#TuksTriathlon: Strumpher’s silver medal a reward for perseverance

Posted on March 22, 2018

There is no stopping Strumpher!
 
The results of the South African Triathlon Championships outside Bloemfontein will show that Britney Strumpher, TuksSport High School learner finished second in the under-19 race, but that does not tell the real story.
 
Strumpher is the personification of what being positive is supposed to be. For her, the glass will always be half full in spite of the fact that she has just reason to view it as half empty. 
 
The 17-year old Tuks-triathlete has been born with a cleft palate and having hearing problems. The ability to hear in her right ear is constantly degenerating while she has got wear a hearing aid in her left ear also. When she was in primary school she was being bullied. This is just reason to be negative about life, but you will seldom here Strumpher complain.
 
The one thing she truly loves is to motivate and encourage her fellow learners and athletes to never give up. After finishing matric, she hopes to be able to study sports psychology as she is confident she can make a difference in the lives of athletes.
 
“I have come a long way in my life. From my personal experience, I believe nobody should be bullied. We are all equal no matter whether you wear braces or glasses or are in a wheelchair.”
 
Strumpher is as passionate about her sport and will never shy away from a true challenge. That is why she relishes it to compete against able body athletes. 
 
She used to be good swimmer. In 2016 she missed out qualifying for the 2016 Paralympic Games by a mere second in the breaststroke. A knee-injury changed everything. 
 
“I lost my passion for swimming. In the time I was out of the pool my rivals got a lot faster, and I was not able to catch up with them again.
 
“I took up triathlon last year after having watched a friend compete. After my first race, I was hooked as I loved the adrenaline rush that goes with competing in triathlons. Switching sports is the best decision I ever made. I am in a better place in my personal life, more positive and motivated.”
 
In an honest assessment, Strumpher admits that she needs to work towards becoming a stronger runner.
 
“I need to improve in all three disciplines. If I am stronger in the swim it will mean I will be with the leaders on the bike which will put me in a better position when I start to run.”
 
The Tuks triathlete credits the former Olympian, Kate Roberts, to be the one who has helped from being average to becoming competitive. 
 
“What I appreciate about Kate is that she admits to having made mistakes when she competed. She has set herself the goal as a coach to make sure that we don’t get to repeat them. The most important thing Kate taught me is never to give up.”
- Author Wilhelm de Swardt
Published by Leonore Jordaan

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