Record-breaking athlete off to nationals

Star WP primary school high jumper, Jamiel Marcus clears the cross bar during a practice jump ahead of this weekends national primary schools championships

picture: Fuad Esack

Although nursing a niggling ankle injury, the youngster did enough to qualify.

Jamiel, a Grade 7 pupil at Floreat Primary School, in Steenberg, broke the Western Province under-13 record at Blue Downs Stadium earlier this year, following a similar record-breaking performance in the under-12 division at last year’s provincial championships, in Oudtshoorn.

Jamiel who started athletics in 2007, says he feels honoured to have done well last year and at the weekend.

“I feel happy and my parents are happy. It is a great honour to represent Floreat Primary School. I came third at the weekend but I feel excited for the nationals,” says Jamiel.

Floreat Primary’s sports co-ordinator, Daniel Coetzee says Jamiel cleared the 1.68m mark to break both records. Coetzee says in the last three years Floreat Primary School has excelled in the zonal events and in producing provincial athletes.

“In the last three years we have won our section. Every year our team consists of about 85 to 90 athletes and five or six of them end up representing the province.

“Jamiel is our second athlete to go to the nationals in the last four years that I have been a part of the school,” says Coetzee.

He says Jamiel has worked hard for his success. “I always tell my athletes that it’s not about winning but for them to enjoy themselves.”

Coetzee says since Jamiel started taking part in athletics at the school, he has excelled in both track and field events.

“He is a well-rounded, humble, obedient and well-mannered young man. He comes from a strong background of discipline. He is also a prefect at the school, which is good leadership and inspiration for the youngsters around him,” says Coetzee.