Nothing is impossible

2013-09-03 00:00

IT is worth noting the passion that a Kloof youngster has for athletics, and how willing she is to share it with others.

Brittany Uys is so keen on athletics that she took it upon herself to write a letter to her school principal asking if athletics could be reinstated as a school sport. Her wish was granted.

Blessed with long legs, it is no surprise that Brittany is an accomplished high jumper. It is her main athletics discipline. She also enjoys sprinting and, more recently, hurdles.

“I started athletics at primary school and broke junior KwaZulu-Natal records when I was 11. I was victrix ludorum and Sportswoman of the Year,” said Brittany. “I concentrated on high jump, but I am still young enough to try new avenues in the sport.”

Since 2008, Brittany has improved her position as a high jumper in her age group, from eighth to third at the SA championships, and first in the provincials in 2010, to being selected for the SA Games in 2011.

This year, she was ranked 15th in South Africa, after being hampered by an old injury. She is determined to make a comeback and went on to win first place (tie) at a preliminary meeting in July.

“It is something I enjoy as it keeps me in shape and gives me goals to focus on,” said Brittany.

So dedicated is Brittany she can be found at the King’s Park athletic track every day of the week, including weekends, where she trains with the Fast Feet Athletic Club. On some of those days, she is across the road at the high-performance centre at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

“My role model is my mother Sharon, who supports me in all my athletic challenges and is my wheels wherever I wish to go,” said Brittany.

“To be successful takes hard work and my lifestyle is school, sport, academics and athletics. I don’t have time for partying or going out much as I am focused on my goals. When I set my sights on something, I keep at it, always aiming higher and looking to improve.”

Her goals for next year are to try for first place at the SA championships in the 200 metres and high jump, represent SA at the IAAF Junior Championships, get a sponsor, and qualify for the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

“Nothing is impossible but nothing is easy,” she said. “I want to achieve and my motto in life is a Chinese proverb which is: ‘Fall down seven times, stand up eight’. If I follow that, I have to be satisfied with what I get in life.”

She is well on her way to leaving her mark on SA athletics. At the preliminary competition at the end of July, she ran the 150 m sprint in 20,90 seconds. At the Spring Series 1 at the end of August, she improved her time to 20,05 seconds, and won the high jump. As for her hurdles career, her coach has said she has the stride and needs to put it all together —arms, legs and feet. Being the person she is, Brittany will no doubt work toward this and add another string of sporting accolades to her already impressive athletics bow.

NAME: Brittany Uys

SCHOOL: Kloof High School

GRADE: 11

AGE: 17

SPORTS CODE: Athletics

DISCIPLINES: High jump, 200  metres

Honours: Captain and honours for athletics, peer counsellor; Learners’ Representative Council; represented KZN at athletics for seven straight years

BRITTANY FACTS

She plays first-team girls’ soccer at Kloof High and for Barcelona in the Absa league.

Surfing is another favourite pastime.

She is trying to learn to play the guitar.

Her idols are U.S. athlete Jesse Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, and her mum.

When it comes to music, she is a huge Justin Bieber fan.

Scary movies and comedies get her attention.

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