Two local athletes have made their community proud after their brilliant performances at the Eastern Cape Provincial Indigenous Games Festival held in East London over the weekend.
Breidbach Indigenous Games Drie Stokkies Club members Donee Coetzee and Dellarise Christian made it into the top three from out of a total of 20 athletes despite inclement weather forcing officials to call it off after their qualifying distance set of 8.57m.
Drie Stokkies is a running and jumping game where competing players line up to run and jump over three sticks while stepping only once between each stick.
Code coordinator Isaac Barendse said the three remaining athletes had already reached the qualifying distance and to continue in the bad conditions could have resulted in injuries to players.
Breidbach and provincial Drie Stokkies coach Desmond Coetzee was overwhelmed with his players’ performances and attributed their success to their hard work, dedication and passion.
“Donee and Dellarise are both taking their code very seriously and love training. I knew all along they would not be easily stopped at provincial level as our focus is to bring home a medal from nationals,” Coetzee said.
Donee, is a second-year teaching student at the University of Fort Hare East London campus and was excited to be in the squad.
“When I didn’t make it last year, I told myself to work much harder and go full out. I did exactly that with my dad pushing me to the limit.
“What also helped is the recent University Sports South Africa Netball Championship held in Braamfontein at the beginning of this month where we played against the best opponents,” Donee said.
Breidbach Secondary School grade 8 pupil, Dellarise, will be participating in the nationals for the third year in a row.
“It is much tougher at nationals but our coach was preparing us for that event since last year, so I’m looking forward to it,” Dellarise said.