Judo star hopes to become a Sensei

Ruan Vandenheede pictured with the medals he received recently for local and KZN club competitions. He won gold for all his fights.

GRADE 3 learner, Ruan Vandenheede, has been chosen as Highbury Preparatory School’s SPAR Star this month.

This young man has excelled in Judo in a relatively short time and through determination and effort is hoping to pursue his dream of becoming a Sensei one day.

“Ruan started Judo in Grade 1 and immediately found his ‘talent’ as he refers to it,” explained his mom, Karen Vandenheede.

“In October of his Grade 1 year, he heard there was the SA Schools’ competition and decided that the following year he would represent his school,” said Karen.

This took a lot of dedication on his part and he started attending advanced judo classes on Thursday evenings in addition to his Monday class.

Ruan then made sure he attended all the competitions so he could gain experience against other children in his weight division.

His dream was realised when he participated in SA Schools in October 2016, for which he received his KZN colours.

The extra Saturday afternoon training sessions did come at a sacrifice as he missed a few of his friends’ parties, but he feels it was worth it.

Ruan wishes to achieve his junior black belt by the time he is 16.

“Credit must go to his amazing coaches, Sensei George Carter and his son, Sensei Chris, who have inspired him to dream but also to realise that to achieve those dreams, you have to put in the extra work,” said Karen.



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Sanelisiwe Tsinde

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