fPretoria, 4 April 2013 – At the recently held Nedbank National Championships for the Physically Disabled, beneficiaries of the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund raked in no less than fifteen medals and three national records.

The event that took place from 24-27 March at the Tuks sports grounds is seen as the first step on the “Road to Rio” and was attended by most of South Africa’s Paralympic stars.

Under-20 competitor and below-knee amputee, Junior Mavuso, opened his campaign with a bronze in the F44 javelin event followed by gold in the T44 100m race. Mavuso also took gold in the long jump while adding a new national record to his tally with his jump measuring 4.31m. He lost his leg in a car accident when only three years of age.

Fifteen year old Omar Abdul (an above-knee amputee) won gold in all three of his field events – shot put, javelin, and discus.  Abdul set a new South African record in the under-16 F42 shot put item with a heave of 5.22 meters.

Next it was sixteen year old Bongani Mahlangu’s turn to shine. He won gold in the under-18 T44 100m race and continued to take gold in the long jump while adding a new national record to his tally with a jump measuring 4.15m.

Mahlangu lost his left leg below-knee when a motorist crashed into him while he was playing on the side of the road on his thirteenth birthday.

The youngest of the group, 12 year old Brandon Menezes took care of another two gold medals in the T42 under-16 100m item and the F42 long jump.

Under-18 competitor, Thato Tsomole started with silver in the T44 100m race. Tsomole continued to take silver in the long jump and gold in the high jump event with a jump measuring 1.3 meters. Tsomole attends Meerhoff School in Hartebeespoort and is ranked as one of the top five junior male wheelchair tennis players in the world.

Last but not least, under-18 competitor and below-knee amputee, Tiaan Huyzers from Rustenburg won gold in the F44 shot put (9.35m) as well as gold in the discus with a throw measuring 27.45 meters.

Afflicted by an under-developed left leg combined with other complications, Huyzers underwent an amputation below-knee when he was four years old.


The group also participated in a ‘Jumping Kids exhibition race’ alongside Paralympic double medallist Arnu Fourie.

The race, that included nine young beneficiaries of the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund as well as various adult athletes with amputations, was staged to help raise awareness that with the right tools and support, kids with amputations can achieve as much as their able bodied peers.

Jumping Kids is a non-profit initiative launched in 2009 to assists young South Africans living with amputations to access advanced prosthetic solutions.

Not only did the kids get a chance to run with their Paralympic hero, they also had the opportunity to spend time with Fourie, ask him questions and get his autograph.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Jumping Kids, to help spread the message that physical disability is not the end of the road,” says Fourie.

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