Seven Eagles to soar at the 2024 Olympic Games in France

In a little more than two months, the 2024 Olympic Games will be hosted in Paris, France, and a number of North-West University (NWU) Eagles will make the journey to the Île-de-France region to represent South Africa ... and New Zealand.

Although the squads – including the management teams – have not been finalised, it can be confirmed that 400 m hurdles star Rogail Joseph, 200 m and 4x100 m sprinter Benjamin Richardson, javelin supremo Jo-Ané van Dyk and 4x100 m racer Bradley Nkoana have been included in the South African squad.

Liezel Gouws (400 m and long jump) as well as Khumo Pitso (high jump) have been included in the country’s Paralympics squad.

Then there is the case of triple and long jumper Ethan Olivier. Olivier holds both a South African and a New Zealand passport. Born in Auckland in the Land of the Long White Cloud to South African parents, Olivier attended Overvaal High School in Vereeniging and is now studying Engineering at the NWU.

The 18-year-old Olivier is the New Zealand record holder in the triple jump, and will represent the country of his birth at the Olympic Games in Paris.

Prof Pieter Kruger, director of the NWU’s Centre for Human Health and Performance, has again been appointed by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) to serve as the team’s sports psychologist, and Annelize Rostron, an alumnus of the NWU, will be attending the event as a hockey official.

Sheldon Rostron, sports manager of the NWU’s Potchefstroom Campus, said: “As the NWU and NWU Sport, we are dedicated to fostering opportunities and providing unwavering support to our staff and athletes, equipping them with the finest resources, knowledge and expertise. We take immense pride in the achievements of our exceptional athletes and staff, who continually excel in their respective fields.

“Since the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020/2021, it has been our paramount mission to nurture and empower aspiring Olympians. Today, in 2024, we stand with immense pride as we announce a total of seven athletes, one staff member, and one esteemed alumnus who have earned their place on the Olympic stage. We are hoping for more as the qualification processes draw to an end. This accomplishment underscores our commitment to not only cultivating talent, but also to elevating the reputation of the NWU on the global stage.

“As we prepare to cheer on our athletes at the upcoming Paris Olympics, we extend our heartfelt best wishes and unwavering support. May they embark on their journey with confidence, knowing that they carry with them the pride and support of the NWU community. We are confident that they will represent not only our country but also our university with distinction.

“To our athletes, staff and alumni bound for Paris, remember that you are not only athletes but also ambassadors of the NWU. We believe in your abilities, and we eagerly anticipate celebrating your successes upon your return. Keep soaring to new heights!”

Rogail Joseph

Submitted on Tue, 05/14/2024 - 09:18