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JT inspiration


We hope that the following will inspire and encourage you to work with unwavering determination to pursue your dreams:


JuniorTukkies graduate



Congratulations to all our JuniorTukkies who graduated during April 2016 - we are very proud of you!

►  Click here to read more about some of the JuniorTukkies' wonderful journeys leading to the attainment of their degrees.



Tips to tackle new semester challenges

As you know, the challenges that surface at the start of a new semester tend to remain the same. Here’s a few tips that may help you in planning your new semester:

  • Start your semester with a positive attitude.
  • Think about the past term, what you would have done differently and how you could have improved your academic performance. The answers to these questions can guide you in setting new goals for this semester to become better motivated. A strong beginning is more likely to lead to a strong end-of-semester!
  • Review your commitments and tasks at the beginning of each week and at the start of each day.
  • Diarise important academic deadlines and information that you will require throughout the term.
  • Note recurring events and tasks — both academic and personal — such as weekly tutor classes, painting classes, gym sessions, dance classes, etc.
  • Leave some room in your calendar so that you can flexibly adapt to new challenges and unpredictable events such as a family emergency or surprise tests.
  • Set aside time for rest and relaxation – every student needs sleep!
  • Regularly exercising, spending time with friends and chatting with family members back home can help you overcome many new semester anxieties.
  • Identifying realistic and specific academic and personal goals can help motivate you. Try to remain positive, and celebrate each goal you meet. You deserve it!

Good luck with your studies.

The JuniorTukkie Team

Minét Uys: Top matriculant in Gauteng

Minét Uys, one of our JuniorTukkies and currently a first-year student at the University of Pretoria, was the top matriculant in Gauteng in 2015.  She matriculated at the Afrikaanse Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria and agreed to share her success story with JuniorTukkie.

“I joined JuniorTukkie in 2013 as a Grade 10 learner. The JuniorTukkie Club offers its members numerous benefits. I paged through the JuniorTukkie magazine regularly and usually picked quite a number of valuable, useful facts. To get good marks, or actually to achieve success in anything, demands a ‘bit extra’. In Grade 8 I opened my report with a feeling of apprehension since everybody had told me not to expect the same marks that I used to get in primary school. My report didn’t look too bad, but it was not what I wanted. Instead of accepting my marks, I decided to try harder. That doesn’t necessarily mean that one has to spend hours and hours studying. The first step takes place in class: Don’t stay away from school willy-nilly; pay attention when teachers explain something; and if you are unsure, ask! If the teacher’s explanation is not sufficient, ask your friends. They most likely struggled with the same thing, which means they will know how to explain it to someone else.

The second important point is how you manage your time. What do you do after school? I found it beneficial to take part in sport and cultural activities. It gives one some respite – a bit of time to relax and forget about schoolwork and time to spend with your friends. I took part in several sports codes, including athletics, hockey, swimming, cross-country running, mountain-biking and karate. So it is possible to achieve good academic results and to take part in sport. I even received my Protea colours in karate. To be part of a team exposed me to different people, cultures and ways of thinking. For me sport was an important outlet and by taking part in cultural activities such as public speaking I broadened my knowledge while having fun. It also taught me things that I could never have learnt at school.

Thirdly: start doing your homework immediately. Don’t first watch TV or take a nap – remember, procrastination is the thief of time! You must have a basic idea of what your week holds in store for you so that you can plan your time in such a way that you succeed in doing your homework, projects and studying without having to work till late every single night. Everyone has a different way of studying – some prefer not to use different colours and rather to draw up tables while still others prefer explaining what they have learnt to someone else. Find out what works for you and stick with it.

My advice for any learner in the year ahead, but especially for matrics, is to go full out in all aspects of life at school. Work hard at your studies, take part in cultural and sports activities and also make time for your friends. Enjoy everything 2016 has to offer and maintain a balance. Last, but definitely not least, stay positive – it’s the only way you’ll be able to remain motivated!“

Minét Uys



David Mahlangu obtain excellent matric examination results

► Click here to read more about David Mahlangu's outstanding matric examination results.



Harness of Hope: JuniorTukkies creating smart moves

Two of our JuniorTukkie members, Derick De Villiers Basson and Henrique de Lange, won the "Tritech Expo Health Science Senior Division" on 19 September 2015 and also walked away as overall winners with their "Harness of Hope" project. The harness is designed to help paraplegic and disabled children to experience the joy of walking.

Henrique de Lange (left) and De Villiers Basson (right) with their
Harness of Hope-exhibition at the Tritech Expo


How does it work?

The harness is similar to a baby carry bag (kangaroo pouch) that is attached to the adult's harness with extended buckles. These two JuniorTukkies started off with an ordinary second-hand "kangaroo pouch", then designed a patent and pattern that is now already registered. The adult's harness is designed in such a way that the weight of the child is evenly distributed between the shoulders and the waist – similar to a backpack for hiking trips. Two pairs of shoes are tied together with one sole. The paraplegic child can sit comfortably in the harness which is adjustable according to the child's disability. Less or more weight can be placed on the child's legs  as needed. A paraplegic child can easily put his full weight in the harness, while the harness of a child with a disability and in a walking program, can be set so that the child can carry his/her own weight on the hips. The adults’ feet fit into the shoes on the outside and the child's feet fit into the shoes on the inside. When the adult then lift the knees to take steps, the child's legs follow automatically – regardless of the disability. The harness has been used by five children with different disabilities and proved to have made a big difference in their lives.

Estelle Vorster – a family member’s baby we used in our experiments before we tested it on children with disabilities. Here we test the harness with the walking frame:

De Villiers and Enrique de Villiers aimed at improving the harness in the walker so that the child's feet are tied to two individual plates. The plate has a slow back-and-forth movement that mimics walking and also help for extra exercise. Their research has shown how much health benefits it has for the children such as improved digestion, better circulation, reduction of pressure sores, and many more.


The first test was done on Lyonell Coetzee. She is 2 years and 6 months old
and suffers from the condition Hypermobility:


Charlene Els, 4 years old and born with cerebral palsy.
Here she experiences the joy of walking for the first time in her life:


Meyer Beukes – 4 and a half years old, with his mother, Kayla Beukes while the harness is being tested. Meyer is born with Spina Bifida and is paraplegic:



This is how the shoes look like when they are tied together:

The final product: The harness:


"As a JuniorTukkie, the University of Pretoria is my first choice of study institution after I completed my final school-year and therefore I would like to share my excitement with Tukkies. Not only am I excited about our achievement as winners, but more so about the change we brought so far in the lives of five children and their families. While doing the experiments it was incredibly emotional and it opened up a world I always knew existed but never had experienced. To see a parent's joy when her four-year old little girl who has cerebral palsy, for the first time have the opportunity to experience what it feels like to walk, was incredible! For me personally, the project means a lot since a big part of my life consists of movement. I am a 800m athlete who is working very hard in order to win SA u/17 next year. This project made me realise that I should never take anything for granted. "

                                                                                                                                                                     De Villiers Basson


"What an incredible privilege to be part of such a great project! For me, the concept is absolutely a revelation! I am blessed with a talent to run, so I have so much empathy with each of the children we worked with. I'm interested in a career in human movement science and therefore this project means so much more to me. I have a passion for children and would like to one day, have the opportunity to make a contribution in order to have a positive influence in their lives. The focus of our project was to bring hope and joy – we reached our objective 100% ! "

                                                                                                                                                                   Henrique de Lange


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Last edited by Martha KilianEdit