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Catching up with Young Athlete: Jessica Jenkinson

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We first published Jessica, our youngest little athlete two years back in 2015 – she was excelling then, and has reached  even greater heights 2 years later. Still a champ. Still hungry to succeed. Still ambitious. Still with big dreams and still humbled and blessed be be alive and thriving, despite her medical condition. Well done Jess – we are watching this space for the future. SA is blessed to have young and up coming the likes of you!

Meet the Young Athletes: Jessica Jenkinson

Jessica Jenkinson Stats


Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name& Surname Jessica Jenkinson
Nick Name Jess
Date of birth 21/03/2017
Place of birth Springs
Current City Brakpan
Height 1.32
Weight 30kg
Shoe Size 2
Club Sunward Athletic Club
Coach’s Name Dino Thomas
Out of Country events/ meets None
Secondary Sport/ sports Tetrathlon, Laser Run, Swimming, Fencing, Netbal, Hockey
Favorite City Cape Town
Favorite Song Wilde Wilde Weste
Favorite Movie I am Bolt from Husain Bolt
School & Grade Grade 3
Sponsors None
Instagram names Face Book Page: Jessica Jenkinson (@JessicaJenkinsonBorntorun)
Parents Names, siblings Mark and Mariliza Jenkinson – Brothers, Juandre and Alrich Kotze

Athlete Update

Name & Surname Jessica Jenkinson
Since we last spoke, what major events have you competed in?


Gauteng East Championships 2016 (School Athletics)

Central Gauteng Championships 2016 (Club Athletics)

Gauteng East Championships 2017 (School Athletics)

Gauteng Championships 2017 (School Athletics)

Gauteng Laser Run Championships 2017

Gauteng Tetrathlon Championships 2017

South African Laser Run Championships 2017

South African Tetrahlon Championships 2017

Name some of your highlights in the above?


I won the Gauteng East Championships, Gauteng Laser Run Championships and the Gauteng Tetrathlon Championships. I received 3rd place in the South African Tetrathlon Championships competing in the Under 11 age group. Besides competing in the above championships which was life changing, I also made new friends that I will hold dear forever.

Do you want to comment of your progress so far? I am extremely happy and blessed for how far I have come and have gained invaluable experience form the larger events I have participated in.
What are big changes in your sport life that has happened since we spoke? Besides my sprinting I took up some new challenges during the year such as fencing and Laser shooting which forms part of the Tetrathlon and Laser Run portfolio.
What are your current challenges? Because I am so young my body is going through extreme growth spurts which mean I need to change my training schedule frequently to adapt to such changes.  As part of my existing heart condition I have an elongated, high lying aortic arch. This causes compression of my trachea and esophagus which at times make it difficult for me to breathe during longer distance running and training.

What are you plans for the new season / near future? I am currently on a rest break and will start my winter training program on the 1st of June 2017 once I get the clear from my Cardiologist. I will also be competing in the Laser Run World Championships in October this year. I hope to compete in the SA Athletic Club Championships in November 2017. I will be old enough to compete in the South African School Athletic Championships next year and my goal is to be one of the athletes selected to represent the Gauteng team. In short to do it all over again.
What are you most grateful for at the moment? I am grateful that I am healthy through God’s grace and able to be the best sports girl that I can possibly be.  I cherish every minute that I am able to compete as there will come a day that I won’t compete anymore.  Whether that day is tomorrow or 20 years from now, it will come and I want to make the most of every day I get to step on the track. I’m grateful for my parents who support I will always have and all the sacrifices they make in order for me to live my dream.
Anything Else you want to mention? Thank you to my athletic coach Dino Thomas, my fencing coach, Kyle De Lange, each and every teacher at my school, my family and friends for your support and faith in me. I feel humble and blessed to have you all in my life.

This Post is Proudly Sponsored by Wonder Towel – – Modern Microfibre Towels: #Luxury4Life

Africa Athlete Stats Home Interviews Proudly South African Sports Swimming

Report Back – Ruan Breytenbach

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Read Ruan Breytenbach’s Interview: Ruan Breytenbach

Meet / Championships Report Back

Name & Surname Ruan Breytenbach
Name of Meet / Champs & Dates Sasol Winter Champs 29 June – 3 July 2015
Name of Meet / Champs & dates Speedo Prestige Gala Durban 7 – 11 July 2015
Events participated in Sasol:  800 Free, 200 Fly, 400 Free, 200 Breast,  100 Breast, 400 IM, 50 Free,Speedo Prestige:200 Free, 50 Back, 50 Breast, 50 Free, 100 Fly, 200 IM, 100 Back, 100 Breast, 50 Fly, 200 Back, 100 Free, 200 Breast
Medals received for which events Sasol:  I received gold for all 7 eventsSpeedo Prestige: I received the following 100 Fly, 50 Fly and 200 Breast Gold, 100 Breast and 200 Free Bronze
Highlights of the event? Sasol Winter Champs:  I broke the 100 Breaststroke record that had been standing for 31 years. I also broke 4 NTS records during this meet. Most of my events at this meet were swum under 16.Speedo Prestige: I qualified for Youth with his 100 Fly time. I also managed to break another 3 NTS records at Speedo Prestige. All my events at Speedo Prestige were swum  under 14 years
Lessons learned from the event Swimming under 14 and 16 is very tough, some of the swimmers are quite a lot bigger than me BUT I just carried on believing in what you put in is what you get out and of course my motto BELIEVE AND YOU WILL ACHIEVE!
General impressions of the meets Both the galas were awesome as I swam all my PB’s so early in the season after Level 3 in March of this year.
What/Who motivated you throughout the meet/champs My coach Marcus Gloak and my mother Chantelle, who are always by my side to assist me in any which way they can.
Anything Else you want to mention I was truly amazed that I managed to break the 1 min barrier on my 100 Free. I also realized that to swim under 14 years is really very tough BUT this is what makes you stronger and work harder.

Read Ruan Breytenbach’s Interview: Ruan Breytenbach


I swam my 400 IM against Ude Fuchs (17 years) and Charl Crous (24 years) our 2012 Olympian. In the race I managed to come second overall against 2 of these top swimmers. I must admit this was a very exciting moment in my swimming life. At the end of the race Charl said to me, he knew I was going to come for him and when I past him he knew there was nothing he could do about it hee hee, thanks for that boost Charl.


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