Team SA's 2016 Paralympians rejoice ahead of Rio! | TeamSA - TeamSA

Team SA’s 2016 Paralympians rejoice ahead of Rio!

By Mark Etheridge

Team South Africa has been named for the 2016 Rio Paralympics and Road to Rio 2016 asked both new and old members of the team for their thoughts ahead of the global sporting spectacle.
Read about their joy at making the team and who they thank for getting to where they are today.

ERNST VAN DYK (Seven-time Paralympian in three codes: swimming, athletics and cycling)
‘Off course I’m over the moon, not only to have been included in the team but also for getting in for the marathon. I’ve worked extremely hard to maintain top world rankings for the past 18 months to make this happen. Doing this, and maintaining it across two sports with a young family and working for Ossur has been the most difficult of all challenges. Selection has been very hard and some real deserving athletes will be left behind. What’s also truly fantastic is that SASCOC has once again offered equal incentives to Olympians and Paralympians.’

ILSE HAYES (Four-time Paralympian: Athletics, 100 and 400m)
‘Wow! A fourth Games. It’s honestly a huge privilege for me and I’m eternally grateful. Looking forward to how the Lord is going to use me these last days before Rio. I realise every day what a great honour it is to do what you love and then to share it with such an amazing training group like we have at Stellenbosch. Can’t wait to take on all the challenges. Also want to thank everyone for their continuous support. Appreciate it.’

WILLIE MORGAN (Rowing cox – first time Paralympian)
‘It’s truly a great honour to be representing South Africa at the Paralympics. I’m glad that the training and hard work has brought us to this point and I’m excited for racing in Rio!’

DYAN BUIS (Two-time Paralympian, Athletics, long jump and sprints)
‘It’s a huge honour to be part of the team and humbling to know that you get to represent your country on such a great platform. It’s more then just a race. So much meaning. I’m proud to be part of a team of amazing human beings that are not always recognised but work very hard, overcome and do a lot with less. I love Paralympic sport and I’m proud to be called a Paralympian.’

ALANI FERREIRA (Swimming: four events – first time Paralympian)
‘I can’t believe I made it. Definitely the best 18th birthday present I could ever dream of. I cannot wait to go and have the privilege and honour of representing South Africa at the biggest sports event. Knowing that the countless hours of hard work and many sacrifices have paid off actually just overwhelm me. All I can say is God has a plan and his plan was for me to live my dream. I’m super excited to make unforgettable memories with the most amazing and well respected team mates! #teamSArise’

RICKY KULSEN (Four-time Paralympian: Cycling coach)
‘Very excited to be going to my fourth Games and being part of what may possibly be Ernst van Dyk’s final Paralympics as a cyclist. We have been together since Beijing. It’s also good to have young blood in the team. Goldy Fuchs is a very talented young rider. It’s also only the second time that we have two women in the team.’

REINHARDT HAMMAN (Athletics, javelin – first time Paralympian)
‘There are no words that can explain how proud and honoured I am to be selected to take part in my first Paralympic Games. I will be competing in my dad, Louis’ memory after he passed away in March this year.’

TYRONE PILLAY (Athletics, shot put – first time Paralympian)
‘Lots of emotions right now but it’s the greatest achievement of my life. I pay tribute to my late dad and my mum who have always given me the support and belief to accomplish anything. I lost my dad Teddy from cancer 14 years ago and it’s never easy when it comes back to your other parent My mum Suzy has been battling cancer for the past year. I will always wear the green and gold with honour and make every South African proud.’

SHIREEN SAPIRO (Three-time Paralympian, swimming)
‘I am extremely humbled that I get to represent my county on the world’s biggest sporting stage for the third time. Most athletes dream of doing it once and now I get to do it for the third time. I’m so excited and so looking forward to sharing this amazing opportunity with my teammates. Considering all the injuries I’ve had to face over the past four years, making this team is really a dream come true.’

RAYMOND JULIUS (Athletics coach, of Hilton Langenhoven)
‘Wow, I am so delighted. This is a life long dream come true. And to share it with one of my personal athletes (Reinhardt Hamman) ….is the highlight of my long coaching career. I’m so proud…and so honoured.’

DYLAN TROLLOPE (Rowing – first time Paralympian)
It’s truly a great honour to be representing South Africa at the Paralympics. I’m glad that the training and hard work has brought us to this point and I’m excited for racing in Rio!

CHARL DU TOIT (Two-time Paralympian, Athletics, sprints)
‘I’m really very thankful! It’s always an honour to be selected to wear the green and gold… but the Paralympics is really something else. It’s truly a spectacular event that only comes around every four years. So I’m really thankful for this brilliant opportunity! And a big thank-you to our amazing team for making this possible. Suzanne Ferreira (coach) Sean Surmon (conditioning coach) my friends and family, Tanya (physio) doc Wayne and doc Carolette and SASCOC have all played an amazing role over the last four years! I am really excited to wear the green and gold in Rio.’

GRAHAM PAULL (Canoeing – first time Paralympian)
‘What a relief to have it all confirmed. It was such an overwhelming feeling to sit in the auditorium surrounded by all those incredible athletes and role models and see my name come up on the big screen. I feel absolutely honoured to be put into the same category as such amazing athletes. The dream is now a reality.’

JONATHAN NTUTU (Two-time Paralympian, Athletics, sprints)
‘RIO, I’m coming. So happy to finally having that stress off my back. Thanks-you to SASCOC for trusting me to stand up and fight for South Africa. It’s also so humbling to know. Thank you to God for this blessing.’

SANDRA KHUMALO (Two-time Paralympian, rowing)
‘Absolutely humbled for my second time at the Paralympics. Very excited and proud and it’s simply overwhelming’

SHAUN ANDERSON (Archery – first time Paralympian)
‘I was speechless, in tears… and very proud to be bestowed with the trust of SASCOC, and the Dept of Sport and Recreation. I want to make South Africa proud. I was very impressed with the beautiful and inspiring speeches by Mr Reddy, Mr Sam and the Minister of Sport Mr Fikile Mbalula.’


One Comment

  1. Alma Mary Graney Miguel

    July 20, 2016 at 5:16 am

    Go boys and girls and show the world what you get when you eat braaivleis en boerawors

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