These young champions are flying SA's flag high

"She is currently ranked 2nd best player in the Western Cape and... 5th in South Africa!"
"She is currently ranked 2nd best player in the Western Cape and... 5th in South Africa!"

With all the bad news making headlines lately, it's easy to see why social media groups like I'm Leaving South Africa are growing larger by the day. 

But contrary to all the negative press, good news stories are simmering beneath the surface. 

The recent success of the South African Ladies Ice Hockey Team is a case in point, with the news of the win announced via Twitter and other social media platforms. 

Claiming the top spot at the 2020 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division III, the team walked away with a gold medal. 

Must read: International sports career beckoning? These are the subjects to take at school

The South Africa women's national ice hockey team is just one example of youths flying SA's flag high internationally and here's a look at the next generation of youngsters inspiring national pride. 

Chess champion - Amahle Zenzile 

Chess champion Amahle Zenzile

She's only been playing the sport for the past two years now but already 11-year-old Amahle Zenzile from Crossroads, Cape Town is already sporting SA Colours.

"She is currently ranked 2nd best player in the Western Cape and... she is currently ranked 5th in South Africa!" says a proud Thando Hlakula, the man who has coached Amahle as part of the Crossroads Chess Club. 

According to Hlakula, Amahle's "determination and her aptitude for chess is unmatched."

Amahle has gone on to win the Western Cape Schools Chess under 11 Girls division, the South African Schools Chess under 13 girls tournaments and has been invited to represent South Africa at upcoming African Youth Chess Tournament in Namibia.

The Namibian tournament is set for 14 to 22 December 2019, and the young chess star needs R40 000 to attend. 

If you'd like to contribute to Amahle's BackaBuddy fund, visit: Get Amahle to African Youth Chess Tournament

Pool Ace - Taufeeq Murray

Taufeeq Murray from Mitchells Plain, Cape Town has spent the last seven years mastering the game of Pool, and this year the 11-year-old claimed the number one spot in the under 14-squad division. 

The preteen has been playing since the age of 4, and according to his dad, Shadley, the skill runs in the family. 

"I played since I was young myself and he was just four when he picked up the cue for the first time... He loved it, and I took him with me and taught him to play," the proud dad told the press

The pool ace has been playing professionally for the past three years as part of the Millenium club, representing South Africa twice already. 

"I'm excited, and the trip is a chance for me to show the world what I can do," Taufeeq said after sharing his upcoming participation in the 2019 Nations Cup of Pool. 

The event takes place in Cyprus, but the 11-year-old must raise money to attend. 

For information on how to support Taufeeq, visit: Help send Mitchells Plain pool ace to Cyprus

The next Olympic champ - Caitlin Rooskrantz 

She's been called "an ambassador for all gymnasts in South Africa," and with sights set firmly on the 2020 Olympic Games, Caitlin Rooskrantz has got both local and international gymnastic circles buzzing. 

The 17-year-old has already made history, becoming the first South African to score a gold medal at the 2019 Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) World Challenge Cup. 

"It's still sinking in. But, yeah, I didn't even know that no South African had ever, you know, won a gold medal. After I stood on the podium, then came off, my coach was crying. And, you know, they told me that I just made history," said the Parktown High School learner. 

Caitlin began her gymnastics career at just 6, competing and claiming top spots at the African Championships and the World Cup Championships. 

In both 2016 and 2018, the gym star was crowned Gymnast of the Year by the South Africa Gymnastics Federation (SAGF) and commenting on her latest victory, the SAGF says Caitlin is "one step closer" to her Olympic dream. 

"She is an ambassador for all gymnasts in South Africa, especially the young girls who can look up to her and know that no matter what challenges life may put in front of you, with hard work, dedication, grit and determination you can achieve your goals. This is one step closer to Caitlin's dream of going to the Olympics."

Who did we miss?

Send us your stories of amazing, inspiring and motivated youngsters, and we will investigate and share their stories with South Africa. Click here to share with us via email

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