Here we are, five years down the line. I can honestly say it has been and still is an awesome, scary and exhilarating journey!
I vividly remember the cold winter’s evening in my manager, Barbara Manning’s study where I sat on the steps and offered myself to this journey. The 2016 Rio Paralympics was then only a small speck of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. I didn’t know exactly how, but all I was hoping for, was a fighting chance. Never could I have imagined what this journey would have in store for me. That it would change me in so many ways.
I came from the retail business and just applied the rules I knew. You stay at the office from eight to five. In the beginning I had no idea how to put together a proper training regime. All I knew was that if I shot arrows, I had to get better at it! So off I went to the soccer field (Tuks Archery had no outdoor range at that time) next to the Rembrandt Hall at TUKS Sport and shot arrows from eight to five. Hundreds of arrows every day! One day I was summoned to Mr Van der Walt’s office. They had noticed me shooting my hundreds of arrows daily and were wondering what I was up to.
This was the beginning of my journey with TUKS Sport. After a meeting Steven Ball took me under his wing and slowly started showing me the ropes and teaching the secrets of being an athlete. He personally drew up my first training programme. As an almost middle-aged man, I felt very proud to be part of this unbelievable institution. This over time led to a very efficient support team around me. I sometimes feel as if the biokineticist Kelly breaks me physically, just for Sunet the physiotherapist to tape Humpty back together again and Dr Greyling (sports psychologist) to convince me that it was a beautiful experience! All jokes aside, without them I would not have been where I am today. Through many setbacks with injury and illness, they knew exactly how to get me back to where I had been.
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