Gymnasts bring home the gold

Wasabi Sports Club team, is pictured from left, Salaamah Davids (Western Cape judge for aerobics and acrobatic gymnastics) Tyra Martin (gold acro gym and silver in aerobics); Chante Kotenburg (gold acro gym); Elijah Coleman (Silver acro gym); Chelsea Hartzenberg (gold in pairs and 3rd singles aerobics); Caleb Kok (gold acro gymnastics); Yusuf Nagel (gold in acro gymnastics); Abdullah Nagel (bronze acro gymnastics); Kiarah Africa (5th acro gymnastics); Wayne Samuels (Western Cape coach for aerobics and acrobatic gymnastics). On the ground is, from left, Abigail Keet (gold acro gymnastics), Keyshia Hartzenberg (gold acro gymnastics) and Chirees Keet (6th place acro gymnastics).

Gymnasts who belong to Wasabi Sports Club, based at Zeekoevlei Primary School, brought home gold from the SA Gymnastics Games, held at the Matsports Centre in Gauteng, from Tuesday October 5 to Sunday October 10.

The club’s haul included 19 gold medals, three silver and three bronze medals.

Caleb Kok and partner Keyshia Hartzenberg each won gold in the acrobatic gymnastics category, said coach Wayne Samuels, co-founder of Wasabi Sports Club and deputy principal of Zeekoevlei Primary.

“In the aerobic gymnastics category we received five gold medals, three silver and three bronze medals.”

Mr Samuels said Caleb, a former Pelican Park Primary School pupil and currently in Grade 10 at Pelican Park High School, only started 10 months ago.

Caleb and Keyshia, in Grade 7 at Square Hill Primary, previously won gold in the district and provincial competitions. “Now they received gold at national level,” said Mr Samuels.

He said he was very proud of his students and that he applied a “holistic approach when he coaches”.

“I teach them social skills as well, (and) how to get along with their partners. Many times the partners are not from the same background.”

Salaama Davids, Peter Kok, Sagesh Kok, Caleb Kok, Tammy Daniel and coach Wayne Samuels

Mr Samuels said he admired the dedication of his students, among them Caleb, who walks from Pelican Park, to get to the gym, at Zeekoevlei Primary, in Lotus River.

Mr Samuels and co-founder members Salaahma Davids and Sabina Swartz, started Wasabi Sports Club in February 2011.

“The club caters for gymnasts from all over the Cape Flats free of charge. The club currently offers aerobics; acrobatic gymnastics; trampolining, tumbling and artistic gymnastics,” said Mr Samuels.

“The club has provided many club and school sport champions over the years in most of the disciplines. Our acrobatic and aerobic gymnasts competed in two competitions with the SA Gymnastic Games being their third and final competition for the year.”

Tammy Daniel, community activist, exco member of Pelican Park Residents and Ratepayers’ Association and long-standing SGB member of Pelican Park Primary School, said she was “moved with compassion when approached by Peter Kok and Sagesh Kok, the parents of Caleb to raise funds to aid Caleb for his travel to Gauteng.”

Ms Daniel organised an event through which R10 000 was raised. Together with Mr Samuels, they managed to obtain sponsors to whom she conveyed heartfelt thanks.

Ms Daniel has monitored Caleb’s school performance from Grade R to Grade 7 at Pelican Primary. “Every year he received awards for outstanding achievements. In Grade 7 he was selected as a prefect. He was always humble, loving, caring, respectful and a diligent learner. As a young lad, he was very focused on making right choices, despite his surroundings.”