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Fresh & Hungry – Daniel Kyle Billings

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Daniel Billings is one of SA’s top up and coming young athletes who is working extremely hard at his swimming to make it onto the world area. He is focused, versatile, humble and has great faith in God, his family and his couch.  He is proudly part the Team SA who will represent South African in Italy this July 2018 at the Tricolor Games in Reggio Emilia.

The latter city is also proudly the birth place of the beautiful Italian Flag and a special bond city between SA and Italy because of the Oliver Tambo and Giuseppe Soncini  lifelong friendship through the years of  political struggle and beyond. We wish you all the very best for Italy next month Daniel.

Daniel says about himself – “I AM A VERY COMPETATIVE PERSON, THEREFORE I FIND IT VERY HARD TO ACCEPT A LOSE SOMETIMES.  I AM A FUNNY BUT ALSO DEDICATED & DISCIPLINED SPORTSMAN AS I AM A VERY GOOD RUGBY PLAYER AS WELL.”

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname DANIEL KYLE BILLINGS
Nick Name “DANNY  K”
Date of birth 16-07-2002
Place of birth JOHANNESBURG – GARDEN CITY CLINIC
Current City JOHANNESBURG
Height 1.86
Weight 75KG
Shoe Size 10
Club SUPERFINS
Coach’s Name RAMON COUTRIERS
Out of Country event TRI COLOUR GAMES – ITALY JULY 2018
Secondary Sport/ sports RUGBY
Favorite City SWITZERLAND
Favorite Song/ type of music HOUSE MUSIC – RESIDENT IN MY HEART BY LADY ZAMAR
Favorite Movie MONSTERS INC
School & Grade PARKTOWN BOYS HIGH SCHOOL – GRADE 10
Sponsors NONE CURRENTLY
Community / church projects involved in FAMILY WORKSHIP CENTRE – YOUTH GROUP
Parents Names, siblings JEFFERSON & RASHIDA, MEGAN (27), CALEB (17)

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 7 BUT GOT ILL AND HAD TO STOP SWIMMING.  I STARTED AGAIN IN 2010 WHEN OUR SWIMMING CLUB WAS OFFICIALLY OPENED (SUPERFINS).

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

I AM A VERY COMPETATIVE PERSON, THEREFORE I FIND IT VERY HARD TO ACCEPT A LOSE SOMETIMES.  I AM A FUNNY BUT ALSO DEDICATED & DISCIPLINED SPORTSMAN AS I AM A VERY GOOD RUGBY PLAYER AS WELL.

 I MUST ADD THAT TWO OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY SPORTING THUS FAR WAS WHEN I WAS CHOSEN IN GRADE 6 TO PLAY FOR THE JUNIOR LIONS AND BEING AWARDED THE VICTOR LADORIUM TROPHY IN SWIMMING/SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR IN MY FIRST YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL AT ALLEN GLEN HIGH SCHOOL IN 2016.

Q: You have just participated in the OR Tambo Soncini  Social Cohesion Games and made the preliminary squad for the Tri Colour Games in Italy 2018. Congratulations. What is on your mind regarding the preparation lying ahead till the final team is selected?

THANK YOU.  THIS WILL BE MY FIRST OVER SEAS SPORTS TRIP THEREFORE I AM VERY EXCITED AND NERVOUS AS I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.  I AM TRYING MY BEST BETWEEN THE RUGBY GAMES, GYM AND SWIMMING GYM AND GOING TO MY LOCAL GYM, IN ORDER TO BE IN BEST SHAPE FOR THE GAMES IN ITALY.

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

I HAVE SUCH LOVE AND RESPECT FOR MY COACH BECAUSE HE STARTED THE JOURNEY WITH ME AND HE BELIEVES IN ME.

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

MY FAVOURITE FOOD IS PASTA AND MY MOTHER MUST COOK IT.

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

I THINK I AM NOT A BRILLIANT ACADEMIC AS I SUCK AT DOING HOME WORK. I ALSO SUCK AT MAKING FOOD.

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

I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY PARENTS AND EXTENDED FAMILY FOR SUPPORTING ME IN EVERYTHING I DO AND ALWAYS TO GOD BECAUSE HE GIVES US STRENGHTH.

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

I DO WHAT I DO TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL SWIMMER FIRST, REPRESENT SOUTH AFRICA AS AN OLYMPIC SWIMMER.  I WOULD LIKE TO BE AN INFLUENCE ON THE YOUTH OF TODAY TO SHOW THEM THAT IF YOU WORK HARD, TRUST IN GOD YOU CAN ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS.  I ALSO WANT TO MAKE MY FAMILY PROUD OF ME.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

I WOULD JUST LIKE TO ADD A QUOTE BY MY MENTOR MICHAEL PHELPS “IF YOU WANT TO BE THE BEST YOU HAVE TO DO THINGS OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT WILLING TO DO”

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

Fresh & Hungry – Caleb Billings

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Getting to the heart of Caleb Billings, a young and upcoming swimmer from Joburg. He is a dedicated and motivated young man who is willing to give his everything in pursuit of a high swimming dream. He has full realisation that big dreams like that are never easy but definitely worth it! There is is thirst within him to take his sport to the highest level and succeed and we wish him all the best for the journey ahead. He celebrates, respects and loves his swim Coach – Ramon Courtiers who drives them daily in the water. Regarding what he is most grateful for he says “FOR MY LIFE, FAMILY AND THE FACT THAT I HAVE A GREAT COACH AND WONDERFUL TEAM MATES”. 

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname CALEB JEFFERSON JOE BASIL BILLINGS
Nick Name “CJ”
Date of birth 13-09-2000
Place of birth JOHANNESBURG – GARDEN CITY CLINIC
Current City JOHANNESBURG
Height 1.88
Weight 86KG
Shoe Size 11
Club SUPERFINS
Coach’s Name RAMON COUTRIERS
Out of Country events NONE CURRENTLY – JUST ACCOMPANYING MY BROTHER  TO HIS EVENT THIS YEAR TO THE TRI COLOUR GAMES IN ITALY
Secondary Sports I PLAY CRICKET AS WELL AS TRACK & FIELD AT SCHOOL
Favorite City SWITZERLAND
Favorite Song EMINEM – “LOSE YOURSELF”
Favorite Movie NOT ONE IN PARTICULAR
School & Grade PARKTOWN BOYS HIGH SCHOOL – GRADE 12
Sponsors NONE CURRENTLY
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Caleb_cvb_
Community / church projects involved in FAMILY WORSHIP CENTRE – YOUTH GROUP
Parents Names, siblings JEFFERSON & RASHIDA BILLINGS, SISTER – MEGAN (27) AND DANIEL (15)

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?

MY BROTHER DANIEL, ACTUALLY STARTED SWIMMING FIRST SO I DECIDED TO JOIN HIM.

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

I AM A VERY FUNNY HARDWORKING PERSON.  IN FUTURE I WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE ON BEING A HARD WORKER TO ACHIEVE MY GOAL.

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

I THINK IT WOULD BE MY MOTHER ARRANGING FOR ME AND MY BROTHER TO GET FULL SCHOLARSHIPS AT  PARKTOWN BOYS HIGH SCHOOL IN 2017 DUE TO OUR SWIMMING ACHIEVEMENTS.

Q: You have participated in the OR Tambo Soncini  Social Cohesion Games IN 2017.  Congratulations. What is on your mind regarding the preparation lying ahead till the final team is selected?

THE FINAL TEAM HAVE BEEN SELECTED AND I HAVE NOT BEEN CHOSEN, THIS IS JUST A BOOST TO ME NOW TO WORK EXTRA HARDER.

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

I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR MY COACH BECAUSE HE HAS HELPED ME REACH MY GOALS AND IS STILL HELPING ME TO REACH MY FUTURE GOALS AS A SWIMMER, THEREFORE I HAVE MUCH LOVE AND RESPECT FOR HIM.  HE IS JUST A GREAT COACH AND I WOULD NOT ASK FOR ANY OTHER COACH.

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

I SUCK AT DRAWING, ART IS GENERALLY MY WEAKNESS.

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

FOR MY LIFE, FAMILY AND THE FACT THAT I HAVE A GREAT COACH AND WONDERFUL TEAM MATES.

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

WHY I DO WHAT I DO IS BECAUSE I WANT TO BECOME AN OLYMPIAN AND WIN GOLD IN ALL MY EVENTS.  THE INFLUENCE I SEE MYSELF HAVING ON THE NATION’S YOUTH WOULD BE THAT NO MATTER YOUR BACKGROUND YOU SHOULD ALWAYS WORK HARD AND FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS.

 

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 – Georgia Nel

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Catching up motivated and brilliant young swimmer Georgia Nel. Although she is fairly new in the swimming arena, she is doing extremely well and is resolved to give it her all.  She says “I am a young lady who will give 101% at whatever I do. I hope to be someone who inspires many and makes a difference in this world, small or big”.

About success in life she says “A successful person is not always someone who achieves something that the whole world knows about, a successful person is a person who achieves THEIR extraordinary in life. If a snail takes the whole day to cross a garden, it has still done something extraordinary by its own standard. I define success not by if you’re wealthy or pre-eminent but by the amount of joy you produce in accomplishing YOUR aim or purpose”.

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Georgia Nel
Nick Name George/ Porge/ Captain Muffin
Date of birth 23 July 2002
Place of birth Constantiaburg Hospital, Cape Town
Current City Cape Town
Height 183cm/ 6.03ft
Weight 68kg
Shoe Size 10/ 11
Club Swimlab Aquatic Academy Wynberg (SAAW)
Coach’s Name Hilton Slack
Out of Country events/ meets Cana zone ||| swimming championships in Kigali, Rwanda
Secondary Sport/ sports Gym (Occasionally love to play tennis)
Favorite City Paris (Never Been)
Favorite Song/ type of music EVERYTHING! I love music!
Favorite Movie Aristocats (Old and animated)
School & Grade Herschel Girls School, Grade 10
Sponsors TYR
Twitter and Instagram names, Facebook name Instagram: Georgia.nel7 (Don’t have Facebook or Twitter)
Community / church projects involved in FISH (Faith in serving him) club at school, chapel services and divinity lessons.
Parents Names, siblings Dad’s name is Jeremy, Mom’s name is Annette, Brother’s name is Jordan and my Twin sister’s name is Olivia.

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?

When I was younger, I mostly swam to get fit for water polo, as it was my chosen sport at the time. The first major gala I did was in 2011 where I swam a Level 1 swimming gala in Oudshoorn when I was 9. After that I took an extremely long break from swimming, as I HATED it. I would cry before every swimming practice and didn’t swim another gala until Level 2 in March 2016. For all those years, all I did was play water polo and the ONLY swimming I did was to keep ‘fit’ for water polo, whereas Olivia was still swimming competitively at the time. I did reasonably well at the Level 2 gala and later on got chosen for the South African team to head up to Rwanda and experience their facilities based on my results at Level 2’s. I had a blast up there, as I swooped up 11 medals and especially since I missed the last 2 exams of term 4. I then carried on to 2017 where I qualified for Junior Nationals and just slipped in a qualifying time for the 200m free for Youth Nationals. By this time, we (Olivia and I) made the hardest decision of our lives. Water polo or swimming? We trusted each other and we set our goals high to carry on competing in the swimming arena. It was the best decision of our lives so far we have NEVER regretted it since. By the end of Senior and Junior Nationals, Olivia and I managed to get into the South African Junior Elite Squad. We carried on training with a few other smaller galas’ throughout 2017 and then SA short course came along, where I posted most, if not all of my best times. One of these times was a 56.90 for the 100m freestyle coming 3rd to Erin Gallagher (my sister from another mister) and Olivia (my sister from the same mister). Another one of these times was a 1.04.45 in the 100m IM where I came 2nd to the stunning Nathania Van Niekerk. The rest of the year was mostly just a lot of fun where I sadly was sick before Commonwealth trials and didn’t have the best meet, but if everything was perfect, it wouldn’t be called life. 2018 is finally here and I’m excited to find out what it holds for me.

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

I am a young lady who will give 101% at whatever I do. I hope to be someone who inspires many and makes a difference in this world, small or big.

 

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

The highest accolade I’ve ever achieved in swimming is beating my twin sister in the 200m freestyle at Western Cape Short Course Championships and therefore this is also my greatest personal achievement in my life. 😉 Haha, only joking, my greatest personal accomplishment is yet to come…

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“Take a cement tablet and harden up.” – My Dad.

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

My biggest challenge is being away from my dog, Monty and the way I deal with this challenge is just to look at my photo album of him.

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

Living without my twin.

Q: Do you want share a little on your faith journey so far?

My faith journey is simple. I’ve grown up in a Christian household where God has always been the center of my life. My parents introduced me to him and my school has connected me with him. My two favorite quotes from the bible are, “Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14, because if you ever wish to accomplish anything in life, you must be dedicated and committed to what you want to do, and to carry on being dedicated you must LOVE what you do! The other one is, “Have patience, God isn’t finished yet.” – Philippians 1:6.  This is so true, and this quote relates to me so much, because I am a bit of a late developer and I honestly cannot wait to see what God has planned for me in the future.

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

My dog.

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

Education arms you with the tools to become inquisitive and a desire to learn and become the best possible person you can be. I feel as if my school, Herschel Girls High School, has definitely already equipped me with these qualities and I cant wait for my last 2 years at this outstandingly amazing institution.

Q: How do you currently manage to balance all the things in your life?

I am very diligent with my time management and have learnt to get things done as soon as I receive the task. This is a very important skill to have mastered for the future in anyone’s life. I love my school  (Herschel Girls) and swimming, and therefore it is easy to manage my busy life, as I love what I do every step of the way.

Q: How do you define success in life / How do you define a successful person?

A successful person is not always someone who achieves something that the whole world knows about, a successful person is a person who achieves THEIR extraordinary in life. If a snail takes the whole day to cross a garden, it has still done something extraordinary by its own standard. I define success not by if you’re wealthy or pre-eminent but by the amount of joy you produce in accomplishing YOUR aim or purpose.

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

I want to be the best person I can be and the only way I can do that is to work hard at what I love the most. And the example I want to set for the one’s coming after me is to make the best of the opportunities and you are given AND ALWAYS TAKE THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU ARE GIVEN. If I did not take the opportunity to go to Rwanda (which I initially was not going to) I would have most likely stopped swimming and would not be where I am today, and I am so grateful for my awesome parents for helping me make the decision to grab this amazing opportunity with both hands and got for it. Also to give back to the sport that has made you great by either coaching or being a mentor to carry on the legacy of your hard work.

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 – Olivia Nel

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Wonderful to experience the journey of one of SA’s brilliant young athletes –  Olivia Nel. She speaks with compassion and much wisdom of her experience in the sports and life arena. Previously a Water Polo champ she has but recently joined the swimming family and is already making waves.

About herself she says: “I am a young, independent and very confident woman. I always love a sense of humor from everyone, and I am also very dedicated and hard working in everything I do. I will give my best in any task or obstacle that I face in life. I’m a very loving and welcoming girl, and I absolutely love helping other people”.

 

HESLOP SPORTS INTERVIEW : OLIVIA NEL

ATHLETE: BIO/STATS

  • Name and Surname: Olivia Nel
  • Nickname: Livi
  • Date of birth: 23 July 2002
  • Place of birth: Cape Town
  • Current city: Cape Town
  • Height: 185m / 6.09ft
  • Weight: 69-71kg
  • Shoe size: UK 10
  • Club: Wynberg Swimlab Aquatic Academy
  • Coach’s name: Hilton Slack
  • Out of country events/meets: Junior World Championships in Indianapolis (2017) and Junior Africa Championships in Egypt (2017)
  • Secondary sport/sports: Gym (I also love running)
  • Favorite city: Aspen / Austin Texas – America
  • Favorite song/type of music: French music/mainstream songs/ motivational and chilled
  • Favorite movie: Kingsman
  • School and grade: Herschel girls school grade 10
  • Sponsors: Arena Swimwear
  • Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name: Instagram= Olivia.Nel10 (I don’t have facebook and twitter)
  • Website: — none —
  • Community / church projects involved in: Faith Club at school + chapel services + divinity lessons + part of DARG (animal) charity
  • Parents names, siblings: Mom-Annette ; Dad-Jeremy ; Brother-Jordan ; Twin sister-Georgia

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 a little 10 year old youngster when I started swimming, but that wasn’t proper training as it was for waterpolo fitness so I only swam about once or twice a week. The prep school that I went to had waterpolo as one of their main sports so that was my focus and at that stage and I preferred waterpolo to swimming. I started swimming competitively at the age of 11 when I swam my first level one in Oudshoorn and things escalated from there when I won the 50 and 100 freestyle, it was then when I found my passion for swimming. I’ve always focused more on waterpolo especially when we traveled to America for a waterpolo camp in Malibu with US Olympic coach Terry Schroeder. At that stage I realized my love for the sport and stopped competing in the swimming arena for the whole of 2015 to focus on waterpolo. My parents never forced me to do anything so I realised on my own that swimming came very naturally for me, when I qualified for Junior African champs in Egypt off waterpolo training in 2017 and set the 50 and 100 free SA age group records at age 13 and 14 and at age 15 I set the SA age group record for 50 free. Therefore I only stared competing properly again in 2016 when I was 13 years old. Making and going on an international tour was an experience that I truly learnt from, and as I knew my dedication for swimming had to be uplifted, my love for waterpolo very slowly started to fade. I was selected to represent South Africa at another international tour to the World Junior Swimming Champs in Indianapolis, which was very exciting for me and a huge learning curve. My swim training naturally had increased tremendously at that point. I eventually realized that racing at such a high level and achieving at top standards was going to take a lot of strength and determination, so after a tough decision, I stopped waterpolo only in the middle of grade 9 when I was 14. It was not an easy decision although I could not manage doing both waterpolo and swimming training, matches and galas effectively, as both coaches wanted me to attend every practice. I am still happy I had done a team sport as it kept me versatile in what I wanted to do, although in the swimming field I felt so much love and support from my family and friends and especially my local idols such as SA sprint champion, Erin Gallagher, who has been an incredible and inspirational mentor to me. I just absolutely love racing against her, as she is always so supportive. It gives me new innovative ways to approach my training and improve to the higher levels. She is a hard working and dedicated person with the sweetest personality, which I absolutely adore. And there are one or two international heroes to me such as Sarah Sjostrom and Simone Manual, whom I also got the privilege of meeting in America. As my waterpolo journey has ended, swimming is now my main focus and I am ecstatic to see what the future holds for me, as I am still a young 15 year old. My most important focus right now is to never give up and always do the best I can in every training session so I can work towards each and every one of my goals and achieve them with greatness.

Q: You are part of a twin – how are you experiencing this in the swimming arena?

I absolutely love having a twin. We often say to each other that we honestly don’t know what we would do without the other… as you can tell we are very close. We spend a lot of time with one another and in terms of swimming we both have our competitive sides flaring, although we also love racing against each other. In terms of swimming I have more of a passion for sprinting short distances whereas Georgia loves the middle distance races, which she is currently very strong at! In and outside the pool we will always be best friends no matter what, hence one will always see us walking together, wearing the same clothes or doing the same things even though we do have many differences. We stay as close as possible at all times and greatly support each other in every situation. We are always there for one another no matter what.

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

I am a young, independent and very confident woman. I always love a sense of humor from everyone, and I am also very dedicated and hard working in everything I do. I will give my best in any task or obstacle that I face in life. I’m a very loving and welcoming girl, and I absolutely love helping other people.

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

Representing team South Africa at the Junior World Swimming Championships in Indianapolis last year, making the SA Junior Elite squad, breaking the 50 free age group record for 3 years in a row and the 100 free for 2 years, and lastly, qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in the 50 free at age 15.

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

Running, Biology, Art, friends and being in the ocean.

Q: Tell me one thing about yourself that the world does not know J?

I’m a very fast runner. If I did not swim, it would be my dream to be an Olympic runner! I’m left handed and I spend my free time drawing. I’m good with kids, and according to my coach, Hilton, I’m verrrry cheeky :-). I also love my school – Herschel Girls.

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

According to my mother, I’m often slightly forgetful 😉

Q: Do you want share a little on your faith journey so far?

I always put God first in my life along with my family. I pray often and attend many Christian events at school. Being honest, I do not go to church very often, although I read my bible and have a ‘Daily Devotions’ book that I read most nights. I often go to Divinity at school and I am also part of a faith club. I know I can ask God for help at any time in my life and I strive to praise his name high. Glory to God.

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

All the love and support I get from my family and friends and especially my Coach, Hilton Slack, and having God in my life to help me deal with every situation. I absolutely adore my swimming friends, and they are part of the reason that I love this sport so much, and find it easy to train for so many hours every day.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?

Each person has their own journey to success. Success is not what society defines as being “acceptable” or “amazing” compared to other people. One cannot define success as a comparison to others, its what you make of it. Success can be big or small, but if you try hard and you put the work in with dedication and discipline, your achievement will be successful.

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

People often ask me why I would want to train for hours on end staring at a black line in the water and why I put myself through it. It’s not about that; I do it because I love it! I only do what I love in life, and what makes my happy is all the hard work, dedication and fight put into the sport. I love the competitiveness that comes along with it, and I love achieving MY success knowing that I have done the work. I am obviously working for the next Olympics in 2020. It is very important to be an amazing role model to the youth, as they will be following and taking action by your standards and by the things you say. Always have a kind and open heart and the youth will eventually make their way up to greatness! The most important thing I can tell you about this sport called swimming… HAVE FUN! Don’t do it if you hate it, if you have fun you’ll carry on and achieve and when you start achieving, life can only escalate from there. 🙂

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Focus on plan A, but always have a plan B.

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 Proudly South African Sports Wrestling

Gold Coast 2018 -Johannes Petrus Botha

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Hanru Botha is proudly part of Team SA who will represent our beautiful nation at the Commonwealth Games 2018 at the Gold Coast in the code of  wrestling. He speaks with gratefulness and honour about his selection and is eager to represent South Africa. Hanru is a born champion and has been training with “Coach Dad” since the age of 3. His has very high standards of excellence and hard work. He gives back to society by inspiring and training the next generation of wrestling champions.

About himself he says “I am a loyal and a hard worker. I want to be a role model for the children I am coaching and want to set an example for young wrestlers. Work ethics is important to me and hard work always pays off”.

 

 

 

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Johannes Petrus Botha
Nick Name Hanru
Date of birth 9 October 1989
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Naboomspruit
Height 1.75m
Weight 76kg
Shoe Size UK9
Club Brave Wrestling
Coach’s Name Rudi Botha
Out of Country events Africa Wrestling Champs
Secondary Sports MMA
Favorite City DURBAN
Sponsors PrimalFit
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Hanru Botha
Parents Names, siblings Rudi Botha(Father), Pierre Botha(Identical Twin Brother)

INTERVIEW:

Q: Firstly – you are proudly part of team SA selected for the Gold coast Commonwealth Games. Congrats! What is on your heart and mind right now regarding this big upcoming event?

It is a huge privilege, to wrestle on this level, and I want to make the country proud.

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

I wrestle since I was 3 years old and work hard my whole life. Due to funding, I could not always use the opportunities I had as it is expensive to travel and most wrestling is up North in Africa or Europe. The times that I had the opportunity, I medaled.

Q: Who are you? 

I am a loyal and a hard worker. I want to be a role model for the children I am coaching and want to set an example for young wrestlers. Work ethics is important to me and hard work always pays off.

Photo credits: Hansie Myburgh

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

My Dad is my Coach and unfortunately he does not allow any space for errors (Lol). He made us train on Christmas days as he used to say “while other people rest you train and they will never catch up again.”

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

I was Africa Champ 2007 in Tunisia as a Junior and also a silver medalist on Africa Seniors 2016.

Q: Who inspired you when you were much younger and why?

Bennie Labuschagne was a Springbok Wrestler when as  I was around 10 years old and he set an example, and still does.

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

Wrestling is not a sport, it is a way of living. It taught me respect for others, discipline and to fight for what you believe in.

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

Live English interviews(lol).

Q: Favourite food and who must cook it 😊 ?

Braai, my Mom Ashley is the best braaier.

Q: How do you currently manage to balance all the aspects and expectations in your life?

Planning, planning. My family and friends at my club help a lot and also make this possible.

Q: What is your favourite quote?

My quote,  “It is not how good you are, it is how bad you want it”.

Q: What is your definition of success in life?

Believe in yourself.

Q: What’s your WHY? 

I do not drink or smoke, and are proud of my body. I like to show people, what wrestling did for me in my life. To see the small kids train, and getting better, do what I teach them, this is satisfaction that you cannot explain to others. The bond between wrestlers is special, and this sentiment is all over the world. I have been in Spain, Tunisia, Turkey, if you are a wrestler, you share something common with all Nations.

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

I am most grateful for having a Dad like mine. He stands by me, lose or win, as long as I work hard, he will share the disappointments and then we rebuild again. It is actually scary as he coached me since I was three, he will sometimes just make eye contact while I am busy wrestling and I will exactly know what my next move must be. There is a bond between us and I am very grateful for somebody like him.

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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Fresh & Hungry – Chanté Cornelius

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The wisdom, insight and clarity of vision of our youth so clearly shines through this brilliant young swimmer Chanté Cornelius. She is grounded in Christ, she is strong in her swimming but also has the depth of vision that life goes beyond sport and that relationships and time to care about others is just as important. She is proudly the twin sister to Nathasha Cornelius.

She brings energy and quality to her team and says “I am a 16 year old girl who puts all my faith in God. I am hard on myself and expect excellence from everyone around me. I enjoy life and seize the moments of happiness given in everyday stuff”.

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Chanté Cornelius
Nick Name
Date of birth 8 November 2001
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1,69m
Weight 60kg
Shoe Size 6
Club Pretoria Aquatic Club
Coach’s Name Eugene da Ponte
Out of Country events/ meets Gholfinos Sprint Gala
Secondary Sport/ sports I used to play hockey
Favorite City San Fransisco
Favorite Song/ type of music Let me go – Hailee Steinfeld
Favorite Movie The Choice
School & Grade Die Hoërskool Menlopark – grade 11
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Instagram – @chante.cor
Parents Names, siblings Father – Richard

Mother – Dalene

Brother – Jean-Michael

Twin Sister – Natasha

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?

In grade 1 everyone had to take part in the Inter-house swimming trials. I made the team and the swimming coach told my parents that I had talent.  My parents then took me for extra swimming lessons with Eugene, my current coach. He has helped me grow in my swimming and I can gladly say, if it weren’t for his input, hard work and dedication, I would not be where I am today.

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

I am a 16 year old girl who puts all my faith in God. I am hard on myself and expect excellence from everyone around me. I enjoy life and seize the moments of happiness given in everyday stuff.

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

My greatest accomplishment in swimming was when I won a gold medal in 50 fly at Junior Nationals in 2017. I was very happy with my bronze in 100 fly too.

My biggest personal accomplishment was when I came 4th in 100 fly at SA Short Course in 2017.  Personal accomplishment would definitely be the moment I realized the blessing to be one of a twin..

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

My mom always tells me – always be kind, no matter what.

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

Being myself, because in today’s social society and what the media prompts from you, it is difficult not to lose the real you.  I stay grounded by socializing with friends with the same values and morals I believe in.  Listen to good advice and follow my heart.

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

Playing video games ….. and running fast.

Q: Do you want to  share a little on your faith journey so far?

God has been good to me across my swimming career; talent is not the only requirement to be successful in any sport, cultural or academic field.  You also need dedication, good attitude and people who believe in you as much as you believe in yourself. I am truly blessed to have all of the above.  And the fact that I have not had any injuries that caused me to not be able to train.

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

I am most grateful for a loving and supporting family that always has my back. I am also very grateful for my friends that stuck by my side.  I am ultimately grateful for a loving God.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life?

Success to me is when someone sets a goal and gives their best to achieve it. A successful person is one who achieves their goals and ultimately lives their goals and dreams to the fullest.  One that does not give up, a person that gives nothing less than their best, whether they achieve their goal or not, if they learnt something while giving their excellence, then it is a success.

Q: What’s your WHY?  

Swimming has become part of who I am, and I see it as a learning school as well as a tool to make dreams a reality, it forms a great part of my being.  I swim because I enjoy it and through living a dream I learn many life lessons.

The example I want to set for others is to never give up, always stay true to yourself and to always give your best.

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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Fresh & Hungry – Henré Louw

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Henré Louw is part of a host of young stars emerging from the Swimming SA system. He is talented an multi-faceted young man who excels in Open water and competitive swimming. He has proudly represented our beautiful nation internationally where he gained valuable lessons and life experience. His has a wonderful mixture of skill, pace and endurance in the waters.

When asked “Who are you”, he says: It is a difficult question to answer.  I see myself as a normal teenager who started dreaming about my career at a very young age as I want to represent South Africa on the highest level I will be able to go.  For this reason, I do have to make sacrifices my friends and family do not always understand or appreciate.  When going out, I must think what I drink, what I eat and how late I want to stay up in order to give my best the next morning in the practice pool.  But I want people to see this characteristics in me, and to make them believe they can dream big too, if they are willing to work harder than they play”.

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Henré Louw
Nick Name None
Date of birth 2002-02-10
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1,83m
Weight 69kg
Shoe Size 9
Club TUKS
Coach’s Name Linda de Jager
Out of Country events/ meets Hong Kong, Cyprus, Doha, Mauritius, Mozambique
Secondary Sport/ sports Waterpolo
Favorite City Italy
Favorite Song/ type of music Ed Sheeran – Dive
Favorite Movie Kingsman the Golden Circle
School & Grade Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool Gr 9
Sponsors ARENA
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name henre.louw
Web site https://kydrin.co.za/goals/view/399
Community / church projects involved in NG Kerk – Lynnwood
Parents Names, siblings Pieter and Lomé Louw (parents)

Older brother – Pieter Louw

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 when I was 11.  I was fortunate to do a TV program on Disney Channel with Cameron van der Burgh where I held his golden Olympic Medal.  This is where my journey and dreams started.  I had many hiccups on my way up to now.  I tore my ligaments and had fractures in my ankle after attending a trampoline party just before a big swim event.  My appendix needed to be removed also before SA Short Course last year.  Luckily incredible doctors crossed my path.  I will always be thankful:  Dr Stoffberg, Dr Mook, Dr Kelbrick, Dr Van Onselen and Physiotherapist Louis Olivier.

I must give accolade to coach Linda de Jager on this jouney of mine, she is the one person that takes all my nonsense every day!

Q: Who are you? 

It is a difficult question to answer.  I see myself as a normal teenager who started dreaming about my career at a very young age as I want to represent South Africa on the highest level I will be able to go.  For this reason, I do have to make sacrifices my friends and family do not always understand or appreciate.  When going out, I must think what I drink, what I eat and how late I want to stay up in order to give my best the next morning in the practice pool.  But I want people to see this characteristics in me, and to make them believe they can dream big too, if they are willing to work harder than they play.

Q: You have just done some international swimming. Congrats! How did you experience it? Lessons learned?

Attending the World Cup in Doha and Hong Kong made me realized very quickly that swimmers all around the world are equal.  To describe it better, I rode in the bus with all the top swimmers like Katinka Hosszu and Chad le Clos, Cameron van der Burgh and Sarah Sjostrom to the events. There is not a “better” bus for the “better” ranked swimmers.  I also realized my swim family is not only the other swimmers practicing with met at TUKS.  The swimmers mentioned above treat you equally and to any other competitor, even when you are much younger and less experienced.  I try to make a new swim friend at every meet or gala I attend.

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

I represented South-Africa in Mauritius in December 2017 in the CANA ZONE 4 Junior Open Water Swimming Championships where I won the 5km and 3km.  This was swimming with a view!  Our relay team also won gold.

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

Sometimes you attend a swim gala or a meet and nothing goes according to your plan.  It is in these times you must remember it is not your plan but God’s plan for your life.  And everything always works out perfectly according to His plan for your life.

Q: What do you do to relax?

To my mom’s agony I do like square objects.  Watching TV, play XBox, lying on the sofa staring at my cellphone, I also watch movies with my brother and friends.

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

Hard to believe, but there is life after swimming. For this reason one should never neglect the education given to you.  I do believe if the education system in South Africa can benefit all, we will be the top country in the world.  My father’s favorite saying is:  “You have two ears, and one mouth for a reason.”  Learn from words spoken by other.

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

I do struggle to be neat….. (My mom is going to love my honesty about this one).

And then hard to admit, but I suck at Monopoly!

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

I am not talented, I am obsessed – Conor McGregor

Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?

Give God your weaknesses, and He will give you His strength.

Q: What’s your WHY ?  Why do you do what you do? What type of influence do you see yourself having on our nation’s and continent’s youth?

MY WHY: To worship God by the talent He gave me.

FOR THE YOUTH:  Never ever give up.

I am asked to swim the 8 Mile for CANSA at Midmar Mile 2018.  The reason for me saying yes to this project;  I am living my dream, and by swimming the 8 Mile I hope to put a dream back in another one’s heart to stay positive and keep fighting.  If you want to read more please go to https://kydrin.co.za/goals/view/399

Tannie Cresi, thank you for interviewing me.  I am still a no-namer in the sport, but people like you give me hope for the future as you believe in me!   Regards Henré

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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Meet the young Athletes – Tasneen Ebrahim

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Today we chat to Tasneem Ebrahim, a proud daughter of Nelson Mandela Bay who has done her part in in showing humility, a champion’s heart and excellence in the swimming arena. She is driven by hard work, lot of fun and a  joie de vivre that is contagious. She has proudly represented our beautiful nation and shown the steel that she is made of. “A girly girl” on the inside but lined with steel.

Her views on education is that it is a great equiliser.  She says this about herself  “ I am a very happy, go- lucky person and love to reach my full potential in everything that I do.  I love to joke around and have fun with friends and have the reputation as the person that can tell the lamest jokes or always have a pun ready. A few characteristics that I would love to take with me now and for the future is stay dedicated, disciplined, work hard and enjoy every second of it. Because if you do something you love every day, you will never get tired of it”.

 

 

Virtrix Ludorum – Top Female Swimmer – NMU Madibaz Gala 2017

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Tasneen Ebrahim
Nick Name Tazz
Date of birth 16th of September 2002
Place of birth Port Elizabeth
Current City Port Elizabeth
Height 175 cm
Weight 66kg
Shoe Size 7
Club PEA
Coach’s Name Mark Edge
Out of Country events/ meets Swimming: CANA Zone 3 Games held in Rwanda (2016)

Open water: LEN Cup held in Rome, Italy (2017); CANA Zone 4 Junior Open Water Championship held in Mauritius (2017)

Secondary Sport/ sports Hockey
Favorite City Rome
Favorite Song/ type of music All music
Favorite Movie All types, especially sci-fi.
School & Grade St Dominic’s Priory , Grade 10 (2018)
Sponsors None
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Instagram: tazz_ebrahim

FaceBook: Tasneen Ebrahim Swimming, @TasneenSwimming

Community / church projects involved in St. Dominic’s Priory Interact Club
Parents Names, siblings Mother: Melisa Ebrahim.

Father: Reza Ebrahim.

Younger sister: Jenah Ebrahim

Sportsman of The Year 2016 Award present by SA Olympic swimmer Jessica Roux

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 getting into swimming at a very young age due to the fact that I had battled with asthma and was recommended by my doctors to start swimming to help me regulate my breathing. I only started the competitive side of swimming in about Grade 5. My first gala I managed to swim a level 1 qualifying time and then from that moment on I’ve fallen in love with the sport. From a newbie swimmer to being chosen to represent our country at various international events and qualifying for various other nationals.

Q: Firstly – you have been blessed to have been part of Team SA recently –  Congrats! How did you experience it?

Thanks you so much! I found racing internationally and against other countries can be really exciting. It was a huge learning curve for me. Watching the best in the World get ready before big races, how they warm up and various other things was amazing. Overall I loved every second of it,  and experiencing all the different cultures of each country and meeting so many swimmers across the globe and being in a team with some of the best swimmers in South Africa was incredible. Also the opportunity to be a representative and ambassador for SA was a big responsibility and great honour for me.

Team SA in Rwanda at the CANA Games

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

I am a very happy, go- lucky person and love to reach my full potential in everything that I do.  I love to joke around and have fun with friends and have the reputation as the person that can tell the lamest jokes or always have a pun ready. A few characteristics that I would love to take with me now and for the future is stay dedicated, disciplined, work hard and enjoy every second of it. Because if you do something you love every day, you will never get tired of it.

Medals won in Rwanda at the CANA Games 2016

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

My highest accolade was being selected for the national squad for Open Water. My greatest personal achievements happens at every one of my races and practices because I know that I have achieved more today than I had the day before.

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

I have a passion for many sports , but mostly hockey. I love indoor hockey and field, and often try and make time for the sport. It allows me a bit of team sport, socializing and a release of some feistiness.

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

The value of education in a young person is very important. Education allows us the opportunity to experience and prepare us for our future, whether it’s the basic education of reading and writing to chemical equations; education is what gives us the benefits of knowing what is happening in the world around us and how we fit in.  It helps us to be able to contribute in a positive way and an equal chance at life.

Q: Tell me one thing about yourself that the world does not know 🙂?

I’m secretly a girly girl.

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

I can’t cook… at all.

Team SA Relay in Rwanda

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

I’m out of this world grateful for my family, for supporting me in every one of my decisions and giving me every opportunity to reach my dream one day. I’m also grateful for each one of my supporters out there, who always send me good luck messages and personal ones too. I thank each of them for believing in me and always putting a smile on my face.

 

Q: Which athlete inspires you and why?

Katinka Hosszu, AKA “The Iron Lady”, because she always pushes the boundaries of swimming and drives herself to achieve her full potential. She has single-handedly changed the face of female swimming, gone from seeing women as a weaker sex to seeing us as equal.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life / how do you define a successful person?

To define success in life is to be happy with what you doing and that you are pushing yourself to the absolute most. The result should reflect on the amount of work put into your goal and if it all matches up … I say that’s success!

Meeting Chad Le Chlos

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

I do this because I love it. It’s my thing and it’s something that separates me from the rest of the world. I don’t only for myself , but hope to one day be a role-model for every little girl out there who thinks their dreams are bigger than themselves. No dream is to big or to small, and to reach for the stars. And to never ever give up, no matter what anyone tells you, because it’s your dream … now go and chase it.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Yes, thank you, I want to share a quote that I learnt a long time ago, something that when others said I was silly to be swimming “all the time” and something I needed to continue to focus on my dreams…

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

Spar River Mile Top 10 finish on debut – 2017

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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Fresh & Hungry – Natasha Cornelius

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Natasha Cornelius, brilliant and motivational young swimmer opens the year for us on a high note in style and in excellence.

 

Wise and grounded in her faith in Christ, she stands tall in what she believes in. She talks from the heart about being a twin alongside her swimming sis.  She is a true inspiration for our younger athletes with her positive vibe. She has a caring heart for her team mates and loves giving back by engaging and making small children laugh.

 

She say about herself “I am daughter, sister, friend and cousin. I am a swimmer, hard worker, dedicated and passionate person.  But most importantly, I am a child of God. I would like to see patience increased within myself as I grow into my future”.

 

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Natasha Cornelius
Nick Name Tash, Tasha or Natash
Date of birth 8 November 2001
Place of birth Centurion
Current City Pretoria
Height 1,70 m
Weight 60 kg
Shoe Size 6
Club Pretoria Aquatic Club
Coach’s Name Eugene da Ponte
Out of Country events Golfinhos Sprint Gala
Secondary Sport Hockey until end Gr9
Favorite City New York City
Favorite Song/ Type of music My type – The Chainsmokers
Favorite Movie The lucky one
School & Grade Die Hoerskool Menlopark, grade 11
Twitter/Instagram/Facebook Instagram – Natasha.cor
Parents Names, siblings Mom – Dalene

Dad – Richard

Brother – Jean-Michael

Sister – Chante

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?

My parents sent us to learn how to swim when we were small.  Being at Hatfield Christian School where swimming was one of their main sports, we swam for the school team.  Throughout all of this, my talent for swimming was fully developed. Through swimming I learned a lot and not only about the sport, but also some valuable life lessons, such as “never to give up” “there are times that you need to push hard and then there is times to rely on your team” just to mention a few.   I’ve achieved personal goals, which I’m proud of. And it has given me the opportunity to meet new people, which fit in with my love of people.

Q: You are part of a twin – how are you experiencing this in the swimming arena?

At first it was difficult to leave the rivalry at the pool and to not bring it home with us.  Both of us are very competitive which makes it a real challenge at times. It was a challenge to be happy for my sister when I’m disappointed in myself and my own performance. It took time but eventually we learnt to be proud of each other. Sometimes one is just better on the day. That being said, I cannot be happier when my sister achieves one of her goals.

Q: Who are you? 

I am daughter, sister, friend and cousin. I am a swimmer, hard worker, dedicated and passionate person.  But most importantly, I am a child of God. I would like to see patience increased within myself as I grow into my future.

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

I have won a bronze medal at Jnr Nationals 2016 and have made a few semifinals at SA Short course in 2017. Made SA Schools team in 2017.

My greatest personal accomplishment would definitely have to be within the swimming arena.  One of my greatest and proudest achievements was when I swam the 100m Freestyle in 59.80sec, – under 1 minute in the previous season.

Q: Besides your swimming what do you have a passion for?

I have a passion for small children and making them laugh.  Music is another great love where I can lose myself.

Q: Tell me one thing about yourself that the world does not know 🙂 ?

I don’t eat butter or pepper ever.

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

I suck at singing but I really wish I could sing though.

Q: Do you want share a little on your faith journey so far?

Christ died for me so I swim for him.  I believe in a personal relationship with Jesus, listening to Christian music to inspire me and always trust in that inner voice of the Holy Spirit.

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

I am grateful for my family and the people my life.  Those people that never gives up on me.

Q: In your opinion, how do you define success in life? 

Success to me is when someone achieves a goal no matter the size of it. It is when they feel they have accomplished something. A successful person is someone who never gives up on their will to get to a goal or achieve something and then living that dream of purpose.

Q: What’s your WHY ? 

I love swimming because of the talent God has given me. It is a part of me and I don’t think I can live without it. I’d like to be an example to younger children to never give up on your dreams and talents.  Always work hard and believe in yourself.  They must understand my morals as well as my commitment to everything I do in life.  In everything, be excellent, not just average.   I do everything to please God because he is the reason that I live. My team mates have become like a second family to me as I spend a lot of time with them. They understand me and go through the pain with me. I love the burn after a good set.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Do everything to the best of your ability because the things we take for granted other people are praying for. The only difference between try and triumph is a little umph.

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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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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