TuksWrestling: gold medallist Edrich Nortje

Caitlyn Walsh

TuksWrestling’s gold medallist, Edrich Nortje, met with Perdeby to discuss his experience in wrestling, a sport he has been pursuing since six years old.


What has been your greatest achievement in the sport?
Although I have 15 national titles, and a nineth placement on the cadet (0/17) World Championships in Athens, Greece last year, I have two African championships titles. I won the cadet African Championships last year in Marrakesh, Morocco. I am currently 0/18 and I won the Junior (0/20) African championships earlier this year in Port Harcourt, Nigeria which I see as my greatest achievement. I am the second person from South Africa to win the Junior African Championships at the age of 18.


What has been your most challenging competition?
My toughest competition was this year’s African championships, especially the Algerian to whom I lost my first match, but later wrestled again in the finals. I then came out victorious by pinning him after leading with a score of 4-4.


What keeps you motivated to push through tough times that you may experience in wrestling?
My Olympic goal. I’m planning to qualify for the 2024 Olympics and everything I do is to prepare myself for [the] Olympic Games.


When do you train and what do your training sessions involve?
I go to the gym three times a week, practicing a strength program my coach gave me. I jog often, and go to wrestling practice [from] Tuesdays to Thursdays to improve my technique. I also attend wrestling camps that are held regularly over weekends where we focus on conditioning.


What do you consider to be the best aspect of wrestling?
The mental durability, and the physical development that I experience. Wrestling also teaches dedication and persistence.


Meet TuksCheerleading

Caitlyn Walsh

Perdeby interviewed leaders of TuksCheerleading, Unathi Jofile and Nkosingiphile Mncube, to get an understanding of TuksCheerleading and why they consider it to be an excellent sport to participate in.


What can TuksCheerleading offer those who are interested?
TuksCheerleading can offer [you] a sense of purpose, a healthy mind and body, as well as a chance to meet new people and make new friends.


How can you become a part of TuksCheerleading?
To be a part of TuksCheerleading, you would have to attend the try-outs which are usually at the beginning of each semester. The dates are published on the TuksCheerleading webpage and there are also posters around campus to inform people of the try-out dates. Alterna­tively, [you] could contact either myself or the captain, Unathi Jofile.


What does TuksCheerleading entail?
TuksCheerleading is focused not only on the team, but also on the individual. We believe that if one falls, the rest of the team follows, and if one rises, the rest of the team follows suit. With this, we focus on building each athlete up in whatever way possible. When an athlete either wants to learn a skill or is struggling with one, we put our heads together to think of a solution to help better that athlete and keep encouraging them. When that athlete finally learns that skill, we celebrate as a team.

With that being said, when we need to get things done, we work as a team and we work hard at whatever it is that we need to accomplish. We encourage each athlete to realise their potential, and in so doing, we further the potential and success of the team. We are one team, but a team made up of individuals who have individual strengths and weaknesses, and we use this knowledge and fact to build up the team.


Can TuksCheerleading benefit [you] physically (and in terms of health), and if so, how?
TuksCheerleading, as with any other physical sport, has many physical benefits. In addition to building a strong body, exercise can also play a vital part in [your] mental and psycho­logical abilities. I speak from personal experi­ence when I say that exercise can help [you] to focus and to regulate [your] mood, especially as a student [when you have] such mentally and psychologically demanding schedules. As the Latin phrase goes, “mens sana in corpore sano”, which translates to, “a healthy mind in a healthy body”.


TuksBadminton: Bongani von Bodenstein off to Commonwealth Games

Ashley Magwindiri

Bongani von Bodenstein, a third year UP student, qualified for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in April. Perdeby had the opportunity to chat with Bongani von Bodenstein about his overall success.


Are you self-taught or did you get lessons from a master?
Fortunately growing up, I had people who taught me the basics and helped [me] get a jump start on my badminton career. Just to name a few, the late David Banks, Martie, Daniel Sibeko, Billy and Ruby Caper, Chris­tina Caldeira, Michelle Butler Emmett and Stewart Carson.


What does your average week of training look like?
Monday mornings start at 04:30 with sprints followed by gym at 07:30 and then training on court later at 17:30. Tuesdays are a little better as I’m in gym by 07:30 cycling and strengthening, and training at 17:30. On Wednesday I follow the Monday routine, Thursday it’s the Tuesday routine, then Fridays are gym days and lastly Saturdays are game days with my friend and partner Ruan Snyman.


During a game, it’s easy to lose sight of your primary objectives. How do you keep yourself in check?
Whenever I feel distracted on court I simply start praying quietly to calm my mind and then readjust my focus.


In addition to being crowned a triple champion in 2016 and 2017, this season has been remarkable for you. What has been the secret behind your success?
Honestly the “secret” behind my success is God. To elaborate, everything I do, I do to glorify his name, he has blessed me with this talent and it’s a privilege to showcase this talent for him... I may train slightly harder than some players but it’s the faith that makes the difference in my opinion.


Running with renowned Ilze Wicksel

Ntombi Mkandhla

At the recent Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix meeting, Caster Semenya broke the Women’s 1000 m record with a time of 2:35.44. The former record stood strong for 35 years and was placed by Ilze Wicksell in 1983. “People always  ask me how I feel about my record being broken,” Wicksell said, adding that she “knew” Semenya would break it. “[Semenya] trained hard and achieved her goals. I am extremely glad for her.” Semenya beat Wicksell’s 2:37.45 record by just under two seconds. Wicksell said that while it brings great pride to have held a record for over three decades, a record cannot stand for so long. “That means something is wrong,” she added. Wicksell expressed her hope to see middle distance running grow further in South Africa, particularly for women. “Middle distance running needs speed and endurance,” she said, a combination which may deter many athletes from pursuing the sport.

Growing up in the 1970s, Wicksell did not have speed but she certainly had endurance. “I never made the relay team [in primary school] as they picked the four fastest.” Nonetheless, she carried on running while doing other sports all through to high school at Hoërskool Menlopark. “I never thought of being an athlete, it was purely for enjoyment,” she added.

As she studied teaching at the University of the Freestate, Wicksell was coached by the renowned De Villiers Lamprecht whom she said “guided her and motivated her”. During her first year at university, she did not make the finals at the South African National Track and Field Championships’ 800m race. “But we pushed. In my second year, I went down to Potchefstroom and I won the race with a time of 2.03” she said. Her performance resulted in her being shortlisted for the Springbok side. “After that,” Wicksell said, “I knew I could run”.

Wicksell went on to win the 800m SA title consecutively for the next four years. It was in 1983 when Wicksell met her goal and the public expectation to run a sub two-minute in the 800m race in Stellenbosch. This made her the first African woman to achieve such a feat. As she tore through the ribbon, Wicksell said, “at that moment, I wanted to call my father, but I couldn’t because he had died in January […] so I just burst into tears instead.”


TuksCycling takes on Zwartkop Raceway with Ruben van der Merwe

Ntokozo Zondo

TuksCycling participated in the Zwartkop Raceway over the weekend on 18 March. The club sent members to compete in the event; Ruben van der Merwe, Johan Jooste and Andries Nigrini. van der Merwe sat down with Perdeby to discuss the event, training and the mental aspect of cycling.


What is the Zwartkop event and how does competing in it benefit club members?
The event is a criterium race, which is a race of multiple laps that amount to a 1km course for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, a bell goes off for one last lap to determine the winner. Points are accu­mulated after a few races to determine the overall winner. Cornering and bike handling plays a large part of the race, therefore requiring a great deal of technical skills therefore benefiting the members by improving their bike handling and cornering confidence.


What is your training regime and how do different competitions affect your training technique?
About a year ago I started working with a coach, Jaco Ferreira, who I give my events and my goals to. [Among other things], he will use my stats from my training, heart rate, power to provide me with an analysed program to prepare for the events and to improve my weaknesses for these specific events.


How do you mentally prepare yourself for the challenges you face while competing?
For me, mindset is everything in this sport. There’s always the risk of facing challenges like misreading a situation and ultimately getting dropped by the bunch. But there’s also always a next race. I prepare for challenges by accepting them. I tell myself that for the next 3-4 hours I’m going to experience extreme suffering and push my limits. Time passes quickly in a race but the feeling of regret and giving up lasts a lot longer than just pushing yourself for those few hours.

One might have more talent or skills then you do, but if you can push yourself a little further and harder over one more climb while others give up, you get closer to your goal. It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.


Flip Through Perdeby

Video Gallery