South Africa has some of the most talented part time teacher athletes. Here is a list of incredible teacher athletes that have defied the odds becoming world stars.
Pierre le Roux
Pierre is South Africa’s most decorated water polo player. He became the youngest player to represent South Africa at the age of 17 in 2003. He has been part of the national team for the last 13 years as well as the national team captain for 7 years where he has been able to play over 100 international matches, which is a national record. Apart from playing water polo, Pierre is a full time teacher and coach and is currently the Master in Charge of water polo at St Stithians College as well as being the coach of the 1st team girl’s side.
Austin is one of the best hockey players ever to play for South Africa. In 2004 at the age of 18, he made his debut for the national team. He has represented SA in two Olympics and has achieved over 150 international caps. In 2009 he was also chosen as a member of the world all-star team. Choosing to become a professional hockey player, Austin had to study education online at UNISA. When he is not playing hockey for Den Bosch Hockey Club in the Netherlands, he is teaching at one of the local schools in the Netherlands or coaching junior teams at Den Bosch Hockey Club.
Jenna is a 32 year old long distance runner from Durban who is a mother of 3 children. She studied teaching and ended up having to juggle full time teaching and part time photography whilst being a professional runner. When her children were older, she decided to stop teaching focusing on her photography and running career. Her top achievement includes finishing third in the SA Half Marathon Championships; from there she was chosen as part of the SA team to participate in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen. At World Champs she posted a personal best ending in 47th position.
Karli van Wyk
Karli is a teacher at President High school in Joburg. When she is not teaching, she is a professional action netball player. Some of her achievements include playing for SA in the Action Netball World Cup in 2012, 2014 and 2016. She was recently selected as the vice-captain for the 2019 Action Netball World Cup which took place in Cape Town in August. Team SA went into the tournament with a strong team which enabled them to win the Cup against strong opposition such as Australia and New Zealand.
These are some incredible achievements from some of the most successful sports athletes in South Africa including some that have captained their national teams. What makes these achievements so impressive is the fact that they are all professional athletes that have to juggle being teachers whilst still being able to compete at the highest level on an international stage.