- Category: Track & Field
How did you become involved in your sport and what events do you compete in?
My journey into athletics really accelerated when I started high school at Cranbrook in 2006. Prior to starting at Cranbrook, I had always expressed an interest in Track and Field, but was not presented with many opportunities to peruse this interest. Cranbrook provided the opportunity for me to develop my athletic ambitions through their structured track and field program, headed by Simon Morrow, MIC of athletics and a great friend.
I compete in the sprints category of track and field, specializing in the 400m.
Who is your sporting hero?
I have many sporting hero’s, including Michael Milton, Lance Armstrong, Mathew Burke……. The list continues. But to narrow it down to one name, I would have to nominate Andrés Iniesta. Iniesta is a midfielder for my favorite sporting team FC Barcelona. His skill on and off the ball is remarkable, and his vision on the field is something I greatly admire.
Age you started in your sport?
I started training properly for track and field at the age of sixteen.
Height, weight, age?
What motivates you to continue in your sport?
My biggest motivator driving me to continue with my chosen sport is the unknown. The unknown possibilities of what I can potentially achieve, be it Olympic gold medals, Australian Records, World Records…. these ambiguities keep me and my mind thriving towards success.
What motivated you to start your sport?
My greatest motivators to start track and field include both accomplished athletes and friends. One name that immediately springs to mind is friend and training partner James Roff. James was my hurdles coach at Cranbrook school, and insisted that I explore my natural talent further. Without James, I would almost certainly be in another sport.
What is your current business/job?
I am currently a student.
Who do you race for club/state and what is your competitive history?
I race and have raced for:
Randwick-Botany Harriers (Club)
I first raced for NSW in the Australian All Schools Championships in 2009, and since, have gone on to represent Australia at both IAAF World Junior Championships in 2010 and the IAAF World Championships in 2011.
People that have inspired you both in sport and life?
I am fortunate enough to have many people in my life and sport to draw inspiration from. My family, friends and fellow athletes all add in different ways in providing inspiration for me. My fathers unprecedented work ethic; my mother’s fearless attitude and persistence; my sister’s stamina and neatness. From a wider perspective, seeing sporting feats such as Sally Pearson's gold medal run at the 2011 IAAF World Athletic Championships and Cadel Evens victory in the Tour De France. But it is the everyday effort by everyday people that inspire me the most. My training partners for example; seeing them put every bit of energy into their runs inspires me to do the same. I am fortunate to have so many different, yet equally important sources of inspiration in my life.
Great experiences that have happened in your life?
The standout experiences in my life to date include:
- African safari (Their is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush you get from hearing a pack of lions chase down their prey)
- Bodyboarding Pipeline (The crystal clear water is more of a deterrent then contentment, as it reveals the reef below. However, those few barrels were exhilarating to say the least).
- Aid work in Tonga (Was fortunate enough to join my father and his colleagues in their annual aid trip to Tonga. Getting to help the locals medically, and play sports with the locals was very rewarding and a great experience).
- Watching Barcelona vs Manchester United at the Nou Camp (The atmosphere was unmatched).
Your interests and hobbies?
I love the beach, sports, hanging with friends, bodyboarding and video games.
One tip or quote that continues to inspire you?
Never say Never
Family Background(where did you grow up) and Current Family
I grew up in Australia. Both my parents are South African. I have a sister, Bianca.
What is your happiest memory?
My happiest memory to date is seeing my parents after I won my first open national title in March 2011.
Who did you idolize growing up?
I idolized many athletes growing up. From an early age, Mathew Burke (Australian Rugby Player) and The Rock (Wrestler) were two of my larger idols.
Were you always one of the better athletes growing up?
Yes, but not in my current sport. I was a fairly talented football (Soccer) player, having captained the Australian U18 team at the Maccabia games in 2009. In terms of track and field, I was certainly not one of the better athletes. In fact, I never won a state medal until the age of 16.
What is one thing you would share with the children wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Natural talent only takes you so far… it's your work ethic and lust for success that will carry you forward.
How has being involved/playing your sport changed your life?
Being an athlete has opened up many opportunities for me and has certainly changed my life. It has taken my around the country, and the world. It has also changed my life for the better in terms of study. I no longer procrastinate whilst studying, simply because I have no time too.
Who has been your biggest supporter?
My family. My family, close and extended have and always will be my biggest supporters. They stick with me always, and for that I am forever grateful.
Who has been your best coach?
Well… to date I have only had one coach, and I think she will forever be my best coach. Fira Devoskia.
Sporting Background(sports you grew up playing) and list of achievements/results?
I grew up playing many sports, and was fortunate enough to excel and achieve a great deal in each.
Growing up, I played:
-Soccer (Played representative level)
-Track and Field
Favourite Foods/Diet you follow?
Favourite food….. easy CHOCOLATE!
I also indulge in Mango's and other fresh fruits… but nothing beats chocolate =)
Your typical training split and favourite thing to train?
Love speed endurance training. Favourite set would be 300 (1min rest) 6x 60m (45sec rest between) 300m
Worst injury you have suffered?
What is the ultimate prize in your sport?
Olympic Gold Medals.
What do you find to be the toughest aspect of your sport?
The mental strength needed to fight through the pain of lactic acid
What is your favourite movie?
Have many, but the Italian Job takes the prize, closely followed by Taken
What one lesson did you take from your parents?
Hard work and perseverance is the ingredients to success.
How do you deal with temptation?
What is your favourite music/band/song?
I love Eminem.
What is your biggest fear?
Do you believe "never giving up" is the difference between making it and not making it in any sport?
I certainly believe that perseverance is key but only if it is channeled.
Have you ever failed at anything? If yes how did you overcome this?
I have failed at many things, the most recent being keeping a clean and tidy room. I am yet to find an effective way to overcome this.
What inspired you to succeed?
The intrinsic feeling of success and achievement that cannot be described.
What did you want to be as a kid growing up?
Your future goals in your sports, and goals when you finish your sport?
I want to achieve everything their is to achieve in track and field. World titles, Olympic titles and consistency. Consistency at the top of the sport I love and work so hard to attain.
If you could have dinner with 5 people who would they be?
What is one item you cannot live without?
My Phone… mainly because I am always running late and need to alert people of this.
People you would like to thank?(Sponsors, Coaches, Family or Friends)
I would like to thank my family, both immediate (Lucille (mum), Michael (dad), Bianca (sister)) and extended (The Bermans in particular) as well as my friends. I owe my success also to my coach Fira and my training squad at Team Fira. I would also like to thank my school Cranbrook, Runnerstribe, Nike and Adidas for their continued support in my quest to success.
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