Zachary aims to inspire

2019-02-19 06:00
Zachary Arendse wants to inspire other young people not to fall in the drug and crime trap.PHOTOS: Thabang Kuaho

Zachary Arendse wants to inspire other young people not to fall in the drug and crime trap.PHOTOS: Thabang Kuaho

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A Kensington teen aims to inspire other young people in the community to adopt hobbies that will keep their minds off drugs and crime.

Zachary Arendse, 13-years-old recently started doing athletics and has already won two gold medals, a silver and has provincial colours for running.

All this he’s done while running barefoot.

The idea behind his running to to serve as an inspiration to other people his age so that they do not fall into a world of drugs.

Zachary has always enjoyed running and started taking the craft seriously when he noticed that he had potential to succeed.

“Running helps me ease my mind and refresh. I also love it because it is one of the easiest things I can do to keep fit and healthy.”

This young man spends most of his free time training to better his skills.

“When I am not doing homework or training with other athletes, I am training by myself, at home or jogging on the streets.”

Like any other sportsmen who take their craft seriously, a healthy diet is important to him.

While other kids his age have delicious ‘junk food’ in their lunch boxes, Zachary keeps a strict diet which consists of yoghurt, fruit and other protein-infused foods.

“I don’t even eat a lot of starch anymore. At first it was hard, but I got used to it.

The young lad who looks up to 200 and 400 metres sprint champ, Wayde van Niekerk is gunning for the provincial team and, ultimately, representing South Africa in the Olympics.

“People like Wayde motivate me to keep on working hard in order to reach my dreams.”

Zachary keeps a strong support system who encourage him to keep doing better.

His single-parent mother, Bonita Arendse, is proud of her son.

She says seeing him succeed in what he loves dearly gave her comfort.

“I had never been to any of his competitions and when I went to the last one two weeks ago, my heart sank.

“He competed with other boys his age, but appeared bigger and he came first. I was so proud of him,” Bonita said.

She said she always knew her son was capable of going to greater heights the minute he started showing interest in athletics.

She plans to buy him new running shoes so that he does not suffer from blisters after a competition.

“I came home from work one afternoon after he had competed and he had blisters under his feet. My heart sank.

“I could not believe that he kept going back to competing even though he did not have the shoes he wanted.

“I then knew that he was doing what he loves,” she says.


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