WHEN it comes to determination and drive, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone else with as much of the qualities as Tia Terblanche. The 13-year-old has proved herself an exceptional athlete, not only in track events in athletics, but also in biathle and cross country. The Our Lady of Fatima Dominican Convent School Grade 7 learner recently three of her races an inter-schools athletics meeting at Northlands Primary School.
Terblanche won the 100 metres, 200 metres and 800 metres events. It is her consistency at excelling that has also led her being selected for the KwaZulu-Natal U13 athletics team.
“I used to be a gymnast but I always loved running. I’d been involved in cross country and had also made the KZN team previously but athletics was something I decided to focus on this year. I joined the Fast Feet Track Club and I’ve been really pleased with my performances at the inter-school events.
“They don’t offer 400 metres events in my age group and I hope to start running that distance next year. It is true that you don’t get many sprinters running 800 metres but I enjoy running fast in the event,” she said.
Terblanche, whose father Stefan was a professional rugby player representing the Sharks, Ospreys, and of course the Springboks says she does not feel pressured by her dad’s success.
“There is no pressure from him or my family. I compete in sports that I love and be the best that I can be in anything I do. If anything I want to be like my dad and inspiring others. He reached the pinnacle of success and I would love to do that in athletics,” she said.
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Terblanche has also excelled on natural terrain, in that she has also represented South Africa in the sport of biathle. Last year she finished seventh at the UIPM Biathle/Triathle World Championships in Viveiro, Spain.
“That was an amazing experience and an honour representing South Africa. My dad trained me and helped with my preparations for the world champs and I was really happy with my results. I’m hoping to build on my performances and excel on the athletics track this year going forward,” she said.