming and to have confidence in themselves and what they are doing.

Q: What are you most grateful for at the moment?

My amazing parents who support and motivate me in everything I do without putting an excessive amount of pressure on me. My brilliant coach who comprehends and supports me throughout my swimming career and pushes me to my full potential. I am also grateful to be training with a such an amazing squad, we motivate each other and together we make each training session just a bit more entertaining.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

“It’s what you do in the dark, that puts you in the light” – Michael Phelps. I do not believe in luck, if you want to achieve something you are going to have to put the hard work in to get there.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

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South African native Gerhard de Beer enjoying transition to Arizona Football

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Photos courtesy Arizona Athletics

Gerhard de Beer shirked the comforts of home for the squalor of playing in the trenches.

The 23-year-old offensive lineman took a gamble five years ago, moving 9,943 miles (the Earth’s circumference, by comparison, is 24,901 miles) from his home in Pretoria, South Africa to compete as a two-sport athlete at The University of Arizona.

The towering South African excelled at rugby and track and field at his high school, Afrikaanse Hoer Seunskool, in Pretoria.

He still holds the U-16 and U-18 records in his home country in the discus, and has the fourth-longest throw in Arizona history as well, covering 203 feet, three inches at the Tucson Elite Classic on May 21, 2016.

De Beer placed fourth overall in 2016 at the NCAA Championships in the discus as well, but retired to focus on his newfound love — football.

The towering de Beer, who measures in at 6 feet 7 inches tall and a whopping 320 pounds, had never played the game before stepping foot in the States.

Crash course

De Beer had no idea what it meant to play the sport on the collegiate level prior to his recruitment process for track and field, when a coach showed him a bird’s eye view of the campus.

He remembers looking at the screen and seeing a towering stadium, which he believed to be the school’s track complex.

Little did he know it was their football stadium, opening his eyes to the sport’s popularity in America.

“I thought, ‘Wow, that’s cool. Can I play?’ And the person said no, so I started asking around,” de Beer recalls. “Southern Methodist University recruited me solely on a football scholarship, and I had a distant cousin that went there as well. They didn’t have a men’s track and field program though. Arizona chose me once they saw me, they said, ‘We’ll allow you to walk on to the football team and do track and field too’.”

De Beer had little idea what it meant to play college football at a major American university, erroneously believing that the school’s Division I status had more to do with its academic merit than athletic prowess.

He soon realized how big a deal it was to play at the sport’s highest amateur level after he stepped onto the field turf playing surface of Arizona Stadium in front of thousands of screaming fans.

“Looking back, I never knew how arrogant it was when I said I wanted to play football at a Division I school,” de Beer says. “And you talk about a crash course. It took me a year and a bit just to understand the concepts of the offensive line, let along the rest of the game of football.”

De Beer remembers having to ask teammate Luca Bruno about the very basics of the game.

“I had to ask him how to put on my pads and he looked at me all funny, and he’d say, ‘are you serious?’,” De Beer says. “I never understood that this was at a national level or how big it was.”

Love of the game

De Beer’s appreciation for the game has increased significantly since those days, starting eight games at offensive tackle as a junior, and all three of the team’s games this fall.

He’s not sure what the future has in store for him on the gridiron, but says he’s loved getting the chance to compete in the trenches for the Arizona Wildcats.

“The one thing that made me fall in love with football is just how much you can go and knock the crap out of somebody,” de Beer says. “I love knocking the shit out of somebody, it’s great. And (the offensive line) is the only place that you can do it without getting in trouble.”

Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez certainly appreciates the effort shown by de Beer and his brethren on the offensive line this fall.

“They’ve played hard up front,” Rodriguez says. “We’ve not always played our best at times, but that’s a hard-working group, as hard-working as anybody we’ve got on our team. They’ve got a lot of pride in each other.”

The Economy and Industry major hopes to coach the sport or serve as a teacher either in America or in his native South Africa after graduation in May.

De Beer is content with what he’s accomplished thus far, but says he’s far from complacent when it comes to his final collegiate season.

“Looking back at it, I don’t think there’s a lot more that I could do to further my career,” he says. “I’ve worked hard ever since I got here to try to learn as much as I can and do as much as I can.”

De Beer says adjusting to life in small-town Tucson, with a population of 530,706 —almost five times less than his native Pretoria — has been just as tough, though he has learned to love the region.

“Tucson is a different type of place,” de Beer says. “The scenery — I always describe it as kind of depressing because nothing grows. But it’s beautiful in its own way. You have to understand the red desert, the sun setting behind the mountains, and how beautiful the drive to Mount Lemmon is. It’s definitely grown on me a whole lot.”

De Beer has a firm set of goals between the sidelines for his final campaign in Tucson, which include preventing opponents from sacking the quarterback or tackling a teammate for a loss.

He also wants to be more of a factor in the locker room, a task that hasn’t been easy for him.

“I want to step up and be more of a leader, and that’s been a difficult task for me because I don’t completely understand American culture,” he says. “So being a leader back home is different than it is here, especially being in this environment. You’ve got to be a lot more aggressive as a leader here than you would anywhere else.”

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Fresh & Hungry – Human Muller

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Human Muller speaks with such a voice of calm, relax  and reason about nature, the arts, culture and sport and how they all co-exist.

He is a brilliant and wonderful sportsman and athlete in open water and aquatics,   with a deep respect for nature and all creation around him.

About himself he says “I don’t know who I am, but I know that I have a soft spot for the arts. I would like to pursue the arts. I enjoy the outdoors and there is a certain allure that plants hold. I am also a hardcore relaxer. I like relaxing and I have the innate ability to enjoy doing nothing”.

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Human Muller
Date of birth 11/08/2000
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 186 cm
Weight Approx. 80 kg
Shoe Size 11
Club Tuks
Coach’s Name Keenan Riffel
Secondary Sport/ sports Social Jogging
Favorite City Pretoria
Favorite Song/ type of music Power Metal
Favorite Movie Pulp Fiction
School & Grade St Albans college grade 11
Parents Names, siblings Hannes, Paula, Mieke

INTERVIEW:

Q: Tell me a little bit about how you started in Swimming and your journey in the Swimming arena up to now?

I started swimming when I saw people at the Olympics on TV.  It was fun for many years and I trained at a few different coaches. I started swimming open water events when I was 13. It was incredibly enjoyable and to this day I still like swimming in the sea and the exhilarating feeling of getting into a cold dam or ocean. I enjoy endurance swimming.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person.

I don’t know who I am, but I know that I have a soft spot for the arts. I would like to pursue the arts. I enjoy the outdoors and there is a certain allure that plants hold. I am also a hardcore relaxer. I like relaxing and I have the innate ability to enjoy doing nothing.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in Swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplishment?

My highest accolade in swimming is provincial colors for open water swimming. My greatest personal achievement is staying in the Cape Town water for 25 minutes without a wetsuit.

Q: So, you are a brilliant athlete – but name 1 thing that you suck at 🙂

Self-motivation.

Q: What do you do to relax?

I do extremely long hikes (90 km +)

Q: What is the value of Education in a young person’s life?

Education is the most powerful tool that any young person can have. Good education opens up many doors and enables the individual to contribute to the economy in a positive way and contribute to the good of the country. It is not only about the country. The individual gets a chance to enrich themselves and create a better life for themselves.

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

If you are in a space where you are happy and content.

Q: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?

Getting out of my room. My room is not a bad place, so I bring the productivity to my room. Instead of going out of my room, I do positive things in my room.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do?

I would like to be remembered and I want to establish an appreciation for all the arts where people can learn that there is something other than sport and set an example of how sport and the arts are related and how they complement each other. It is important to have a balance in life and I want to inform people that it is not only sport that governs your life, but also the influence of arts; music and literature that can affect your sports life in a positive way.

Q: What are you most grateful for at the moment?

My family and the bed I sleep in.

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Home Interviews Sports Swimming

Fresh & Hungry – Hanim Abrahams

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Hanim Abrahams is one of SA’s treasures in the sports arena where she is doing brilliantly in her young swimming carreer. She is full of joy and an influencer who leads by example wherever she finds herself.  She was proudly flag bearer at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas where she did our nation proud with her stunning achievements.

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She says “I would say that I am a very energetic person. I am an extrovert by nature, a very friendly and sociable person. A team player with a very competitive streak. I like to bring the GEES. Some would say I am bit weird…but I appreciate my bubbly nature. In the future I would like to retain my positive characteristics but I would like to be wiser and more mature”.

Athlete : Bio / Stats

Name & Surname     Hanim Abrahams

Nick Name                 Nims, Nim

Date of birth             10 March 2002

Place of birth             Cape Town, South Africa

Current City               Cape Town

Height                        1.70m

Weight                       60 kg

Shoe Size                   7

Club                            Curro Aquatics Durbanville

Coach’s Name            Warren Deyzel

Out of Country events / meets

Zambia (CANA Zone Two 2013)

Egypt (Junior African Swimming Championships 2015 and 2017)

Italy (Treviso Swimming Cup 2016)

Angola (Under 20 African Youth Games 2016)

Bahamas (Commonwealth Youth Games 2017)

Indianapolis (FINA Youth World Cup 2017)

Secondary Sports       Waterpolo, Netball and Cross country (all in the past)

Favourite City             Cape Town

Favourite Song           Martin Garrix & Troye Sivan- There for you

Favourite Movie        Moana

School & Grade          Herschel Senior Girls School, Grade 9

Sponsors                      I have no sponsorship. I do get support from Arena and Enduren nutritional products.

Instagram:                   @hanim_abrahams

Facebook:                    @Hanim Abrahams

Parents Names, siblings

Dad: Yusuf Abrahams

Mom: Kulsum Abrahams

Brother: Irshad Abrahams

Sister: Ammaarah Abrahams

Q: Firstly – you were proudly part of team SA recently at the Commonwealth Youth Games. On top of that Flag Bearer! How did you experience it?

To be a part of any South African team is a huge honour. Being the flag bearer was a real privilege and personally very exciting. I would like to thank SASCOC for affording me the opportunity to lead the team at the opening ceremony and for making the whole tour possible.

The experience was amazing. I got to experience the beautiful Bahamas. I’ve made some good friends not only with swimmers but with other unbelievable athletes too. I learnt to make the best of my opportunities on tour. I also learnt what the essence of a true team spirit means.

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Swimming tell me a little bit about how you started in swimming and your journey in the swimming arena up to now?

I was introduced to swimming at a very young age. I started swimming lessons when I was about two years old. I would be in our pool whenever I could and my mom would have to haul me out. In grade R I tried out for the school swim team to be with my older sister. Many girls thought I was crazy as I tried out with the grade two’s.

I then started swimming at Cape Dolphins Aquatics (CADO) with renowned coach Brian Button at the age of six.

At the age of eleven I moved to Csanad Feldhausz at AquaSharks Academy (ASA). I loved swimming and training there and grew close to my team mates. I really thrived at ASA as I got National and WP records whilst at that club.

In 2013 at the age of eleven I was selected by Swimming SA to go to Zambia for the CANA Zone 2 competition. Throughout my time at ASA I was selected by Swimming SA to participate in Egypt, Italy and Angola.

The selections and results in summary are:

Junior African record holder in the 50 and 100m breaststroke (long course) for 13 and 15 year olds.

Achieved South African National 50m breaststroke records for 12, 13 and 14 year olds.

CANA Zone 2 Swimming Championships held in Zambia 2013. Gold in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke events.

In 2014 broke the South African National age group 50m breaststroke record for 12 year olds at the Western Province Swimming Championships.

In 2015 selected to represent South Africa at the Junior African Swimming Championships held in Cairo, Egypt. Won gold in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events in record times. Won silver in the 200 IM and was awarded a medal for being second overall in my age group.

The 100m breaststroke time of 1.11.93 was a new Western Province record. I missed the South African national record by 0.01 seconds.

In 2016 Swimming South Africa invited me to participate in the SA Swimming Grand Prix Series. This competition affords the elite South African swimmers an opportunity to race in four different cities over six weeks. At the age of 14 years I competed in the open age group category where I achieved a credible third place in the 50, 100 and 200m breaststroke events in the Nelspruit, Durban and Port Elizabeth legs of the competition.

At the SA Level 3 National Age Group Championships held in Port Elizabeth in March 2016 I won gold in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events. My 50m breaststroke time of 33.16 was a new national age group record. I also won silver in the 200m breaststroke, gold in the 100m butterfly, silver in the 200m butterfly, silver in 200m IM and bronze in the 400 IM.

The SA Senior National Swimming Championships held in Durban in April 2016 was billed as the Rio Olympic Trials. I broke the 50m breaststroke SA National age group record for 14 year olds with a time of 33.03. I made the 100m and 200m breaststroke finals with personal best times of 1:10.56 and 2:35.72 respectively. I also achieved a bronze medal in the 200m butterfly final.

In July of 2016 I was invited by Swimming South Africa to attend the Treviso Swimming Cup in Italy.  At this event I was awarded the best junior female swimmer award.

Selected to represent Senior SA Swim Team at the Senior African Swimming Championships in Bloemfontein in October 2016. Achieved silver medals in the 50 and 100m breaststroke events.

Selected to represent SA at the Youth under 20 Games held in Angola in December 2016. Achieved four golds, 1 silver and a bronze medal.

The SA Junior Swimming Championships was held in Durban from in March 2017.

I achieved the following placings:

1st in the 50m breaststroke, 1st in the 100m breaststroke, 2nd in the 200m breaststroke,

1st in the 100m butterfly, 3rd in the 200 butterfly and 2nd in the 200 IM.

Participated in the Junior African Swimming Championships held in Egypt in March 2017.

 

I was privileged to be selected as team captain for Team SA.

I achieved gold medals in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events at the Junior African Swimming Championships. These were all new Junior African records.

Also won silver in the 100m butterfly, 200m butterfly, 200m IM and 400m IM events.

As part of Team SA I also won gold for the 4x100m medley relay as well as the mixed 4x100m

medley relay. The relays were also won in new record times.

The SA Senior Swimming Championships were held in Durban in April 2017.

I won two youth elite medals for the 200m butterfly (silver) and 100m breaststroke (bronze) events.

Also won a silver medal for the 4x100m medley relay.

After Senior Nationals 2017 at the age of 15 years I moved to Curro Aquatics Durbanville with my current coach Warren Deyzel. I am really very happy at this club. The coaching staff, parents and swimmers are like a family. They are supportive and back each other. It is the ideal environment for a young swimmer like myself.

I participated in the Commonwealth Youth Games held in the Bahamas in July 2017.

These games are held every two years with various sporting codes represented.

SASCOC announced that I would be the flag bearer for the SA team at a ceremony prior to our departure.

At the games I won gold in the 100m breaststroke event with a time of 1.10.14 to set up a new SA age group record. I also won bronze in the 200m breaststroke and a credible fourth place in the 50m breaststroke event.

I followed my sister, Ammaarah into the world of competitive swimming. I also have a younger brother, Irshad in swimming. We have all had the honour of representing SA in swimming.

Q: Who are you? Describe yourself as a person. 

I would say that I am a very energetic person. I am an extrovert by nature, a very friendly and sociable person. A team player with a very competitive streak. I like to bring the GEES. Some would say I am bit weird…but I appreciate my bubbly nature. In the future I would like to retain my positive characteristics but I would like to be wiser and more mature.

Q: What is the highest accolade that you have achieved in swimming and what is your greatest personal accomplished?

 My highest achievement would be a gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bahamas in a national record time of 1.10.14 for the 100m breaststroke. I was very happy with this swim as it was a personal best.

My greatest personal accomplishment was being selected to captain the South African team at the Junior African Championships in Egypt 2017. This put me in a position of leadership and got me to really grow. This also meant that I had to be a role model to the younger athletes. As the captain I enjoyed motivating and encouraging my team mates. I wanted to encourage them to make our sport not so much about the individual but more about the team. This meant that we could all stand together as a team holding hands and singing the national anthem proudly.

Q: So, you are a brilliant athlete – but name 1 thing you suck at?

I suck at a lot of things. I am really not the best dancer. I honestly have two left feet when it comes to dancing.

Q: Favourite food and who must cook it?

Home-made pizza. My mom makes the best pizza.

Q: Value of Education in a young person’s life?

In the words of Nelson Mandela “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

Success is about your relationship with the Almighty.

Success is also about your relationship with others.

“Learning to make a difference” is our school motto and I feel this really reflects on the definition of success in life.

We also all have aspirations and goals we set ourselves.

Q: What’s your WHY? Why do you do what you do? 

I have been blessed with swimming talent and it is something that I am passionate about.

I enjoy pushing boundaries, challenging myself and competing. Swimming has given me opportunities to meet people, experience places and different cultures.

The sport has also allowed me to develop and grow on a personal level.

Our nation and continent’s biggest asset is our youth. We need to guide our youth into sport and education. The lessons we learn in these areas will allow us to fulfill our true potential.

The example I would like to set is one of hard work and perseverance brings reward.

Q: What are you most grateful for at the moment?

 I am most grateful for my belief in the Almighty. I am also fortunate to have a supportive and loving family. I attend Herschel Girls School which is one of the best schools in the country. What a privilege to be a student there. My swim squad at Curro Aquatics is awesome and my coach, Warren Deyzel is amazing. I have a lot to be grateful for and for this I am truly thankful.

Q: Anything else you would like to share? 

I would just like to say keep smiling and always be positive!  🙂

Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best for your journey ahead. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

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