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Meet the Young Athletes: Ruan Breytenbach

Introduction and Interview – by Cresi Heslop

This is how I see a true athlete: not just a sportsman/ woman, but a balanced person who knows how to take part in the competition of LIFE. One who inspires those around him, especially our youth and ultimately also our nation.

Today I am super excited to feature the first in our new series called “Meet the Young Athletes”. Our special athlete today is Ruan Breytenbach. Ruan is just one of those people that you cannot help but love: always with a smile, always eager for the next challenge and always exuding that joy of life! He genuinely fits the definition of a “true athlete”, because whatever he does – he does with all his heart, whether it be athletics, swimming, academics or just being with family and friends. For his very young age he is a true inspiration. He has many outstanding accomplishments like multiple Victor Ludorum awards and multiple record breaking swimming times – including Cameron van der Burgh’s 13 year old standing record for 200m breaststroke at Level 2 Champs! He has been selected in various sports to compete at Championships at the highest level, in South Africa and also outside our borders. Wow!

Read on to find out more about this vibrant young champion!


Who are you, what sports are you passionate about, and how old are you?

I’m Ruan Breytenbach and I’m 12 years old and my passion is swimming.

At what age did you start swimming and why?

I started swimming when I was 9 years old but cannot remember what made me go.

Would you like to share some highlights about your swimming so far?

My highlight must be when I broke Cameron vd Burgh’s 200 breaststroke record that was standing for 13 years.

I’ve also been very fortunate this year by breaking 6 NTS records and am getting close to some of the SA records.

If you were not going to be a swimmer, what sport do you think you would be involved in?

I would have to say rugby and most definitely Tri-Athlons

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

I live with my mom, dad, gran and my older brother, my whole family enjoys doing sport. I am in Garsfontuin Laerskool and in Gr 7 and was selected to be a prefect last year, quite a bit of responsibility ……I love swimming for my school and taking part in the A League.

Tell me about what you like to do to relax?

I like to lie on the couch and play some games or go for a mtb ride with my brother and friends.

What is your favorite food?

Chicken drum sticks are my ultimate favorite food, I enjoy fish too.

Who is your swimming hero? What have you learned from him / her?

My swimming hero is Graeme Moore, I have been lucky enough to have swum with him lots of times and he has taught me so much.

Apart from swimming which athlete do you admire (any one from the past or present)?

Nobody giggle

What is your favourite motivational quote?

Believe it and you will achieve it!

Ruan in the water

Ruan in the water

Ruan: Champion on land and in water!

Ruan: Champion on land and in water!

Ruan Celebrating with his two coaches: Leon and Marcus

Ruan Celebrating with his two coaches: Leon Anderson and Marcus Gloak

Medals Galore!

Medals Galore!


Fruit of his labour!



Ruan 2nd from the left


1500m - What a win!

1500m – What a win!

Fly 2


Ruan - Breastrokers are BORN, not made!

Ruan – Breastrokers are BORN, not made!


Ruan Breytenbach - A true #youngathlete

Ruan Breytenbach – A true #youngathlete


1 comment

  1. Chantelle Breytenbach

    Wow what an awesome story!!! Thanks so much for the time and effort to write such a stunning story about our boy!!!

Comments are closed.

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