Teen brings home gold

VICTORY: Terry van Rensburg, 16, from Westernburg, Polokwane, receives a hero's welcome after winning a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships in Singapore. Pic. ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 13/01/2010. © Sowetan.

13 JANUARY 2010 WEDNESDAY:
VICTORY: Terry Van Rensberg, 16, from Westernburg near Polokwane in Limpopo congratulates by his team mates after won gold medal in Singapore on 2010 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championshipsduring the welcoming ceremony held at Nguni Grill-Bendor, Polokwane in Limpopo on Tuesday. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA
VICTORY: Terry van Rensburg, 16, from Westernburg, Polokwane, receives a hero's welcome after winning a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships in Singapore. Pic. ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 13/01/2010. © Sowetan. 13 JANUARY 2010 WEDNESDAY: VICTORY: Terry Van Rensberg, 16, from Westernburg near Polokwane in Limpopo congratulates by his team mates after won gold medal in Singapore on 2010 Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championshipsduring the welcoming ceremony held at Nguni Grill-Bendor, Polokwane in Limpopo on Tuesday. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA

A DETERMINED teenage wrestler has made a caring Polokwane community proud by returning this week with a gold medal from the Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships in Singapore.

A DETERMINED teenage wrestler has made a caring Polokwane community proud by returning this week with a gold medal from the Commonwealth Youth Wrestling Championships in Singapore.

At a tender 16, Terry van Rensburg had a huge weight on his shoulders when he left for the games in late November because he was representing South Africa and the people of Polokwane had dug deep into their pockets - R17000 in all for flights and accommodation - to make his adventure a reality, and he had vowed that he would not let anyone down.

Van Rensburg, who is a member of the Ion Baciu Wrestling Academy in Polokwane, nearly abandoned the trip due to lack of funds.

"I would like to thank the people of Polokwane, particularly the Westernburg Rugby Club, for raising the money. I am glad I did not let them down," a jubilant Van Rensburg said on Tuesday.

His coach, Jan Roets, told Sowetan that the young national champion was chosen by the National Wrestling Federation last year to represent SA in the championships.

"That came after he had defeated 12 wrestlers from different provinces," Roets said.

"I am not surprised that he did well in Singapore. Terry is a shining beacon in the academy, especially to the 45 other kids aged between four and 15. I am proud to coach him."

A bigger challenge is beckoning for Van Rensburg. In June, he is going to Egypt to compete in the Youth Olympic Games, also in Singapore.

"I believe nothing can stop us," coach Roets said.

Terry started wrestling aged eight, encouraged by his father Killy. This inspirational Grade 9 pupil at Pietersburg High School is looking for sponsorship for his next major challenge.

His father said: "I am happy that the local people helped us to make my son's dreams come true. He has excelled in wrestling from childhood, and is a humble and dedicated child."

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