Springbok star visits Eden High


HERO’S WELCOME: Excited Eden High pupils get to meet Springbok and Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse, who visited the school to encourage them to be disciplined and work hard to achieve their dreams Pictures: FAITH MTWANA

Popular Springbok and Sharks scrumhalf Jaden Hendrikse recently spent time with pupils at Eden High School to share some words of wisdom on his journey from being an aspiring rugby player to where he is today.

The 23-year-old Bok highlighted the importance of being disciplined and working hard to achieve one’s goals.

“I had a lot of discipline and I was very committed to my goal. I knew what I wanted,” the Breidbach-born star said.

“I would spend all my time practising, from the early morning to the late evenings.

“If you know what you want, you will work extra hard to get it.”

He told the eager pupils about his life as a young player, the difficult transition he faced moving to a school in Durban, and achieving his lifelong dream of becoming a Springbok.

“The transition was very hard for me. I struggled and there were many days when I just wanted to give up and come home. But I knew I had a goal and I couldn’t just give up.

“Playing for the Springboks has been my biggest dream since I was a young boy.

“Running onto that field for my first game was awesome. I don’t even have the words to truly describe it,” he said.

PRIZED SIGNATURE: A pupil shows off her signed Jaden Hendrikse school shirt.

Hendrikse credits his father, Brian, who was a professional goalkeeper in the 80s, for being his greatest role model and his brother, Jordan, who is also a professional rugby player, for providing him with healthy competition throughout their sporting careers.

Eden High coach David Ruiters said the school was honoured to have the Springbok star visit and speak to pupils. “We are very happy to have Jaden come and speak to our kids. He has achieved so much and we want him to encourage our children to also strive for greatness like him,” said Ruiters

Unfortunately, the weather did not play along, ruining plans for the star to provide some coaching for the pupils.

But he spent time taking photos with the pupils, chatting with them, and signing their shirts.

“I am so happy to meet Jordan. He is one of my favourite Springbok players. I love watching him play,” said one pupil.

Another said: “I can’t believe I met Jordan Hendrikse, I am never washing this shirt again.”

A young rugby player said: “I loved his speech. I love how he’s a normal East London guy and now he is a Springbok player playing all over the world.”


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