Category Archives: Africa

Africa Home Sports Tennis

South Africa: Three SA Players Gear Up for Junior Australian Open

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South Africa will have three players to keep tabs on at the Junior Australian Open in Melbourne later this month.

The three-pronged representation means it’s the largest South African boys group in recent years.

Photo Credits – Outsider Communications

The SA challenge will be spearheaded by South Africa’s and Africa’s highest world ranked junior, Joshua Howard-Tripp of Gauteng East. Joining Howard-Tripp (pictured above)  are Sipho Montsi of Gauteng North and Philip Henning of Free State.

Howard-Tripp is ranked 83rd on the world junior boys singles rankings with Montsi ranked 108th and Henning at 187th. Henning was part of Team South Africa at the recent AUSC Region 5 Games Under-20 event in Luanda, Angola where he reached the final against fellow South African Richard Thongoana.

All three boys have represented South Africa in team competition on the international stage. Howard-Tripp was part of South Africa’s junior Davis Cup team in 2015.

After Australia, all three boys will travel to Tunisia to represent South Africa in the Under-18 African Championships there and no doubt will battle hard to be crowned African champion.

Richard Glover, Tennis South Africa (TSA) CEO, wished the South African boys all the best in Melbourne. ‘As part of our new vision, TSA are planning to reintroduce a squad system that will give support to our rising stars in junior Grand Slam events.

‘TSA are happy to be able to give some assistance to the three boys in Melbourne as a kick start of this programme and are confident they will do themselves and their country proud.’

 

Source – http://allafrica.com/stories/201701110683.html

 

Africa Home Sports

SwimSmarter &NTS: Conference with Todd Schmitz

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I have some exciting news to announce, SwimSmarter in association with NTS Education have managed to acquire the services of Todd Schmitz, a  5 times Olympic Gold medallist coach and some of the Top Coaches in South Africa – for a Coaches/Instructors Conference. Dates 29-30th October at Menlopark Hight School in Pretoria. This amazing event promises to be a highlight in this Olympic year for Coaches, Instructors, Teachers, Administrators. Parents and Swimmers.

RE: Registrations for the Sports Education Conference to be held at Menlopark Highschool in Pretoria 29-30th October 2016

As promised, registrations will open today, Wednesday 5th October at 08:00. To register, please go to www.swimsmarter.co.za and select the online store.

For your ease of reference, there are 3 options to choose from. These include:

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Option 1:

Sports Education Conference 2016

Dates: 29-30th October

Location: Menlopark Hoerskool Pretoria

Cost: R675 (including lunch and refreshments both days

Open to: Coaches, Instructors, Teachers, Administrators, Parents and Swimmers

Description:

A 2 Day Conference featuring Todd Schmitz 5 times Olympic Gold medallist coach and some of the Top Coaches in South Africa with presentations on Creating the Teenage Champion; The Athlete: Dealing with the highs and lows; Creating a productive Club/School structure, culture and running it like the business it is, for success at the youth level; Building Relationships: Missy Franklin not only a Champion but also a Person; Speed Development in Youth Athletes: Are we fast enough?; The perfect approach to a Holistic Youth Based Program; The importance of an Instructor in a Champion’s development; Emotional Intelligence: Athletes – Humans or Robots?; Current state of swimming in South Africa: Just how good are we?

 

Option 2:

Todd Schmitz Swim Clinic 13 years and under

Date: Saturday 29th October (Saturday)

Time: 11:00-15:30

Cost: R500 (includes lunch and SwimSmarter Goodie bag)

Open to: Swimmers aged 13 and under (spaces limited 40swimmers)

Description:

30 minute talk from 5 time Olympic Gold Medallist Coach, Todd Schmitz; 1 hour pool session with Todd; lunch; 30 minute talk from Giulio Zorzi, a World Championship Medallist; 1 hour pool session with Giulio focusing on Breaststroke; and an additional 30 minutes focusing on starts.

 

Option 3:

Todd Schmitz Swim Clinic 14 years – 18 years

Date: Sunday 30th October (Sunday)

Time: 11:00-15:30

Cost: R500 (includes lunch and SwimSmarter Goodie bag)

Open to: Swimmers aged 14 to 18 years (spaces limited 40swimmers)

Description:

30 minute talk from 5 time Olympic Gold Medallist Coach, Todd Schmitz; 1 hour pool session with Todd; lunch; 30 minute talk from Giulio Zorzi, a World Championship Medallist; 1 hour pool session with Giulio focusing on Breaststroke; and an additional 30 minutes focusing on starts.

If you have any questions with respect to the Sports Education Conference or the Swim Clinic please feel free to drop us an email.

Many thanks and looking forward to sharing in this phenomenal SwimSmarter initiative.

Contact us

 www.swimsmarter.co.za

admin@swimsmarter.co.za

Africa Home Olympics 2016 Rio Sports Swimming

Olympic Hopes: Daniela Lindemeier

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Daniela Lindemeier, Namibian swimming sensation is wisely using the vibe and the momentum of this special Olympic year to sway her onward and upward, as he puts in her grind daily working towards the qualifiers and then the Rio Olympics itself in August this year. We are behind you and support you all the way as we connect our hopes to yours for this very special dream to become a reality.

PLEASE SEE EVENTS BELOW TO FOLLOW AND SUPPORT Daniela.

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Highlights of 2015? 

It definitely was South African Nationals, in Durban. Where I managed two Fina B World Qualifying times. Another one standing out for me was All African Games (in Congo) where I managed three Bronze medals.

2015 was a great year and my utmost appreciation goes to the Davin Trust for standing by me and supporting me all the way! Special thanks to the late Mrs. Jeanne Davin who was my biggest supporter and mentor. I will forever be thankful!

The late Jeanne Davin with Daniela

The late Jeanne Davin with Daniela

Academic Plans for 2016

This year I’m still coaching in between my training sessions. My aim for next year starting my studies for biokinetics / physiotherapy.

Sports plans for 2016?

There are quite a few big competitions this year. The first one in Durban South Africa which is also a qualifying event for the Olympic Games. There are a lot of upcoming events that are qualifying opportunities for the Games. My focus has been the Games over the past years, so I will give it my best shot. It’s the biggest focus this year. After the Games, at the end of the year are the Short Course World Championships in Canada, which also always is a very exciting event.

What are you most looking forward to this year?

As for most athletes it’s the 2016 Olympic Games. I’m no different, haha. Looking forward to watching these and hopefully being a part of them.

What is your biggest motivation at the moment?

My biggest motivation right now (and has always been) personal improvement, in and out of the pool. To improve personal best times is all the motivation I need, it’s one of the best feelings, can’t be explained.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

This year a lot of athletes see as a make it or break it. As it is an Olympic year. Pressure is high it can take the best of you if you let it. It’s not always easy. To me personally I learnt a way to turn it into a positive and let it drive me in training and in racing.

The goal/challenge for me is taking off those splits in my 100m breaststroke to reach an Rio qualification. So staying as healthy as possible and to push my body to limit each and every day.

What are you upcoming events where your friends and fans can follow and support you?

For the first half of the year, my first competition are our Namibian National Championships in February 25 – 28.

Then in April South African Nationals. That I can say for a definite.

Through out the year whatever opportunity (racing chance) might come up I’ll go for it.

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Africa Faith Home Proudly South African Sports

Celebrating 1 Year!

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Today we celebrate the 1st birthday of Heslop Sports. Thank you Jesus for your love and blessings! What an amazing year this has been as athletes shared their wonderful stories of hope, inspiration, struggles and victories – WELL DONE YOUNG ATHLETES FOR MAKING YOUR VOICES HEARD! You are indeed world changers and history makers that will leave your mark and legacy of goodness in this world!

THIS IS A SHOUTOUT AND OPEN INVITATION TO ALL AND ANY ATHLETE/ PARENT OF AN ATHLETEWE WOULD LOVE TO SHARE YOUR STORY! PLEASE MAKE CONTACT WITH US here: hi@heslopsports.co.za

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This is the Heslop Sports Touchstone and Mandate:

We have a special passion for UP-AND-COMING YOUNG ATHLETES within various sports disciplines.

Our Aim is to:

  • Give a voice to young athletes.
  • Publish the stories, aspirations, plans, progress, footage, images, stats, CV’s etc of young athletes.
  • Provide a crowd-funding platform allowing athletes to do a shout out for financial and other support into their own and the wider  sport and business community.
  • Gather and share motivational material for athletes.
  • Connect athletes to each other.
  • Promote young athletes.
  • Celebrate and honour athletes.
  • Encourage parents and coaches of young athletes to share their experiences in the sports arena.
  • Ultimately to create a valuable hub of the above information that can be used by athletes, coaches, parents, schools, scouts, sponsors, teams, communities and anybody with a keen interest in top and up-and-coming young athletes. Let’s remember “not to despise the days of small beginnings”.

Africa Home Interviews Proudly South African Sports Swimming

Meet the Young Athletes: Carissa van Rooyen

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Carissa van Rooyen, champion youth swimmer, so young and already such an inspiration, with such wise words of wisdom. Our youth are in class of their own and must never be underestimated. She has a rare blend of talent and commitment to hard work that can only result in success for the journey ahead. Humble, grounded and with a beautiful grateful heart and a resolute determination to make the most of every opportunity that comes her way, from academics to sport. She is proudly a learner at St Dominics School for Girls, where she loves and enjoys learning and working hard. Carissa is just back from her first international event and has come away from it honoured to represent our beautiful SA nation, richer and more hungry to work hard and succeed. Well done Carissa!

 

Podium photo 100m back

Podium photo 100m back

100m back stroke medalist

100m back stroke medalist

Athlete: Bio / Stats
Name & Surname Carissa van Rooyen
Date of birth 2 May 2002
Place of birth Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa
Current City Boksburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Height 1,74m
Shoe Size 7
Club Mandeville Dolphins
Coach’s Name Dean Price
Out of Country events/ meets 11th African Junior Championships, Cairo, Egypt, October 2015
Secondary Sport/ sports Netball
School & Grade St Dominics school for Girls, Boksburg, Grade 7
Sponsors Speedo
Describe yourself as a person. I am disciplined and work hard to achieve my goals both long term and short term. I am a kind, loving and an understanding person. I love to help where it is possible.
50m back podium photo

50m back podium photo

100m back podium photo

100m back podium photo

INTERVIEW:

Q: Who are you?

I am a dedicated young girl who is passionate about what I do and why I do it. I am disciplined and work hard to achieve my goals both long term and short term. I am a kind, loving and an understanding person. I love to help where it is possible. I always give 200% when I participate in activities whether its school, sport or even a cultural event. Through downs and lows in my life I always strive to do my best no matter how bad the downs and lows get.

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

I started swimming at age 9 because at my old school a swimming coach told my mom that she sees potential in me and that my mom must take me to a professional coach to asses my ability.

Q: Would you like to share some highlights about your own sports events so far?

My first big highlight in swimming was the first time I broke a South African record. It was a very ecstatic day for me and to this day I still remember how I felt after I found out that I broke a National record. My second big highlight was finding out that I was selected to swim for Central Gauteng in a provincial gala. Then came the news that I was selected to swim for Gauteng Schools in a National gala. And so far the biggest highlight in my career was finding out that I was selected to swim for South Africa at the 11th African Swimming Championship held in Egypt in October 2015.

Q: You are just back from your first International event – Junior Africa Swimming Champs – Egypt, proudly part of Team SA – Congrats! How did you experience that?

First of all thank you so much, it was truly a honor representing my country in Egypt. My experience was truly amazing. I had so much fun at the gala although it was a lot of hard work and dedication towards the team . Focus was one of the key things we had to have and if you had a bad swim in the morning session then you had to learn from it and come back stronger than ever for the evening sessions. I learned very quickly that the gala was on a completely different level than what I was used to here in South Africa. The professionalism of the swimmers all over the continent was truly profound. I was lucky enough to have my mom with me in Egypt to get me water and keep an eye on me, even though I didn’t see her much. The coaches were very supportive towards the swimmers. I learned a lot and I definitely see swimming in a completely different perspective in the way that I respect the amount of hard work and dedication required for the sport. My first international gala was a great success and I am truly grateful for the opportunity that has been given to me.

 

Podium Photo 4 x 100m free relay

Podium Photo 4 x 100m free relay

Podium photo 4 x 100m Medley relay

Podium photo 4 x 100m Medley relay

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

My home is a very calm and supportive home. My mom is my number one supporter and I will be lost if I didn’t have her by my side to help me with ups and downs that come in my life. My school life is very busy but I have the best teachers and friends at St Dominics who are always there for me and help me to catch up when I miss out on work due to swimming i.e. I was at school for only 1 week in October 2015. I enjoy school and I work very hard at it and like I said without my mom by my side I would truly be lost. St Dominics is an amazing school and it plays a big role in why I love school so much.

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

I think it is important to excel in academics because you can’t only have swimming as a background and expect work to come find you instead of the other way around, especially because school teaches you a lot of lessons on how to handle life. How hard you work at school determines how hard you will work in real life when you go out in the ‘wild’. I also find that there is absolutely no reason not to try and excel in academics as you are not helping yourself by being lazy and not appreciating that you in actual fact have been given an opportunity to set a successful future for yourself. I always say to my friends,’ if not why not’.

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

I would say pizza but then I will get in trouble with my coach, Dean Price. So my “favorite” food is ribs and chips and because my grandpa makes the most delicious sweet and sticky ribs (no offence mom) he will be the first and only person I would ask to make my ribs and chips.

Carissa and Chad le Clos Speedo Prestige July 2013

Carissa and Chad le Clos Speedo Prestige July 2013

Carissa and Mom Speedo Prestige July 2013 1st SA Nationals Record 50m backstroke

Carissa and Mom Speedo Prestige July 2013 1st SA Nationals Record 50m backstroke

Q: Who is your sports hero in the sports that you are involved in?  What have you learned from him / her?

My sport hero is Michael Phelps and one thing that I have learnt from him is no matter how big of a curveball life throws you need to get back up, remember why and for what you are doing this and then you need to come back stronger and more committed than ever.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

My favourite motivational quote is: Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently-Henry Ford

Q: What is your favourite Bible Verse?

My favourite Bible Verse is Psalm 23 The Lord is my Sheppard.

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

I am most grateful for being given another chance everyday to work to my full potential and show people how great the Lords’ creations are and how limitless your potential is.

For now and for the future, how do you think that you can be a change-maker in our country through what you do in sports and the way you live your life?

I think I can show people that no matter what condition your life is in you still have the potential to do the most spectacular things in life by doing what you love and loving what you do.

Q: What is your message of encouragement  to South African youth and the nation?

The message of encouragement is every time you even start to think about giving up because you think you aren’t good enough or strong enough then you need to think why you even started, what your goals are and why you set them in the first place. Sure there are going to be tough times but you need to push through because the reward you get at the end is much greater than that tiny little bump you had on your way. One of the quotes I love is to support this is: If you could get up the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed-David Viscott

Getting ready for 100m back final

Getting ready for 100m back final

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

NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email info@heslopsports.co.za with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

Carissa and Dune at OR Tombo 1st International Tour

Carissa and Dune at OR Thambo-  1st International Tour

Medals and trophys

Medals and trophys

Africa Home Interviews Proudly South African Rugby Sports

Fresh & Hungry – Donovan du Randt

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Fresh, hungry and rising to the top with hard work and a steely determination is Dovovan du Randt. He is one of our youth rugby players who has his head and heart in the right place. He describes himself as “a hardworking, outgoing and highly competitive person”. This was so clear during his performances at “school boy” rugby over the past few years. He is not shy to sprint, dive, jump and attack to score and bring victory for his team.

He is proudly a Glenwood High School learner, currently busy with his matric finals. Glenwood has recently honoured him at their Annual Sports’ Awards Banquet with the Sportsman of the Year award. What an honour and achievement for him as an individual but also for the team and the sport in general. Our schools play such a wonderful role in the early development of our young talent.

Donovan has competed at the highest level for his country at he Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa this year, being part of the team that won a gold medal for sevens rugby.

We wish him all the best with the matric exams and will keep a keen eye on him next year as he goes from strength to strength.

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Athlete: Bio / Stats
Name & Surname Donovan du Randt
Nick Name Donny
Date of birth 14/01/1997
Place of birth Pongola
Current City Durban
Height 1.72
Weight 72
Shoe Size 7
Club None
Coach’s Name Rudi Dames and Mike Volwes
Out of Country events/ meets Junior Commonwealth Games
Favorite City Auckland
Favorite Song/ type of music Again – Fetty Wap
Favorite Movie Get hard
School & Grade Glenwood High School – Grade 12
Sponsors None
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Instagram – donovan_durandt

Facebook- Donovan du Randt

Community projects involved in Salvation Army
Parents Names, siblings Ansie du Randt
Very briefly describe yourself as a person. I see myself as a hardworking, outgoing and highly competitive person .

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INTERVIEW:

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

Since I was a little boy of 4 years old my dad used to take us to all his rugby games and since then I developed the love for rugby.

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

The highest was representing South Africa at the junior commonwealth games in Somoa. The highest personal achievement was returning with a gold medal.

Q: You have just represented Team SA for Rugby in Samoa at the Youth Commonwealth Games. The team did brilliant, bringing back the Gold Medal, wow and congrats!! What are your observations about this games / lessons learned?

You can never expect to go to an international tournament that any game would be easy but through hard work and dedication only one team could go home with a gold medal. Lesson learned was that hard work pays off.

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Q: Do you have any specific regimens or rituals in rugby, maybe a particular diet / training method that can be partially attributed to your success?

No specific regiments or rituals but sticking to the normal conditioning program and training hard every day.

Q: How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics / work into your schedule?

You have to know where your priorities are as you have to focus on both at the same time.

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

I have a passion to help people that are homeless and those struggling to survive.

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

There is a softer side to me and I miss my dad terribly.

Q: Which athlete/ athletes inspire you?

Dan Carter

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Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.

Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?

Believe and you will be saved.

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

Ice in the head fire in the belly

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

The biggest challenge is to play in the green and gold and for myself to get there I will have to work very hard and to take every opportunity that comes my way.

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Q: When you’ve had a tough / bad day, what lifts you up again?

My friends will always lift me up when they see I did not have a good day. Rugby training also helps me to take my head off all the negatives.

Q: I’m sure you have many things going on right now, what’s to be expected next from you?

What I think will be expected of me in the next few years will be to create a bright future for myself and hopefully play in the green and gold one day.

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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Photo Credits:

  • Outsider Communication
  • Contact Details:
  • NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email info@heslopsports.co.za with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

Africa Home Interviews Proudly South African Sports Swimming

Up-Close with Achmat Sharkboy Hassiem

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Achmat Hassiem, is the darling “Sharkboy” of our Nation. Great Olympian, motivator, overcomer and advocate for the very animal that almost took his life – the Great White Shark. His story is one of hope, bravery, honour, victory in the face of defeat, heroism, sacrifice and so much more.

Achmat is one of SA’s bright changemakers and he has the ability and determination to influence things for the better, not only with his sport, but with the way he lives his life. He is all about giving back and making the world a better place. He is also part of the United Nations’s World Sports Values Summitfor Peace.

What strikes me is his humility, joy and gratefulness at getting a second chance in life. He believes that he can change the world one person at a time. He has the heart of a leader and a true warrior who in a moment of life and death chose life, not his own life, but the life of his brother when he decided to get the shark’s attention focused on himself instead. This left him severely disabled. For competition he is categorised in the S10 classification, the classification for swimmers with the most physical disability. But daily he grinds and stives and overcomes! All the best as you set your sails for Rio Olympics 2016 Achmat!

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Athlete: Bio / Stats
Name & Surname Achmat Hassiem
Nick Name Sharkboy
Date of birth 6 May
Place of birth Cape Town
Current City Cape Town
Height 1.94
Weight 85kgs
Shoe Size 12
Club Cape Dolphins
Coach’s Name Coach Brian Button
Out of Country events Competed at 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games,

IPC Swimming World Champs 2010, 2013 and 2015 and other numerous international Invitational.

Secondary Sport/ sports None
Favorite City Cape town
Favorite Song/ type of music Catchy sing along songs and anything I can shake body to 😉
Favorite Movie Pacific Rim, any Marvel based movies like Avengers, and Animation.
School & Grade Matriculated Bergvliet High School.
Tertiary Inst Name/ Year Varsity Collage Class of 2006 and

Exercise Teachers Academy Class of 2009

Tertiary degree/ diploma International Marketing Management and Coaching Diploma
Sponsors Speedo, Osumo restaurants and Futurelife
Twitter and Instagram, facebook name Twitter and Instagram handle : @achmathassiem

Facebook : Achmat Sharkboy Hassiem Supporters Page

Web site www.achmat.com
Community projects involved in National Brand Ambassador for the Hospice Palliative Care Association and I also work with kids with disabilities around SA.
Achmat Hasseim, a Paralympian from South African arrives at Terminal 1 of Heathrow Airport in London.

Achmat Hasseim, a Paralympian from South African arrives at Terminal 1 of Heathrow Airport in London.

INTERVIEW:

Q: Your nick name  is Sharkboy – where does that stem from?

(Story can be found online for any more information needed on this question or the rescue itself).

On August 13th 2006, Muizenberg beach in Cape Town, during a routine lifesaving training exercise called “multiple patient rescue”; when we as lifeguards use a rescue boat to pick up many patients in the water that might need rescuing; my brother, and a teammate and myself were going to act as the patients that needed rescuing on that day. As we got into our positions, not more than 50m into the ocean, a 4.7m Great White Shark entered our training arena and was headed for my brother, Taariq Hassiem, when I made the brotherly decision to draw the sharks attention away from him and place it on myself. I screamed at the lifeguards on the rescue boat to get my brother out of the water as his safety was my number one concern.

That’s when the Shark grabbed me by the leg and dragged me out into the ocean. Underneath the water I fought for my life, and the Shark eventually clamped down, shook me underneath the water and broke my leg in two. I immediately swam for the surface, 70m from where I got pulled under, where my brother saw my splash for help and came rushing over to pull me to safety in the rescue boat. I was immediately airlifted to hospital where I woke up and found out that the lower half of my right leg was amputated. I kept a positive attitude in the hospital thanks to family and friends. The Doctor walked in during a media interview and said “how is my Sharkboy doing?” and the media thought it was extremely cool, and that’s how it got out into public. And I love the nickname, reminds me how valuable life and family is, and also makes me feel like a bit of a superhero.

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

My dream as a child was always to represent my country in sport. Natalie Du Toit was always a great inspiration to me as I always saw her in the media doing incredible things before her disability and after. We go as far back as knowing each other before our disabilities and even studied together. She helped me through my disability and introduced me to competitive swimming. “I took to the pool, like a shark in the ocean”. I began breaking records both nationally and internationally and in 2008 my dream came true when I represented South Africa at the Beijing Paralympic Games. Today I am still privileged and honored to live that dream of representing my country both nationally and internationally.

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

Standing on the podium of the London 2012 Paralympics Games in the Mens S10 category 100m Butterfly final, winning a bronze in a new South African and African S10 record of 57sec.76.

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Q: Do you have any specific regimens or rituals in swimming?

To help me relax before I race, I dance and sing to get me into the “racing zone”, as they say.

Q: What are your highlights of these travels outside of SA,  and what does travelling do for your mindset/ perspective on things?

The highlights of all these travels is being able to see different countries, meet new people, make new friends and of course, representing my country along my fellow teammates. Competing overseas lets you know how you fair amongst your competition and shows you where you are in your achieving your goals, and gives you the valuable international racing experience every athlete needs to compete at an international level.

Q: Represented Team SA, where did you go and how did you experience it?

I have been privileged to represent Team SA on numerous occasions, recently at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. I have been to Canada a few times, London, China, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mozambique, Germany, just to name a few, and every experience is amazing and an absolute honor just wearing the green and gold colors of Team SA.

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

I am a motivational speaker and I have a huge passion for motivating and helping my fellow South Africans and people all around the world both young and old, to go out there and live their lives to the fullest and to never give up on their dreams. I am also a Global Marine Guardian for the PEW Charitable Trust Team based in the United States, and my job is to protect certain species of marine life, by creating sanctuaries all around the world for their protection and safety. My main focus is the protections of sharks and rays. J

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

I have the biggest fear for Spiders!

Q: What do you do to relax?

I love going to the beach or hiking, nature is my guide to relaxation. I love the great outdoors.

Q: Which athlete/ athletes inspire you?

My Brother is a competitive lifesaver; his drive to become number one is something that I really admire. Also swimmers Micheal Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Roland Schoeman, the way they train and their determination is phenomenal.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in battle”.

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

“To just get from point A of your race, to point B as fast as u can” – Clinton G. – Sport Psychologist at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa

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Q: Living away from home and travelling extensively is a sacrifice, in this situation, what does it feel like?  

The biggest sacrifice I make every time when travelling, is leaving my family behind. There are many times that I wish I had them with me to share the memories and moments.

Q: what grounds you – what becomes your touchstone to remind you that the sacrifice is worth it?

The drive to make my mark on the world, the drive to be a champion, the drive to be number 1!

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

Being one of the most disabled athletes in my S10 racing category, my disability of being a below knee amputee, is my biggest challenge. Not having that 2nd foot to drive me through, really affects my start of my race, my underwater work and my ability to finish strong. The way I overcome this is to train harder, strengthen my upper body and one leg more, and ignore my disability and my opponents in my race. All I do is focus on myself, racing the clock and “getting from Point A, to Point B in my race, as fast as I can”.

Q: When an athlete hits some “hard / difficult patch in their sports career, what goes through your mind at that time? What advice can you give other young athletes in this regard?

To not give up and just push through. All athletes go through this point more than once, and I can honestly say that I have gone through my fair share of “down and out” moments, and when it happens, I just get back to my goals, refocus and push through.

Q: When you’ve had a tough / bad day, what lifts you up again?

Being a person who loves the outdoors, usually going for surf or swim in the ocean, and a hike or off road cycle in the mountains usually clears up my head quite well. Even just going to the gym and doing weights or a solid swim session in the pool helps.

Q: I’m sure you have many things going on right now, what’s to be expected next from you?

Currently I am training hard towards qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where I am aiming towards bringing home the gold for my country, my family and my Coach.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

Please follow my journey towards Rio 2016 by liking my Achmat Hassiem Supporters page, following me on Twitter and Instagram @achmathassiem and join the “TEAMSHARKBOY” revolution and lets aim for success together.  Live every second to fullest, and enjoy life!

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Thank you so much for taking this interview. We would like to wish you all the best on the journey to Rio 2016. We look forward to following you as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

NB – All images were supplied by the athlete to Heslop Sports. If there are any images that are not credited correctly, please email info@heslopsports.co.za with the details and we will gladly do so immediately.

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Africa Home NTS Northern Tigers Swimming Proudly South African Sports Swimming

NTS – Victorious in Mozambique

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Northern Tigers Swimming (Gauteng) – deserves to be saluted for their success and brilliant performances at a recent international event – participating in the VII Gala Golfinhos Sprint 2015 in Maputo, Mozambique: 24-25 October 2015. The team truly did SA Swimming proud.

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A great thank you and congratulations to the hosts – Golfinhos de Maputu for a well organised and successful event. Golfinhos Sprint Gala is part of the Libombo region Tri-nations Sprint Gala, in which clubs from Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland take part. This meeting also marked the celebration of the host club’s 20th birthday. The champs took place at the beautiful Zimpeto Olympic Pool, one of the most modern swimming venues in Africa.

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So soon after successfully hosting its wonderful NTS Invitational Gala over the Heritage Day long weekend 2015, NTS was ready to take young athletes to new levels of competition, experience, exposure, team work and even youth leadership in the sports arena. They provided young swimmers between the ages of 13 to 16 the opportunity to compete internationally. Swimmers totally stepped up to the plate and truly shone at this event for their province, and also for our South African Nation. This despite very early mornings, hard swims, long days and quite a bit of travelling.

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Well done to the NTS leadership and each and every one involved who made the trip possible, so very fruitful and so memorable for our young athletes. The team travelled under leadership of NTS President Anton Jordaan, Team Manager – Magdaleen Fair and the Team Coach was Keenan Riffel.

A word from the NTS President, Mr. Anton Jordaan.

“We have experienced an unbelievable weekend at the VII Gala Golfinhos Sprint 2015 in Maputo.

 The aim of participation was to achieve the following outcomes:

  • For our swimmers to participate in a gala which is a bit different to what they are used to
  • For our swimmers to swim good times.
  • For our swimmers to experience team dynamics.
  • For our swimmers to be fit to travel and compete. 
  • It is my opinion that we not only achieved these outcomes, but many more.  This weekend also confirmed that NTS have awesome kids.”

NTS saw many swimmers swim their personal best times and win medals. The weekend was ultimately crowned when NTS walked away victorious with the overall trophy. What an honour! NTS won 39 gold, 34 silver and 26 bronze medals.

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Well done young athletes and all involved you are true champions and we look forward to following your journey as you go from strength to strength.

 

NTS Contact Details:

NTS Homepage

nts@lantic.net

082 784 4858 (cell)

012 362 4700 (tel)

086 699 3001 (fax)

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PHOTO CREDITS – FACEBOOK

Article compiled by Cresi Heslop @Heslop Sports

 

Africa Faith Home Interviews Proudly South African Sports Swimming

Meet the Young Athletes: Duné Coetzee

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Today meet one of SA’s top Junior Swimmers Duné Coetzee. She is humble, confident and on her way to the her first international Champs as part of Team SA in Egypt! Well done Duné! She is a well balanced athlete and a true and stunning ambassador of  SA for what youth sports should look like: being a champion in and out of the water! Multi talented and an up coming little artist too, I need not say more because this is her brilliant description of herself ” I am Duné Coetzee – daughter of Jesus Christ and He is the love of my heart and that is the reason why I’m doing so well in life. I have the best family in the entire world. We love each other and our house is filled with love and fun. God blessed me with enormous talents which I use and train for His glory! I am disciplined, goal orientated and nothing will stop me to become the best that I can be. I will always go further than what you expect of me and I will always surprise you. I flourish under pressure and love competition because it brings out the best in me. When others worry and are afraid I’m filled with faith and joy because I know my life isn’t about me but about God. I’m a leader, and by setting an example, I intend to inspire my friends and others with my passion to live life to the fullest”.

Awards received at the 2015 NTS Gala Evening

Awards received at the 2015 NTS Gala Evening

Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Duné Coetzee
Nick Name Dune
Date of birth 14 May 2002
Place of birth Pretoria
Current City Pretoria
Height 1.69m
Weight 47 kg
Shoe Size 5
Club Tuks
Coach’s Name Linda De Jager
Out of Country events/ meets None yet. Selected for Junior Africa Championships taking place in Egypt from 17 to 20 October 2015
Secondary Sport/ sports Netball until recently – from now on going forward I will only focus on swimming
Favorite City Pretoria
Favorite Song/ type of music Pop and Afrikaans music (Heuwels Fantasies, Karen Zoid and Francois van Coke)
Favorite Movie Divergent and Insurgent
School & Grade Laerskool Anton van Wouw, Grade 7
Sponsors Speedo/HPC
Twitter and Instagram names Instagram :@dunecoetzee

Twitter : @Coetzee_dune

Briefly describe yourself as a person. See Introduction Above
Rebecca Meder and Trisha Pollicutte with me on the podium for 50 Fly

Rebecca Meder and Trisha Pollicutte with me on the podium for 50 Fly

INTERVIEW:

Q: Who are you, what sport or sports are you passionate about, and in what year were you born?

I am Duné Coetzee and was born in 2002. I’m passionate about swimming. I love most sports and love to watch and support, but my main passion is swimming.

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

I started swimming when I was a baby so that I could become water safe. At school I started swimming in galas when I was 7 years old. When I was 9 years old my parents decided I should join a club because I showed some natural ability. I enjoyed swimming ever since!

Q: Would you like to share some highlights about your own sports events so far?

My biggest highlight was at this year’s Level 3 National Championships in Port Elizabeth where I had some major personal successes.

I had a huge battle with Rebecca Meder from Western Province in the 200 meter Freestyle where we both dipped under the South African National Age Group record she had set just a month earlier. She out touched me by 0.09 split seconds which was hard to swallow as it would have been my first SA record. Before the race I dedicated the swim to my aunt who passed away a month earlier from cancer. I really wanted to win it for her! I knew it would be hard to beat Rebecca as she was the record holder and I was almost 6 seconds off her pace going into the race. But I decided to dedicate the hardest event for me to win to my aunt. She would have been extremely proud to see me battle it out with Rebecca!

Fortunately I managed to break two more SA records in the 100 meter Freestyle and 50 meter Butterfly events. I also just fell short of the 100 meter Butterfly record which was a bit disappointing but, considering everything, was still a huge accomplishment for me personally.

I qualified for the SA Short Course championships where I swam in finals with some of South Africa’s major senior swimmers like Karin Prinsloo, Rene Warnes and Vanessa Mohr.

Medaling with big names such as Karin Prinsloo and Marlies Ross at SA Short Course

Medaling with big names such as Karin Prinsloo and Marlies Ross at SA Short Course

Q: If you were not going to be involved in swimming, what sport do you think you would be involved in?

I would have loved to play tennis. I just haven’t ever done it, so I have no way of knowing whether I’d be any good. But seeing how competitive the game is, I’m sure I would have loved it.

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

I’ve got a sister Lise who also swims and whom I love very much. I can’t wait for her to also develop into the swimmer she can be. It is a dream for both of us to represent South Africa at international level one day. My mom and dad work very hard to make our dreams come true. For this I’m very thankful.

I’m in grade 7 in Laerskool Anton van Wouw. I’m really privileged to be in one of the best schools in Pretoria! Our school has won the Inter-Schools swimming competition for 10 years in a row. This year I hope to lead them to an eleventh title.

Q: How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics into your schedule?

To swim at the level I dream of takes a huge amount of discipline. So the foundation for being disciplined has been laid since I was very young. This makes it easier to handle all the other commitments like school work around my swimming schedule. I use every available moment before I start training after school to do my homework. After practice I sit and study or finishing up homework till late in the evening. Weekends are also the ideal time to catch up on homework when I’m behind.

Q: Tell me about what you like to do to relax?

Lie around doing nothing and listening to music – I love it!! Eating whatever I see when I come home from practice. Chatting with my friends on Whatsapp and social media.

Meeting Elvis Blue at his concert after first swimming an NTS Age Group Gala

Meeting Elvis Blue at his concert after first swimming an NTS Age Group Gala

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

That’s easy – Lasagne cooked by my mom, Monica Coetzee.

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

Missy Franklin especially after her 5 medals at the 2012 Olympics and more recently Katie Ledecky after her 5 medals at the World Champs in 2015.

From Ledecky I’ve learned that there really is no limit on what you can achieve. She is a true inspiration for me to try my best every time I race.

I watched Missy’s movie – Touch the Wall. There is a heap of stuff I’m learning from her in the movie. I’m so glad she made the movie!

And locally my hero is Karin Prinsloo. I had the privilege to meet Karin after she returned from London Olympics in 2012. At the time I was just in awe of her and the rest of the team. Little did I know that our paths would cross two years later. I’m a lucky girl to get to know her and to train in the same pool as she does every day!

Joining Karin for sponsor duty

Joining Karin for sponsor duty

Q: Name one person who made a difference in your life and why?

I can’t pick one – My parents, mom and dad. They believe in me more than anyone in this world and I feel like I’m supported more than any other swimmer I know.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

Don’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream the further you’ll go. – Michael Phelps

Q: What is your favourite Bible Verse?

Romains 8: 37 – 39.

  1. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
  2. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
  3. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Q: You are mentored by one of SA’s top swimmers and Olympian, Karin Prinsloo. What has this done for your swimming and the way you see life as an athlete and life in general?

Firstly, I want to thank Karin for agreeing to work with me. It is a huge privilege and something I can’t easily repay. I’ve been working with Karin for almost a year now. She is an amazing person and I hope that when I grow up people will look up to me like I do to her. For me she is a prime example of a daughter of Christ. I can’t wait to grow up and hopefully become just like the person she is, humble and faithful.

From a swimming perspective, she teaches me all the things that don’t get taught in the water. For me this is just as important as it is to practice my swimming. She has a lot of experience gained throughout her career and transferring this to me helps me to be prepared for most things that will come my way. I look forward to keep on working with her and I know she will help me a lot.

Karin and I being interviewed by Speedo

Karin and I being interviewed by Speedo

Q: At this point and time – what do you love most about your life in general?

Being a child in my parents’ house with all the blessings which I receive daily.

Q: For the rest of the year ahead, what are you looking forward to the most concerning your swimming?

I have been fortunate to be selected for the Junior African Championships in Cairo, Egypt from 17 to 20 October 2015. This will be my first international competition representing South Africa which is a huge honor for me and for which I’m training very hard.

Q: Anything else you would like to share?

I love drawing and would love to develop my art skills when I’m in high school next year. I have been accepted by Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria (Affies) – something I’m very proud off and looking forward to.

I’ve also trained with Dominique Donner during holidays at the coast. She is a great coach for the Seals club in Ballito and I’ve made many friends in her club – they are a cool bunch of swimmers!

Oh – and I have the best coach in the world – Linda De Jager!

My other passion - drawing

My other passion – drawing

Training at Thompsons bay with Dominique Donner

Training at Thompsons bay with Dominique Donner

Getting to practice with Penny's medals!

Getting to practice with Penny’s medals!

My sister and I with Karin returning from London 2012

My sister and I with Karin returning from London 2012

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 your journey as you go from strength to strength. Blessings!

Africa Athletics Home Interviews Proudly South African Sports

Fresh & Hungry : Rynardt Van Rensburg

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Next up in our Fresh & Hungry Series of young athletes is Rynardt van Rensburg, an athletic champion studying marketing at Kovsies at the moment. He specialises in the 800m athletics.

Rynardt did brilliantly so far this year by winning a Bronze Medal for South Africa at the World Student Games in South Korea. He was also very proud and excited to compete at his very first World Champs at the IAAF World Champs in Beijing this year. Good experiences and perspectives were gained here by this determined young athlete.

He has this to say about himself: “Driven and motivated to get the best out of life”. He also believes that Faith than carry an athlete when he faces though tough times.

Currently a bit challenged with injury and missing out on some meets, but hey, you cannot keep a good man down, so watch this space as he heals, strengthens and rises up all the way to the top again before Rio Olympics 2016!

 

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Athlete: Bio / Stats

Name & Surname Rynardt Van Rensburg
Nick Name Rynie
Date of birth 23\03\1992
Place of birth Kroonstad
Current City Bloemfontein
Height 1,85cm
Weight 75kg
Shoe Size UK 10
Club Kovsies
Coach’s Name Derek Van Rensburg
Out of Country events/ meets World Student Games 2013,2015

World Athletic Champs 2015

Secondary Sport/ sports Action Cricket
Favorite City Stellenbosch
Favorite Song/ type of music The Script, Hall of Fame
Favorite Movie Law abiding citizen
School & Grade University of the Free State
Tertiary Inst Name/ Year Humanities
Tertiary degree/ diploma Marketing
Sponsors Nike, TomTom
Twitter and Instagram names, facebook name Twitter & Instagram : Rynie800

Facebook : Rynardt Van Rensburg

Web site www.rynardt running.com
Parents Names, siblings Derek + Amanda
Very briefly describe yourself as a person. Driven and motivated to get the best out of life.

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INTERVIEW:

Q: You are passionate and doing so well in your Athletics, how did you become a champion in your particular distance?

Hard work and perseverance. Never giving up on reaching the goals I set for myself.

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

It all started when my Grade 1 teacher asked me to join the Athletics training after playing wing and being one of the fastest kids in Gr1.

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

2015 – Winning a Bronze Medal for South Africa at the World Student Games in South Korea.

Making the team and competing in the 2015 World Athletic Champs in Beijing.

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Q: Do you have any specific regimens or rituals in athletics?

I mostly believe in hard work and whenever training to give it your all. It’s important to look at what you eat but I never get obsessed about my diet.

Q: You have traveled outside SA before, what are you highlights of these travels, and what does travelling do for your mindset/ perspective on things?

Being able to see the world makes all the hard work worth while, seeing things like the Eifel Tower and the Great Wall of China is special.

Q: You have represented Team SA for Athletics before, where did you go and how did you experience it?

I have been to African countries like Botswana, Lesotho and Benine and it made me realize how blessed we are seeing the life’s of the people there. Then for Team SA I’ve been to Russia, Korea and China . It’s really awesome seeing the different people and cultures also to see how big Athletics is abroad.

Q: How do you manage to fit in both sports and academics / work into your schedule?

It’s a real tough one. You don’t always manage and there’s always days where you wonder how will you get everything done. Some people help you and others don’t. People at the University do not always understand how tough it is to manage an individual sport with no support from a federation and keeping up with academics. The important thing I say to myself is just to keep moving.

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

I love playing action Cricket, I always used to be more of a ball sport Athlete so I miss it a lot. I enjoy watching sport like Cricket and Rugby. I am very passionate about animals and could spend hours with them. I have an Italian Greyhound named Zoey whom is surely the love of my life and I spend a lot of time with her.

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

I am a very deep person.

Q: What do you do to relax?

Watch TV, spending time with other Athletes .

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Q: Which athletes inspire you?

Oscar Pistoruis

Usain Bolt

Lance Armstrong

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

It’s always important to have strong faith. Sport has a way of knocking you down the way few things in life can do. It’s then when a great Athlete is made or broken. Faith has really helped me out of all tough situations and kept me positive.

Q: What is your personal favourite motivational quote?

Suffer now and live the rest of your life a Champion

Q: What is your favourite Bible / Scripture quote?

Phil 4:14

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

Always be patient when expecting success.

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

To stay injury free and not overtrain, try to stop when your body tells you, you had enough.

Q: When you’ve had a tough / bad day, what lifts you up again?

Family and friends and my Faith.

Q: I’m sure you have many things going on right now, what’s to be expected next from you?

All my Focus is on 2016 Olympic Games to make the Final and be one of the fastest 800m Athletes in the world.

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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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