Trio reaps ‘flipping’ gold

2016-08-30 06:00
Raheem Behrendse (13), Lester Davids (12) and Abduraghiem Adams (12) from Belmor Primary School reaped gold in the South Zone Gymnastics Competition two weeks ago.

Raheem Behrendse (13), Lester Davids (12) and Abduraghiem Adams (12) from Belmor Primary School reaped gold in the South Zone Gymnastics Competition two weeks ago.

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They were discovered while doing backflips off a bath in Hanover Park and now they have brought home the gold after competing in a national gymnastics competition.

The Belmor Primary learners recently returned from Uitenhage after taking part in the South Zone with gold average scores in their first year of competing in the competition.

Lester Davids (12), Abduraghiem Adams (12) and Raheem Behrendse (13) say their first trip away from home was exciting as they “saw animals” on the way to the competition. The gold-winning trio left for the competition on Thursday 18 August and returned on Sunday 21 August after competing at the competition on Saturday.

Their coach and mentor, Enrico Marinus – also from Hanover Park and a Belmor Primary alumni – says the group has made him proud.

“They have grown so much since I first met them last year while our club, Future Stars Gymnastics Club, hosted a holiday club during the June holidays. They have done themselves and their school very proud,” Marinus says.

Asked how he got the boys involved with gymnastics, Marinus explains he saw them doing backflips from a bath as a holiday past time. “I was walking along after one of our programme days and I saw these boys doing flips and impressing each other with their antics but I just had to grab the opportunity to show them more. I then brought them with me to the gym and now they’re understanding more of the criteria linked to gymnastics and they are able to hone their art for what they enjoy doing,” he says.

“They had no technique when they started out but now they do and they were taught the basics of gymnastics through my club.”

Marinus says he trains with the boys for an hour on Wednesday and mentoring them has become part of him giving back to his community. “We do fitness lessons for an hour at the school every week. On Saturdays we train at the Golden Grove Primary School. And what is amazing is that these three boys competed against other gymnasts who might have had easy access to resources and daily training but with these boys they had two-hour sessions on a Saturday and hourly sessions on a Wednesday after school. They are just outstanding,” Marinus says, smiling.

He adds the school helped the boys a lot while building up to their competition date.

“The school really has supported them tremendously and we can’t say thank you enough for that. They received goodie bags with all their essentials and luxuries for their trip as well. We really do appreciate the fuss the school has made about them especially before they left and when they came back with the gold. This is the kind of motivation they need,” Marinus says.

Asked what they aspire to become, Abduraghiem and Raheem say they want to follow in Marinus’ footsteps and “become a gymnastics coach”.

“I want to go on to compete in the Olympics,” Lester confidently says.

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