A shining star in the making

2015-06-02 06:00
Gien-Quen shows off her medals and the trophies she has won.

Gien-Quen shows off her medals and the trophies she has won.

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Gian-Quen Isaacs is a figure-skating champion.

The 10-year-old has medals and trophies to her name as she is the best at what she does.

This Grade 5 pupil from Kenmere Pri­mary School in Kensington won the coveted title of Juvenile Girl Champion for her section two weeks ago. According to South African Figure-skating Association calculations she is currently number in her section in the country.

The soft-spoken and eloquent pupil recently represented the Western Cape in the South African National Figure-skating Championship that was held at the Ice Station at GrandWest.

Though she has achieved so much since she began skating she admits starting five years ago wasn’t easy.

“I was nervous. I didn’t know what ice skating was. I fell a thousand times but I managed to pick myself up and try again because I was determined to learn and excel. I didn’t allow my failures to take me down because I knew that the more I did it I would be able to be perfect. It all took practice and determination to be here,” she says.

She puts in hours of practice every day but she hasn’t allowed her schoolwork to take a back seat.

When she grows up, she says, she wants to be a doctor or a teacher because her wish is to help people in life. Her favourite school subjects are Natural Science and Technology and Maths. Juggling between being a figure skating star and maintaining high grades at school, she believes one has to find a balance.

“I want to be a doctor like my uncle. I love helping people. I love skating so much but I also have time to study. I know how to find the balance between the two things. I don’t concentrate on one thing and the other trails behind. I make sure that I excel in both because I love them the same way,” she says.

Her coach, Megan Allely, says she is proud of Gien-Quen and what she has achieved.

“She has worked so hard to be where she is today. When I first met her she was shaky and very nervous but as we began to train she was able to pick things up fast. She gives her all in what she is doing. To see her achieve so much at her age and in a short space of time is so rewarding. She catches up fast and is flexible, making it easy for her to enjoy the moments. Teaching her is so easy as she is willing to learn,” says Allely.

School principal Andre Johannessen says she is a good rolemodel.

“She has achieved a lot at her age but she is so humble. She sets a good example for other children. They are able to learn from her. Though she is dedicated to sporting she also works twice as much to make sure that she doesn’t trail behind with her school work. To have a star at our school is so humbling and we are going to go all the way to support her and other children who want to do the same as we are passionate about both spot and education,” he says.

Her mother, Letitia Isaacs, says her daughter humbles her.

“She doesn’t boast about her achievements. Every time she wins she takes her medal off and gives it to the coach as she strongly believes she is where she is today though her help. I’m glad she took this path and she is doing very well in it. Her school is very supportive, we wouldn’t have done it without them and for that we are very grateful,” she says

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