Local rollerskater represents SA in Italy

2016-10-26 06:00
Odwa Ngetu (15) represented South Africa in the artistic rollerskating world champs in Italy. Photo: SELBY MADIKANE

Odwa Ngetu (15) represented South Africa in the artistic rollerskating world champs in Italy. Photo: SELBY MADIKANE

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MOTHERWELL roller skater Odwa Ngetu (15), who represented Rollerskate South Africa at the Artistic Skating World Championships in Novara, Italy, from September 28 to October 2, received a hero’s welcome when he returned home on October 6.

The SA team competed against rollerskaters from 18 countries. They ended in 17th place.

According to Motherwell Rollers president and coach Marianne Terblanche, Ngetu showed immense commitment and character.

Terblanche, who is also a librarian at the Motherwell Library, said it had not been easy for Ngetu to be included in the national team because their club did not have financial resources.

“I had to dig deep into my own pocket so that Odwa could take part in the provincial trials that were held in Walmer in August. Odwa made the cut into the provincial team and he went to Hammanskraal in Pretoria for national trials.

“He performed so well there that he was selected to represent South Africa in Novara.

“Before the trip to Italy, I helped Odwa with his training at the Motherwell Shopping Centre basketball court during the week.

“Odwa had to fly to Pretoria for weekend practice sessions, for which the travelling costs were R4 500.

“The travelling costs from Johannesburg to Novara were R25 000. I want to thank Rollerskate SA and the National Lottery Trust Distribution Fund for Odwa’s successful trip.

“I would also like to thank Odwa’s parents for giving him the green light to represent our country.”

The Hillside High School learner said that it was not a fluke for him to be included in the national team.

“It was tough right from the provincial to national trials,” he said. “I had to work very hard because I was competing against the best rollerskaters. I worked very hard and Rollerskate SA president Wendy Gila and coach Martin van Heerden confirmed to me that I deserved to be in the national team.

“The weeklong competition was very tough. We as South Africans proved our worth, although we ended up in the 17th position. The tournament was won by the hosting nation.

“I would like to thank Wendy and Martin for their moral support. Had it not been for them, my trip would not have been a success. Furthermore, I would like to extend my special gratitude to my parents for all they have done for me. My teammates also gave me wonderful moral support,” he said.

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